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Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Seafood Innovation Fund

PA1 2BE, Paisley
Salary Scale £39,592 to £47,047
Closing date
14 Apr 2023

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Paisley Campus

Full time, Fixed term (18 months)

We are seeking a highly motivated Post-Doctoral Research Assistant (or equivalent) with relevant research / industry experience to work on a Seafood Innovation Fund (SIF) funded project in the University of the West of Scotland to undertake original research on the development of Atlantic salmon specific immunology assays for use on high throughput automated instrumentation.

This project builds upon a previous SIF feasibility study has identified four potential immune markers of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), with particular focus on the immunological response to the four most common pathogens occurring in the Scottish salmon industry. These biomarkers have been developed in plate-based ELISA format. Ultimately, we aim to transfer these existing biomarker assays to a high throughput turbidimetric immunoassay platform to differentiate specific pathogens based on the reaction of a suite of immunology biomarkers and shall separate out the infection-based responses from other potential stressors such as handling, nutrition and environmental factors. The project outputs include: (1) Development of immunoassay design for each of the four immune markers assays; (2) Assay optimisation with the aim of demonstrating acceptable assay performance and the basic reproducibility; (3) Assay validation using a performance verification programme across different automated instruments using health challenged and experimentally infected Atlantic salmon serum.

Key activities include:

  1. Take a leading, practical role in a 18-month SIF funded project on ‘Development of salmon specific, immunology assays for automated analysis’.
  2. Interaction will be needed with project participants from both academia and industry.
  3. Undertake laboratory-based work on the cross reactivity of several ELISA kits to test the immunological response of serum from Atlantic salmon (antibody parameter optimisation).
  4. Development and optimisation of turbidimetric assay design: Phase 1. Relocation for 3-4 months to work in the laboratory in England of our biotechnology industry partners on developing and optimising the first turbidimetric assay using a phased development approach.
  5. Undertake a phase 1 Design Review before moving onto the Performance verification programme (PVP): Phase 2. The majority of which will be conducted in the WellFish laboratory using the instruments housed there, under the remote supervision of our biotechnology industry partners. The research will be carried out within the WellFish Diagnostics laboratory in the UWS in close collaboration with the project academic and industry partners. WellFish Diagnostics is a UWS spinout company with is cutting edge laboratory located on the Paisley campus.
  6. Once this has been undertaken for the first assay, the development and verification of the remaining 3 fish immune antibodies shall be undertaken in the WellFish Laboratory under the remote supervision of the biotechnology partners.
  7. To work with the project team to evaluate fish health and welfare (based on the integration of laboratory clinical chemistry and immunology biomarkers) in aquaculture reared fish resulting from various health challenges.
  8. Co-ordinate and manage data (including data quality, integrity and security) acquired by the project, staff and external partners.

The successful candidate should have the following:

  1. Educated to PhD level in a subject relevant to fish immunology, biotechnology, immunology, clinical pathology, health diagnostics or veterinary medicine with good laboratory skills.
  2. Worked/studied in areas related to immunology, biotechnology, diagnostics or biomedical research.
  3. Experience in laboratory techniques relevant to project (e.g. ELISA).
  4. Experience in the statistical analysis.
  5. Experience in assay design or development (optional)


UWS was named Higher Educational Institution of the Year in The Herald Higher Education Awards 2022 and is officially ranked by Times Higher Education in the top 600 universities worldwide (2022 World University Rankings) as well as in the top 150 universities worldwide under 50 years old (2022 Young University Rankings). University of the West of Scotland is one of Scotland’s largest and most dynamic modern universities. Our reach across the country, together with our London campus, means that UWS is a significant force in global knowledge creation, innovation, and a leading provider of undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree education. Our degrees provide students with a transformational experience; equipping them with highly sought-after graduate skills that set them up for global success in world-leading sectors, industries and businesses.

With cutting-edge courses, modern pedagogy and practical knowledge, we enable our students and staff to experience the joy of learning, teaching, research and innovation, and apply their knowledge for the benefit of others. 

The School of Health & Life Sciences at UWS offers innovative teaching and research opportunities, firmly focused on the real-world challenges facing the healthcare and life sciences sectors. You will join a supportive and committed team, where you will play a key role in continuing to establish the University as a force for good. Our students benefit from studying in modern learning facilities – among the very best in the country – and the strong links we have with partner organisations across the private, public and third sectors.

We offer our staff a caring and supportive environment, across five campuses, and a competitive benefits package which includes:

  • 35 days of annual leave, plus a further 12 days for public/university holidays
  • 23% employer’s pension contribution, including death in service benefits on joining the pension scheme
  • A flexible approach to working pattern and work-life balance
  • Employee discount scheme across 3,500 retailers
  • Fitness facilities across our campuses
  • Free gym membership
  • Access to a range of health and wellbeing resources, including occupational health, physiotherapy and access to our Employee Assistance Programme
  • Professional, career and research development opportunities

Interview Date:  Monday 24th April

The University reserves the right to shorten/extend the closing date of any position where a high/low volume of suitable applications are received. Therefore, if you are interested in this role, an early application would be encouraged.

UWS is committed to equality and diversity and welcomes applications from underrepresented groups.

UWS is a “Disability Confident” employer.

University of the West of Scotland is a registered Scottish charity, no. SC002520.

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