Early Stage Researcher

Lincoln, United Kingdom
£33,797 per annum
16 Dec 2020
End of advertisement period
15 Feb 2021
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Chemistry
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Pharmacy

Location: Lincoln
Salary: From £33,797 per annum
This post is full time at 1.0 FTE and fixed term for 36 months
Closing Date: Monday 15 February 2021
Interview Date: Wednesday 03 March 2021
Reference: COS802

Marie Sklodowska Curie ESR

This post is for an early stage researcher (ESR) who will undertake a three-year PhD studentship as part of the Innovative Training Networks (ITN) Call H2020-MSCA-ITN-2020 DIRNANO. The scheme aims to train a new generation of creative, entrepreneurial and innovative ESR’s. There are 16 academic and 5 non-academic partners across Europe who are within the network. The present post will be based at the University of Lincoln in the Joseph Banks Laboratories and supervised by Dr. Christy Hunter.

Project Title: Green Chemical Synthesis of Steroidal Complement Inhibitors: improvement of Nanomedicines Stealth CharacteristicsIntravenously administered liposomal nanomedicines have demonstrated significant clinical advantage in the treatment of conditions such as Karposi sarcoma and metastatic breast cancer as compared to free drug treatments. Following administration of these commercial nanocarriers clinically significant adverse events can occur. The adverse

events have been linked to activation of the Complement system.

The Project

This project will apply green chemical synthesis, using microorganisms, to functionalise hormones generating novel complement recognition inhibitors to improve stealth characteristics of liposomes. Design of these inhibitors will involve in silico modelling to determine the optimal design of liposome-complement protein interaction inhibitors. Physical interactions, as well as structure of the inhibitors will be assessed by a range of techniques including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The Immunological assessment of the inhibitors will be tested in using ELIZA complement assay system.

The Appointee

The appointee should have an interest in synthesis, in silico modelling and complement immunology. The individual will be trained in the above techniques at the University of Lincoln as well as two training internships at the University of Newcastle, UK and Molecular Horizon SRL, Italy. 

You will be required to obtain a PhD whilst in the role, attend and contribute towards relevant meetings as well as disseminating your research through seminar, conference presentations or through publications. You will receive a generous PhD studentship.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Fluent in written and spoken English
  • Good written and oral Communication skills
  • Practical experience of synthetic chemistry and structural analysis would be an advantage
  • Using and developing new research techniques and methods
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines and produce formal reports


A Masters level qualification (or equivalent) qualification in biochemistry, biophysics, organic chemistry, pharmacy, pharmaceutical or immunological science but with a strong understanding of structural chemistry.

The Programme and Eligibility

The main type of ITN is a European Training Network (ETN) – fellows are typically enrolled on a PhD programme. The project is consortium based with a number of partners across Europe.

The project has a number of core eligibility criteria to be adhered to for recruitment:

  • All positions awarded in the project should be fully advertised nationally and internationally (using
  • The candidate must be in the first 4 years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their career and not awarded a PhD at the time of their recruitment.
  • Recruited for a minimum 3 months and maximum 36 months
  • No restrictions on nationality
  • Mobility – the candidate must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment.
  • Funding Mechanism of ITN – Each fellow’s contract is comprised of the Living, Mobility and Family Allowances (Dependents at the time of recruitment) as awarded by the scheme.

All allowances awarded are included in the cost of employment for University of Lincoln; employers National Insurance and pension contributions. See Foreign Currency Projects for the current exchange rate.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Christy Hunter at

Dr. Hunter’s web page:

For further information about the programme please see:

European Training Network: