Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Diagnostics and Inverse Mechanics
Department of Biosciences
Grade 7: - £33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 29-Apr-2021, 6:59:00 AM
Durham University is one of the world's top universities with strengths across the Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world who are tackling global issues and making a difference to people's lives.
The University sits in a beautiful historic city where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the greatest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate University, Durham recruits outstanding students from across the world and offers an unmatched wider student experience.
Less than 3 hours north of London and an hour and a half south of Edinburgh, County Durham is a region steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breath-taking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of city, suburban and rural residential locations. The University provides a range of benefits including pension and childcare benefits and the University’s Relocation Manager can assist with potential schooling requirements.
Durham University seeks to promote and maintain an inclusive and supportive environment for work and study that assists all members of our University community to reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from across the international, national and regional communities that we work with and serve.
The department is one of the very best UK Bioscience departments with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and employability of our students. The Department ranks in the top ten UK Biology Departments for research impact and is home to 51 academic staff and research fellows with research and teaching interests that span the broad spectrum of the Biosciences. The Department studies biology from the smallest to the largest scales; from the structures and functions of biological molecules, through to cells, tissues and organisms and to the entire global ecosystem. The Department also has strong interdisciplinary links with the physical and social sciences. With excellent facilities for carrying out research, we offer a high quality, supportive environment for research staff and postgraduate students.
A highly motivated researcher is sought for this unique opportunity to develop complementary experimental and computational procedures to evaluate mechanical properties of cell/tissue constructs. This project is supported by Procter & Gamble and is specifically focused on quantifying relationships between the mechanical properties and the biological function of skin cell constructs. There is also strong potential to develop fundamental tools and knowledge in the fields of inverse material characterization and mechanobiology with significant impact to both research areas. The project will be co supervised by Dr Tim Hawkins (Biosciences - Durham University) and Dr John Brigham (Computational Diagnostics and Inverse Mechanics – University of Pittsburgh).
- To understand and convey material of a specialist or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions that leads to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
- To prepare and deliver presentations on research outputs/activities to audiences which may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
- To publish high quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
- To assist with the development of research objectives and proposals.
- To conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder.
- To work with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
- To deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or Grant-holder and offering creative or innovative solutions.
- To liaise with research colleagues and make internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding to form relationships for future research collaboration.
- To plan and manage own research activity, research resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
- To deliver training in research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students as appropriate.
- To be involved in student supervision, as appropriate, and assist with the assessment of the knowledge of students.
- To contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful working environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
- To engage in wider citizenship to support the department and wider discipline.
- To engage in continuing professional development by participation in the undergraduate or postgraduate teaching programmes or by membership of departmental committees, etc. and by attending relevant training and development courses.
This post is fixed term for 1 year duration. Funding is available from Proctor and Gamble for this fixed period only.
The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by another colleague. Whilst this means that the post-holder will not be carrying out independent research in his/her own right, the expectation is that they will contribute to the advancement of the project, through the development of their own research ideas/adaptation and development of research protocols.
Successful applicants will, ideally, be in post by 1st May 2021
How to Apply
All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.
We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/. As part of the application process, you should provide details of 3 (preferably academic/research) referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference.
Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University. We are committed to equality: if for any reason you have taken a career break or periods of leave that may have impacted on your career path, such as maternity, adoption or parental leave, you may wish to disclose this in your application. The selection committee will recognise that this may have reduced the quantity of your research accordingly.
What to Submit
All applicants are asked to submit:
- A CV and covering letter which details your experience, strengths and potential in the requirements set out in the person specification.
- A one page statement of your career goals and how this position will help you achieve your goals.
The assessment for the post will include an interview and a presentation of your PhD research. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview and assessment on a date to be decided.
Person Specification - The Requirements
- A good first degree in a relevant STEM discipline.
- A PhD (or be close to submission) in a relevant STEM discipline.
- Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
- Demonstrable ability to write material of a quality commensurate with publication in highly-ranked journals.
- Demonstrable ability to present research papers at international conferences and communicate complex information to specialists and within the wider academic community.
- Expertise in computational mechanics and numerical methods.
- Experience in coding with one or more software languages (e.g., Python, C++, Fortran, and/or MATLAB).
- Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team, including participating in research meetings.
- Ability to work independently on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
- Have a strong work ethic and time management.
- Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career.
- A track record of presenting research at conferences, symposia, or meetings, commensurate with stage of career.
- Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
- Experience of overseeing students with respect to the development of their practical/research skills e.g. acting as a demonstrator; supervising student projects/practicals.
- Experience with pattern recognition and machine learning as well as numerical optimization is highly desirable.
- Experience of tissue and cellular responses to mechanical stress.
- Experience in the use of microscopy technologies.
- Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research.
DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.