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Research Associate, Department of Infectious Diseases

Immunology & Microbial Sci School Office

London, Guy's Campus


  • Posted on: 12th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £38,304 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 016031
  • Closes: 25th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

We are looking for a postdoctoral research associate to join the group of Dr Rocio T Martinez-Nunez in King’s College London. This post will be focused on developing innovative RNA diagnostics for COVID-19. You will have a background in molecular biology and biochemistry; bioinformatics will be a bonus in this post. We have recently established a new diagnostics lab in Guy’s Campus, the June Almeida lab (Lista et al. 2020). We are now screening KCL staff and students as part of KCL-TEST and the post holder will integrate with all of the team and will be expected to supervise part of that work under Dr Martinez-Nunez supervision. The postholder will develop novel methods of detection of SARS-CoV-2, which they will validate in clinical samples. Methods will include isothermal amplification/LAMP, low cost extraction/amplification methods, multiplexing and NGS. We work closely with several hospitals and access to clinical samples is also granted. This post is for someone that wants to work on the interface between clinical and molecular biology and diagnostics with a strong background in biochemistry and molecular biology.

We are looking for someone that has a background in RNA biology and has experience in working with PCR and/or any of the methods listed above. You will be expected to engage in lab activities (lab meetings, general lab housekeeping), conduct and analyse experiments, keep up to date with scientific literature in the field, lead your project, write manuscripts, present at national and international conferences and collaborate with others. You will also be expected to help co-supervise students. We are looking for someone that can be independent as well as engaged in our group and participate in our discussions.
Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr Rocio T Martinez-Nunez.

This is a full-time post, a fixed-term contract for 19 months.

Key responsibilities

  • The post holder will use a wide range of molecular biology techniques to establish novel methods of SARS-CoV-2 detection with the goal of achieving clinical validation
  • The post holder will be expected to show initiative in their project, plan and organize their experiments, and work with a certain degree of independence. They will be expected to communicate regularly with the PI.
  • The post holder will be expected to actively participate in lab meetings and be willing to interact with collaborators and other members of the lab.
  • The post holder will prepare manuscripts for publication and present data at internal, national and international meetings.
  • The post holder will participate in everyday tasks in the lab, including rotas and general lab housekeeping (ordering, reagents and equipment maintenance).
  • The post holder must be able (or prepared to learn) to co-supervise students in the lab.
  • Bioinformatics are desirable but not essential.

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

  • PhD in molecular biology or related discipline – Experience in working with RNA and cloning
  • Knowledge of cell and viral biology
  • Knowledge of biochemistry
  • Experience with PCR, qPCR
  • Knowledge of basic statistical analyses
  • Highly motivated, hard working and adaptable
  • Able to multitask and prioritise workload
  • Able to keep accurate, organised high-quality records
  • Able to work independently
  • Flexibility to work outside normal working hours
  • Committed to continuous personal development

Desirable criteria

  • Bioinformatics
  • Willingness to present at national and international meetings
  • Category 3 lab training

Further information

This project will involve handling of clinical samples potentially containing SARS-CoV-2. We have Cat 3 facilities at Guy’s Campus where we have all SOPs and appropriate measures to handle this work. The postholder will have Cat 3 training or be eager to learn and get trained.

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.

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