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Research Fellow in Membrane Processing for Novel Vaccines

Biochemical Engineering

departnent athena award

UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 11th Feb 2021
  • Salary: £36,028 - £43,533 per annum
  • REF: 1874630
  • Closes: 26th February 2021
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Duties and Responsibilities

This post-doctoral research position is funded by the UCL Coronavirus Response Fund and will investigate membrane processing of novel vaccines by using ultra scale-down techniques pioneered at UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering. The postholder will work closely with researchers in the UCL Vax-Hub (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biochemical-engineering/research/research-and-training-centres/vax-hub) to study novel vaccines manufacturing, including viral-vectored vaccines, designed to benefit low to middle income countries.

The aim of this project is to perform ultra scale-down studies to determine the key process parameters for robust manufacture of adenovirus-vectored vaccines such as the ChAdOx1 platform that was used to establish the nCov19 vaccine by the University of Oxford and Astra Zeneca. Specifically, the ultra scale-down investigation will focus on the impact of process conditions (e.g., shear) and material (e.g., membrane type or buffer type) to optimise the yield and quality of recovered viral vectors.

The position will be based in Biochemical Engineering at UCL with potential to work with collaborators at the University of Oxford. The department of Biochemical Engineering at UCL has excellent research facilities including a new bioprocessing suite of vaccines-dedicated laboratories and a full-scale 25m bioprocessing pilot plant. The post-holder will also benefit from expertise in ultra scale-down methodologies and scale-up/scale-down in the group of Dr Andrea Rayat and will benefit from the interactions with colleagues within the Vax-Hub and the wider UCL Biochemical Engineering research community.

The post holder will be responsible for undertaking original experimental research using ultra scale-down techniques, among others, as well as reporting on project progress, and the preparation and submission of research papers arising from these and related studies.

Duration of this position is available for one year in the first instance.

Key Requirements

The candidate will possess knowledge of research techniques in the field of bioprocessing of macromolecular therapies. A PhD degree in a relevant subject area is required (e.g. Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering). Candidates without a PhD or with a PhD in areas other than above but have experience in cell culture and/or viral vector production, including working with membrane filtration operations, are also encouraged to apply.

Advanced research and project management skills are essential, as well as an ability to work in a multidisciplinary and collaborative environment with excellent interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills.

Please note: appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary 31,542 – 33,257 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

Further Details

A job description and person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply for the vacancy please click on the Apply Now button below.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Andrea Rayat (andrea.rayat@ucl.ac.uk).

UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date

26 Feb 2021

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.

This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

Please use these links to find out more about UCL working life including the benefits we offer and UCL Terms and Conditions related to this job.

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