DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolution and Development

Location
Durham, United Kingdom
Salary
£34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Posted
27 Jul 2022
End of advertisement period
01 Sep 2022
Ref
22000607
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Hours
Full Time

Department of Biosciences

Grade 7: - £34,304 - £40,927 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date:  01-Sep-2022, 6:59:00 AM

Durham University

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 breathtaking 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

The Department of Biosciences is composed of 51 academic staff and research fellows; around 50 research and technical support staff; over 90 Research Postgraduate students and over 500 Single Honours undergraduate students, and also teaches students from the Natural Sciences programme. The Department is committed to an ethos of research-led teaching at both BSc and MBiol levels, and was ranked 5th in the UK for Biological Sciences Departments in the Complete University Guide 2018.

The Dept. of Biosciences was also ranked in the top ten UK Biology Departments for research impact in the REF2014. Our basic science underpins applications across each-and-every sector of the bio-economy, including Biotechnology, Ecology and Agritechnology. Research programmes are grouped in the following areas: Molecular Plant Sciences; Biomolecular Interactions; Ecology, Evolution and Environment; and Animal Cells and Systems. These groups organise focused seminar series, Research Away Days, manage joint research facilities, oversee mentoring, internal peer review and serve to nucleate larger research projects. Along with our excellent research facilities such as bioimaging, proteomics, metabolomics and genomics we offer a high quality and supportive environment for our research staff.

The Dept. of Biosciences partners with other areas of research strength in Durham University including Computational Sciences and Chemistry, and encourages multidisciplinary research for Health and Wellbeing. Durham University was listed in the Times Higher World Top 50 Life Science Challengers (July 2017).

The Department holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award. Athena SWAN is a national initiative that recognises the advancement of gender equality, representation and progression. The Department embraces excellence in all of its forms and invites all qualified applicants to apply. We particularly welcome applications from women and black and minority ethnic candidates who are under-represented in the academic sector.

The Role

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolution and Development to study spider gene expression and development. This Leverhulme Trust funded research project is led by Professor Alistair McGregor and will investigate the regulation and evolution of limb regeneration in spiders.

The successful applicant will have the necessary experience and skills to contribute to the research project by generating and studying spider RNA-seq data and investigating gene expression and function during limb regeneration.

Responsibilities:

  • 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.   
  • To identify and collect spiders in the field to establish and maintain lab cultures.
  • To analyse spider transcriptomes, and investigate the expression and function of genes during spider leg regeneration to achieve the objectives of the project.

This post is fixed term initially for 24 months due to the availability of funding for this fixed period only.

The post-holder is employed to work on research/a research project which will be led by Professor Alistair McGregor. 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 01/10/12.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Alistair McGregor (alistair.mcgregor@durham.ac.uk). 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.

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 above.

Next Steps

The assessment for the post will include a short presentation and interview.

The Requirements

Essential:

  1. Qualifications
    • A good first degree in the field of Biology. 
    • A PhD (or be close to submission) in  Evolutionary Developmental Biology  or a related subject.
  2. Experience
    • 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.
    • Research experience in molecular biology.
    • Research experience in Bioinformatics.
  3. Skills
    • 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.
    • Excellent problem solving skills.

Desirable:

  • Experience
    • 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 in Spider Husbandry.
    • Experience in studying spider development.
    • Experience in analysing RNA-seq data sets.
  • Skills
    • Demonstrable ability to plan and manage independent research. 
    • Skills in spider identification and collection.

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.