Research Associate

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 11th Jun 2021
  • Salary: £30,942.00 - £38,017.00 per annum
  • REF: 8863
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.

Salary: £30,942.00 – £38,017.00per annum

Closing Date:11 July2021

The Role

You will be part of a team based in the Newcastle Cancer Centre that will use structural, chemical and cell biological tools to understand the roles and mechanisms of CDKs to generate hypotheses for drug discovery. You will use contemporary structural, biochemical, and biophysical techniques to characterise CDK complexes involved in the control of the eukaryotic cell cycle and the regulation of transcription.We are looking for anaccomplished researcher with experience in inter-disciplinary protein structure determination and expertise in contemporary structural biology techniques, with a requirement for familiarity with cryo electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography. You will design, implement and deliver novel strategies to prepare protein complexes. You should have experience in contemporary techniques in high throughput protein crystallography for inhibitor design. You will also have experience in using biophysical techniques to characterise protein structure, function and regulation. You will work within a large multi-disciplinary team that includes biologists, structural biologists and chemists.

The position is funded by the Medical Research Council, and is available on a fixed term basis for 5 years, available from 1st August 2021.

Informal approaches can be made via emailto Professor Jane Endicott ( or Professor Martin Noble (

Information about the Cell Cycle Structural Biology Group can be found at:

Information about the Faculty of Medical Sciences is available at:

Key Accountabilities
• You will use contemporary methods in cryo-electron microscopy to determine protein structures. Experience of using this technique is essential, including experience in preparing samples as well as installing and maintaining relevant computational tools.
• You will have experience in contemporary methods in protein structure determination by X-ray crystallography. You will supervise and manage protein crystallization and X-ray diffraction data collection using the home source and synchrotron sources.
• You will have experience in the preparation and purification of recombinant proteins and protein complexes using bacterial and insect cell expression systems and play a major role in the design and implementation of experiments that address function at the molecular level. Familiarity with the design and intepretation of biophysical experiments using HTRF, ITC, SPR, DSF, BLI technologies to study protein function is desirable.
• Working within a team you will lead the implementation of appropriate biophysical assays and high throughout crystallography in support of medicinal chemistry.
• You will collect and analyse data and present your results at group and institute meetings and to collaborators.
• You will make a substantial contribution to planning and preparing scientific publications.
• You will train and supervise technical support staff and students in related scientific projects.
• You will carry out meticulous recording, storage and archiving of data, and perform statistical and data analyses to produce robust and reproducible data.
• You will present results at internal and external meetings.
• You will provide assistance with writing publications.
• You will assist in supervision of technical staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory.
• You will liaise with bioscience and chemistry colleagues to identify and optimise opportunities for further collaboration.
• You will contribute to laboratory meetings e.g. problem solving, internal seminars, journal club.
• You will perform risk assessments and maintain safety laboratory records (e.g. COSHH) in consultation with academic staff.
• You will organise and assist in general laboratory duties as required (e.g. purchasing, equipment maintenance).

The Person

Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Essential)
• Substantial experience in cryo electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography for protein structure determination.
• Experience in biophysical techniques for the study of protein structure and function.
• Expertise in recombinant protein expression in bacterial and insect cells.
• Post-doctoral research experience in an academic or industry setting, preferably in eukaryotic cell cycle and cell signalling.
• Experience in designing and delivering research projects, project management and ability to lead small research teams.
• Enthusiastic, flexible and hard working with the ability to work to tight deadlines.
• Excellent oral communication and writing skills, including the preparation of material for manuscripts and grant applications. Evidence of work of at least national quality and capacity to write high quality reports with accompanying analyses and data critique.
• Presentation of work at national and international scientific meetings and publication of work in peer-reviewed journals.
• Leadership and supervision of staff and students (PhD, MSc, BSc).
• The ability to work both independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
• A high level of analytical skills and capacity for original thought.
• The ability to identify and develop new technologies and methods relevant to the post.
• The ability to critically appraise scientific literature.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience (Desirable)
• Experience in molecular biology techniques: construct design, subcloning and site-directed mutagenesis.
• Previous experience of working in collaboration with industrial partners.

Attributes and Behaviour

• Clear commitment to a career in research.
• Willingness to undertake work outside of normal working hours.
• Flexibility to participate fully in multi-centre collaborations.


• Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science subject – preferably biochemistry, cell biology, chemistry.
• A PhD in the area of structural biology.
• Masters qualification in a relevant subject – Desirable.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Requisition ID: 8863

Employer Achievements:

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