Research Associate

Randall Cell & Molecular Biophysics

London, Guy's Campus


  • Posted on: 11th Feb 2021
  • Salary: Grade 6 Sp 32 - Sp 35/ £39,345 - £42,652 , including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 015885
  • Closes: 04th March 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Description

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral scientist to investigate the mechanisms of RNA binding mediated by disordered regions lacking conventional RNA binding annotations.


Our lab specialises in understanding the detailed mechanisms of interaction between proteins and RNA, with a major focus on the La-related proteins (LARPs). We use a combination of structural biology, biophysics and biochemistry techniques and work closely with interdisciplinary collaborators to test hypotheses in the context of cell biology and model organisms.


a skilled, motivated and enthusiastic postdoctoral candidate with a strong interest in protein-RNA interactions and biophysics. The project will focus on the LARPs involved as key regulators of gene expression via a variety of mechanisms.

The successful applicant will find themselves working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary and exciting research environment and will be based in the Randall Centre on the Guy’s Campus, London, UK. The project will be supported by the state-of-the-art infrastructure of the Centre for Biomolecular Spectroscopy and the Randall Centre.


The successful candidate will have most of the following characteristics:

  • A Ph.D. degree in biophysics, biochemistry, structural biology or related field
  • Experience in NMR spectroscopy of proteins and/or RNA
  • Demonstrated proficiency in a range of biophysical and structural biology techniques (e.g. CD, fluorescence spectroscopy, EMSA, titration calorimetry, mass spectrometry, SAXS, X-ray crystallography)
  • The ability to perform, interpret and integrate the results of biophysical and biochemical experiments
  • Proficiency in molecular biology and protein expression and purification
  • The ability to adapt, develop and implement methods as dictated by the progress of the investigations
  • Prior expertise in SAXS/SANS would be highly advantageous
  • Experience in intrinsically disordered proteins would be a plus
  • The capability to plan and execute experimental work without close supervision
  • The ability to work as part of a team

There is no expectation that candidates have experience in all these fields, and training will be provided.

Key Responsibilities

• Contribute to the research project as agreed with the principal investigators.

• Carry out molecular biology and protein biochemistry work as required by the project.

• Carry out integrated structural biology, biochemistry and biophysical work as required by the project.

• When required perform data acquisition and/or analyses at external locations ( e.g. various synchrotrons in UK and Europe, Crick Institute etc.)

• Maintain up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive laboratory notebooks and undertake data analysis.

• Prepare reports on results for written and verbal presentation to the principal investigator and for regular laboratory meetings.

• Work with the principal investigator to prepare manuscripts based on the work for publication.

• Follow the relevant research literature through a process of self-directed enquiry and continuing education.

• Adhere to any Safety procedures and Risk Assessment requirements and safe working practices.

• Contribute to the supervision and training of junior staff and students.

• Contribute to laboratory maintenance and administration (including health and safety issues, equipment maintenance, inventory control, ordering).

• Any other duties as agreed with the direct supervisor.

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, & Experience

Essential criteria

Education, Qualifications & Training

• PhD in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Structural Biology or similar subject

• BSc (or overseas equivalent) in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biophysics or similar subject

Knowledge, Skills and experience

• Experience in protein expression and purification for structural and biophysical studies

• Experience in molecular biology techniques

• Extensive experience in NMR spectroscopy of protein or RNA

• Knowledge and competency in a wide range of biophysical techniques for macromolecular characterisation and interactions (e.g. CD, fluorescence spectroscopy, EMSA, titration calorimetry, mass spectrometry, SAXS, X-ray crystallography)

• Self- motivated, able to work independently and as part of a team

• Excellent communication skills, both oral and written

Desirable criteria

• Experience and background in protein-RNA interactions

• Knowledge and experience in integrated structural biology

• Knowledge and experience in intrinsically disordered proteins

• Prior experience with SAXS/SANS

• Ability to develop alternative technologies

There is no expectation that candidates have experience in all these fields, and training will be provided.

*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.

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service and Occupational Health clearance.

This post will be offered on a a fixed-term contract for 12 months in the first instance renewable for a further 24 months.

This is a full-time post – 100% full time equivalent

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