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Research Associate / Project Co-Ordinator

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 13th Sep 2021
  • Salary: £31,406 - £33,309per annum
  • REF: 11442
  • Closes: 27th September 2021
  • 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: £31,406 – £33,309per annum

Closing Date: 27 September 2021

The Role

You will play a key role in running the Children’s Cancer & Leukaemia Group (CCLG) Tissue Bank and be based within the newly refurbished Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre in the Newcastle University Centre for Cancer, Newcastle University Clinical & Translational Research Institute

You will work under supervision from the CCLG Tissue Bank Director (Prof Deborah Tweddle) and the Tissue Bank manager (Dr Owen Burbidge). This post also involves working with the Chair of the Biological Studies Steering Group (BSSG) (Dr Edmund Cheesman). You will also work closely with other members of the Tissue Bank Operations team including the Central Biobank technicians) and the Newcastle biobank manager (Dr Amy Peasland) to ensure effective operation of the Tissue Bank.

The post offers considerable scope for strategic developments of the CCLG Tissue Bank. A key development you will take forward is the expansion of the tissue bank to include Teenage and Young Adult Centres (TYA), involving negotiations with new banking sites and TYA community. Other main roles are responsibility for the transfer of tissues banked across the hospital network for centralisation to Newcastle. A key role will be to coordinate requests for samples by managing the Biological Studies Steering Group (BSSG) project applications process from initial enquiries from a researcher regarding numbers/types of samples through submission of the application, coordination of peer review, presentation of the application at a BSSG Steering group meeting to approval of the application and release of samples. In addition, youwill send out requests for BSSG annual reports from researchers and collation of reports for review by the BSSG chair. You will act as the main point of contact for all queries about sample release for BSSG members, researchers and staff in banking centres across the UK.

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical Sciences here: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/medical-sciences/

Find out more about our Research Institutes here:

This post is fixed term for a period of 6 months and will be extended for a further 5 years if a grant renewal application currently under consideration by Cancer Research UK is successful.This post is subject to a Standard Disclosure and Barring Service Check.

For informal enquiries contact: Prof Deborah Tweddle (deborah.tweddle@newcastle.ac.uk) / Dr Owen Burbidge (owen.Burbidge@newcastle.ac.uk)

Key Accountabilities

• Although working under the general guidance of an academic or Principal Investigator, theyou will contribute ideas, including enhancements to the technical or methodological aspects of their studies, thus providing substantial ‘added value’
• Develop and carry out the specified project using appropriate techniques and equipment as outlined in the personal requirements
• Determine appropriate methodologies for research, with advice and support where required
• Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
• Begin to write, with appropriate support, proposals for individual research funding or, where funders do not permit this, contribute to the writing of collective bids
• Assess research findings for the need/scope for further investigations
• Contribute to the writing up of their research for publication and dissemination, either through seminar and conference presentations or through publications
• Present research findings, either at conferences or through publications in reputable outlets appropriate to the discipline
• May be involved in the supervision, with guidance, of final year undergraduate research projects and in providing support to postgraduate research students or Research Assistants
• Will need to work with the support staff and, on occasions, with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and interact intellectually with other academic members of the Institute.
• May contribute to events celebrating the public engagement of science/social sciences/humanities
• Develop an awareness of University structures, policies and procedures and relevant issues in the higher education, research, social and political environment
• Responsibility for content management and upkeep of the Biological Studies/Tissue Bank area of the CCLG public website in order to ensure that the website continues to meet the needs of users, and the biological studies community
• Joint responsibility for drafting and maintenance of all relevant Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions in relation to the functioning of the Bank and biological studies within CCLG.
• Proactive input into the monthly CCLG Operational Meetings, ensuring that all appropriate actions are undertaken in a timely manner.
• Proacive liaison with researchers to establish their precise requirements in terms of type of tumour and type of sample (i.e. pre- or post-chemotherapy; relapse; paired samples etc.) required from the Bank. This involves thorough working knowledge of the contents of the Bank but also good understanding of the type of research planned in order to provide meaningful advice about type and number of samples stored, and any limitations on samples, particularly in relation to sub-sets or rare tumours.
• Provision of training on any aspect of biological studies/tissue banking to site or other staff as part of induction training.

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

• Ability to work well as part of a team and rapidly acquire new skills
• Detailed knowledge of working with human tissues in research
• Likelihood of advanced skills directly related to the research projects
• High level of analytical and problem-solving capability
• Ability to communicate complex information with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others
• Experience of research with clear transferable skills and some experience or awareness of the research environment
• Presentations at conferences and/or high-quality publications
• Experience of working in clinical research
• Experience of interacting with clinical and scientific staff in a medical research environment
• Understanding of ethical issues surrounding clinical research involving patients
• Evidence of ability to work on own initiative, including good time management skills, ability to prioritise, and ensure essential deadlines are met
• Evidence of high level of computer literacy, including Microsoft Office and Access databases
• Ability to demonstrate commitment to maintaining and promoting the aims of CCLG and biological studies/tissue banking
• Clinical/translational project coordination experience (Desirable)
• Understanding of clinical trial management and issues relating to data handling (Desirable)
• Working knowledge of the implications of the Human Tissue Act in relation to tissue banks (Desirable)

Attributes and Behaviour

• Excellent interpersonal skills, including ability to interact constructively with clinicians, scientists, researchers, tissue banking staff in centres etc. in relation to all aspects associated with tissue banking and biological studies
• Ability to express thoughts and ideas verbally
• Attention to detail
• Ability to remain calm under pressure
• Ability to communicate via writing succinctly and clearly
• Engagement experience with fundraisers/charities (Desirable)
• Previous use of a research tissue bank (Desirable)
• Previous involvement with Patients and Public in research (Desirable)


• A PhD in an area of bioscience research (Research Associate)

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues 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.

We understand how important the full employment package is to our colleagues at Newcastle University and we are committed to providing a great range of benefits and discounts for all. You can learn more about what is available here on ourBenefitsWebsite page.

Requisition ID: 11442

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