Postdoctoral Research Associate / Fellow

Updated: about 1 month ago
Location: Exeter, ENGLAND
Deadline: 23 Oct 2022

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

This full-time, BBSRC role is available from 2 January 2023 on fixed term basis until 2 January 2026.

The post

The Faculty wishes to recruit either a Postdoctoral Research Associate or Fellow to support the work of Senior Research Fellow Dr Katherine Helliwell. This post will investigate nutrient sensing mechanisms in marine diatoms. This project builds on our recent discovery of a Ca2+ -dependent signalling pathway for sensing phosphate in diatoms (Helliwell et al., Current Biology, 2020). The successful applicant will conduct algal nutrient physiology experiments and employ live-cell imaging, cell and molecular biology approaches (mutant characterisation, protein localisation, qPCR and proteomics), to investigate diatom nutrient signalling mechanisms

As well as developing your own ideas, the post will involve designing and conducting nutrient limitation experiments with model diatom cultures. Working together with a dedicated research technician the successful candidate will generate and examine mutant lines. Fluorescence microscopy will also be employed to study transgenic diatom strains expressing fluorescent reporter constructs. . As part of the role, training will be provided in microscopy and cell and molecular biology. This is a collaborative project with the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in Plymouth and the post will be based predominantly at the MBA. Please send further enquiries to

About you

Applicants at Associate level will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies. Applicants at Fellow level will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion at Associate level) or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. You will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required.

Applicants will be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline of algal biology and nutrient physiology. Expertise/interest to gain training in research approaches underpinning the project (including conducting algal nutrient physiology experiments, microscopy, cell and molecular biology) are essential. The successful applicant will work synergistically with other members of the lab (PhD students, research technicians). Enthusiasm and motivation to pursue novel research questions is essential.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career
  • A multitude of staff benefits including sector leading benefits around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), Paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Devon

The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022 and QS World University Ranking 2022). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

Our research income in recent years means we’re the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world’s most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today through this. 98% of our research is of international quality (2014 Research Excellence Framework). We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students. Read about our world leading research – Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO Creative City

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

With over 27,000 students and 6,400 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

Further information

For further information please contact Dr Katherine Helliwell, e-mail

The closing date for completed applications is 23rd October.  Interviews are expected to take place on the 3rd or 4th of November.

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