Postdoctoral Research Associate

London (Greater)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
17 May 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Jun 2022
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term

Job description

Our enthusiastic and collaborative team analyses how gene expression and RNA fate are controlled through the regulation of transcription termination during host-virus interactions.  


Viruses employ various strategies to avoid host cell defence-mechanisms and coax host cells into virus particle production. In doing so viruses must strike a careful balance to keep host cells alive until enough viral progeny has been created. During cellular influenza A infection, host transcription termination is inhibited, preventing translation of newly transcribed host-defence RNA.  


We now seek a Postdoctoral Research Associate to develop an innovative research project that will uncover how host cells react and counteract influenza A-mediated inhibition of transcription termination, and ensure cellular survival in the absence of newly generated translatable RNA.  


You will combine system-biological and candidate approaches using  multidisciplinary methods from genetics, transcriptomics, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology (see for example Mischo et al.  Molecular Cell, 2018). You will be encouraged to use your own initiative and to work in collaboration with others in the team to develop a comprehensive picture of how RNA homeiostasis is maintained and RNA-polymerases are  chromatin-released and recycled during viral attack in influenza A infected cells. 


The successful candidate will have obtained a PhD in a biological science such as RNA, molecular or cellular biology, molecular virology or immunology. Having experience with RNA or protein biology, transcriptomics or bioinformatics are desirable. This project will also allow the successful candidate to apply for competitive postdoctoral fellowships. As we are a collaborative team, options for part-time working can be discussed.  


This post will be offered on  a fixed-term contract for 18 months 

This is a full-time  post 100% full time equivalent, but part-time options can be discussed.


Key responsibilities

1.     To perform and further develop a research project aiming to understand how host cells react to virally induced transcription termination inhibition in influenza A infected cells using transcriptomics, molecular biology and reverse viral genetics.   

2.     To work semi-independently to design and control experiments for above project. 

3.     To maintain accurate records of performed experiments and conclusions in line with the team’s standards. 

4.     To prepare and deliver presentations about relevant research findings within the team and within and outside the department. 

5.     To interact with the team leader and other lab members, fostering a positive working environment. 

6.     To develop knowledge of the literature in the subject area.  

7.     Drafting publications arising from this work.  

8.     To handle equipment safely and considerate, report safety issues instantaneously and assist with general laboratory upkeep as shared by all members of the Team. 

9.     To comply at all times with the requirements of the Health and Safety regulations. 

10.   Any other duties that may be required consistent with the nature and grade of the post.



•        Become familiar with the use and maintenance of specialised laboratory equipment

•        Initiate laboratory procedures to ensure smooth running of experimental work and with others to ensure that housekeeping tasks are performed on a regular basis

•        Initiate purchase of consumable items and minor equipment within budgetary limits

•        Work in a flexible but organised manner to meet objectives/deadlines

•        Work and communicate effectively with other members of the Team, Unit and external collaborators

•        Prepare reports of results for oral or written presentations at internal and external meetings and for publication in scientific journals or patents

•        To work independently on a defined project and to consult when appropriate

•        To contribute to the supervision and training of junior staff.

•        positively support equality of opportunity and equity of treatment to colleagues and students in accordance with the College Equal Opportunities Policy  

•        help to maintain a safe working environment by:  

- attending training in basic and specialist health and safety requirements as necessary, both on appointment and as changes in duties and techniques demand.  

- following local codes of safe working practices and the College Health and Safety Policy. 

•        undertake such other duties within the scope of the post as may be requested by their head of unit/department.


This job description is a reflection of the present position and is subject to review and alteration in detail and emphasis in the light of future changes or development.


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  


Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Candidates must possess a Bachelor degree or PhD in a subject relevant to our lab’s research.


Essential criteria  

1.      PhD awarded in biochemistry, molecular or cellular biology, mass spectrometry or protein biophysics,  bioinformatics, virology, immunology  or PhD in above subjects  near completion. 

2.      Strong publication record, as demonstrated by first author publication(s) in peer reviewed journals. 

3.      Scientific integrity. 

4.      Proven ability to design, implement and analyse experiments 

5.      Proven ability to communicate research findings at academic conferences. 

6.      Excellent oral and written communication skills. 

7.      Good citizen within the department. 

8.      Experienced in molecular biology, specifically DNA manipulation, plasmid design, construction, validation, and preparation. 

9.      Basic Bioinformatic ability, sound computer and data-handling skills. 

10.   Interest in developing own research programme. 


Desirable criteria

11.   Knowledge of transcription termination literature and/or influenza A literature 

12.   Training in RNA sequencing techniques, library preparation  

13.   Experience with mass spectrometry or protein cross-linking techniques. 

14.   Experience with designing CIRSPR. 


Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6. 

Further information

Please do not hesitate to contact for further details. Selection will be based on essential and desirable criteria and a formal interview which will entail a research presentation by the candidate, and discussion of the prospective work. Informal inquiries and knowledge of the lab’s research interest are strongly encouraged

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