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Reader in the Physical Sciences of Life

London (Central), London (Greater)
£64,421 to £71,857 including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
14 Apr 2024

Job Details

We are recruiting for up to two Reader positions as part of a major expansion in research and education in the physical sciences of life at King’s College London.

These positions form part of a major £45m investment into interdisciplinary science at King’s, focused on boundary-breaking science research, education and innovation that benefits society. This investment is accelerating growth across science disciplines and stimulating new initiatives at the interfaces between traditional areas.

We are looking for talented academics with strong track records in research and education. Specific areas of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • Applying interdisciplinary empirical, analytical and modelling approaches to understand the complexity of living systems in health and disease
  • Integrating biological, biophysical, biochemical, mathematical and computational methods across scales: spanning molecules, cells, organs, organisms and populations
  • Leveraging complex and diverse datasets to understand biological processes and pathways
  • Developing and using physical and life science methodologies to study biological and physiological processes in real-time
  • Using chemical biology and synthetic chemistry to investigate or disrupt biological systems; for example, drug discovery, imaging, designer switches for regulatory cascades

Successful candidates will play a key role in developing and executing internationally leading research, working collaboratively across King’s. You will have a strong research track record, demonstrating interdisciplinary engagement, and be ready to establish and grow a research programme that attracts external funding. You will also be committed to educating scientists of the future through a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, including innovative new programmes in Natural Sciences.

This is an opportunity to contribute to the strategic growth of world-class research, working synergistically across disciplines, and identifying and growing promising early career researchers. We also wish to maximise the relevance of our work to society through engaged research that engages diverse audiences, especially in our local communities in London and beyond.

It is important that King’s reflects the diversity of the population we serve, and we strongly encourage applications from candidates of all backgrounds.

Shortlisted candidates will be consulted on appropriate discipline areas and host departments as part of the selection and interview process.

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

  • Provide academic leadership in an appropriate area of research 
  • Establish, develop and sustain an internationally competitive, externally-funded research programme consistent with, or complementary to departmental / faculty / university research strategies at King’s. 
  • Maintain a consistent, outstanding track record of publication (typically 2-4 research publications (depending on appointment level) over a rolling five-year period that includes world leading or internationally excellent work, as first, last and/or corresponding author). 
  • Contribute to teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students and curriculum development. 
  • Plan, organise and deliver a range of teaching and assessment activities (e.g. lecturing, project supervision and tutorials) and leading on at least one substantive module/programme. 
  • Supervise and train postgraduate and undergraduate students to ensure their effective development. 
  • Supervise and train research and technical staff employed on the post holder’s research projects to ensure their effective development. 
  • Engage in the dissemination of research through knowledge transfer, outreach, continuing professional development, public engagement etc. 
  • Contribute fully to academic life and strategic planning within a Department/School and, where required/appropriate to the wider strategic planning processes in Faculty and University at an appropriate level. 
  • Identify strategic development opportunities in teaching and research and contribute to the development of these ideas. 
  • Contribute to driving and ensuring a positive and inclusive research culture. 
  • 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.

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 

Essential criteria

  1. PhD/DPhil degree 
  2. Scientific synergy with current research at King’s 
  3. Significant, established expertise in an area of fundamental science research related area to physical life sciences 
  4. Experience in leading high impact interdisciplinary research 
  5. Outstanding independent track record of publication in peer reviewed journals 
  6. Strong and consistent record of attracting peer reviewed research grant funding or fellowships 
  7. Ability to define and lead a research area, taking responsibility for planning and undertaking own work 
  8. Ability to work well as an effective member of a wider multi-disciplinary team and to share and encourage good practice 
  9. Significant experience in contribution to academic administration 
  10. Experience in supervising and developing research students and/or research staff 
  11. Experience of serving on professional scientific boards and committees 

Desirable criteria

  1. Significant experience of delivery of undergraduate teaching 
  2. Experience of working in collaborative projects across disciplines 
  3. Experience of serving on professional scientific boards and committees 
  4. Active membership of peer-reviewing bodes, for UK and overseas research councils 
  5. Experience of industrial/commercial funding opportunities to underpin applied research 


Further information

Applications should include: 

  • a 1 page cover letter highlighting your key scientific contributions, a brief summary of future plans and fit with King’s. Please also indicate which departments/faculties you feel that you best align with. 
  • a CV with a full publication list 
  • a research statement (up to 2 pages) 
  • a teaching statement (up to 1 page) 
  • details of three academic referees, including one from your current or most recent employer. Should you be shortlisted, letters of recommendation will be sought ahead of the interview from two of your references. The third reference, from your current employer, will only be requested with your consent. 

Candidates should detail how they meet the essential criteria listed in the advert. If we receive a strong field of candidates, we may use the desirable criteria to choose our shortlist, so please include your evidence against these where possible.

The shortlisting / interview process will take place in two stages: a panel interview and, if shortlisted, an invitation to present a seminar and meet colleagues. Initial interviews are due to take place in early May.

We particularly welcome applications from female and minority ethnic candidates. We understand that flexible working arrangements or career breaks may be necessary in certain circumstances and welcome the opportunity to discuss this possibility.

We also welcome and support proleptic appointments for candidates with existing personal fellowships.


King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at

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