Postdoctoral Researcher

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Edinburgh, SCOTLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 22 Apr 2019

1. Job Details

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School/Support Department: Deanery of Clinical Sciences

Unit (if applicable): Centre for Inflammation Research

Line manager: Dr Carsten Hansen

2. Job Purpose

This post is for a researcher with a PhD to work on a Worldwide Cancer Research grant-funded project, working in the laboratory of Dr Carsten G Hansen, at the University of Edinburgh, Centre for Inflammation Research. The post-holder will work as part of a multidisciplinary team characterising how dysregulation of the Hippo pathway drives onset and development of mesothelioma. The project has translational aspects, but will also have a strong focus on the underlying fundamental cellular processes underpinning the disease.

The post is initially for two years with possible extension for an additional year. This post will principally focus on characterising the cellular foundation for the onset of mesothelioma with a particular focus on the Hippo pathway.

3. Main Responsibilities

  • Perform a programme of experiments and bioinformatic analyses principally focused on characterising i) the ontogeny of mesothelioma, ii) the inflammatory profile of mesothelioma, iii) the cellular dysfunction driving mesothelioma with a particular focus on the Hippo pathway and iv) characterise newly identified small molecule compounds. (Approx. 60% of time).

  • Continually update knowledge and understanding in the field and update technical skill base within the defined research area. (Approx. 7% of time).

  • Provide laboratory guidance/supervision for student projects and technical staff. (Approx. 7% of time).

  • Maintain accurate and up-to-date records to document the research progress, organise samples, take part in communal lab organising and tidying up, as well as well as taking an active role in preparing regular grant reports to the funding agency. (Approx. 7% of time).

  • Liaise with collaborators in co-ordinating receipt, documentation and processing of both clinical samples and chemical compounds from local and potentially international collaborators. (Approx. 5% of time).

  • Take a lead role in writing up data for publication. Presentation of data at group meetings, Centre meetings and at national and international conferences. Regular reporting of progress to the PI/other members of the research team. (Approx. 8% of time).

  • Contribute to the sharing of techniques within the lab and collaborators (Approx. 6% of time).

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    The post-holder will have responsibility for a range of duties, which require prioritisation and forward planning of research activity, and will show initiative to ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with the research timetable. The post-holder will be expected to plan their own work, ensuring that all deadlines are met, both experimentally and to facilitate effective publication and dissemination of research findings. The post-holder will contribute to the development of the studies and will independently collate and present their own data.

    5. Problem Solving

    The post-holder is expected to resolve most problems using accumulated experience, with only the more significant non-standard issues reported to the line manager for assistance. In the development of techniques the post-holder will conduct troubleshooting/optimisation and provide expert assistance. The post-holder will generally analyse, statistically evaluate and interpret research data, then draw preliminary conclusions from it and plan possible new experimental hypotheses to test before detailed discussion with the Principal Investigator.

    The post-holder will provide assistance to other researchers in the team to help resolve project problems and develop new techniques and methods, where appropriate on the basis of their experience.

    6. Decision Making

    Taken independently : Organisation of workload according to priorities defined by the Principal Investigator and grant proposal, and adapted as necessary; setting short- to medium-term time-lines, designing experimental approaches and developing potential new avenues to address specific research aims, conducting problem solving and data interpretation, and managing resources effectively.

    In collaboration with others : Problem solving and data interpretation, experimental design and discussion of short-term research aims and potential new research strategies.

    Referred to manager : Overall timelines, changes of direction, response to serious and unexpected events, identification of the best way forward and interpretation of complex data (although input to these areas is expected).

    Level of Direction Given : Principal Investigator will provide general orientation and advice, define primary goals and major technical approaches to be adopted, and support interpretation, development and implementation of experimental approach. There will be an appropriate degree of independence, and support for career development.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    Internal: The post-holder will build a strong working relationship with the Principal Investigator and team members within the PI's lab as well as collaborators, in addition to other key experienced staff within the university, to ensure that research is conducted smoothly and within required timescales.

    External: The post-holder will have significant responsibility for liaising in a timely manner with collaborating researchers in the UK and potentially worldwide, to co-ordinate sample receipt, discuss experimental details and share information.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

    • Qualified to PhD level, or about to have in an appropriate subject area (eg, molecular biology, immunology/inflammation biology, cell biology, imaging or (other) biomedical science).
    • Demonstrated technical expertise in the appropriate methodologies and evidence of up to date knowledge in relevant subject matter, specifically:

    Essential technical skills/experience
    o Experience in Bioinformatics
    o Molecular biology techniques, including tissue culture
    o Strength in statistical analyses
    o Strength in the use of imaging approaches

    Subject knowledge
    o 3D cell culturing/organoids
    o Drug screening
    o Genome editing
    o High content imaging platforms
    o Immunological techniques
    o Chemoinformatics
    o Programming skills: Unix/Linux knowledge, R programming environment, MatLab
    o Experience with bioinformatic analyses of complex datasets
    o Track record in omics data analyses

    • Demonstrated focus and ability to complete research projects and disseminate findings through clearly constructed and independently prepared oral and written presentations, specifically including manuscript publication.
    • Clearly demonstrated initiative, creativity and effective organisational skills.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; to promote and facilitate highly effective teamwork, contribute successfully to co-supervision of students, and enhance collaborations.

    9. Dimensions

    The post-holder will work within the Gram Hansen research team, within the Centre for Inflammation Research, which has another ~57 principal investigators along with their associated staff and students. The Centre for Inflammation Research is based within the Queens Medical Research Institute on the BioQuarter campus of the University of Edinburgh. In 2020/2021 the lab will likely move into the newly built Centre for Tissue Repair. The project will also have interactions with Professor Neil Carragher and Dr Andrew Simms (both Co-investigators and located at the IGMM, University of Edinburgh) where some of the work might take place. There will also be potential national and international academic and industry collaborators.

    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,199 to £39,609 (pro rata) for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    This post is available on a fixed term basis, with a working pattern of 35 hours per week until 31 May 2022.

    Pension Scheme
    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our pension’s website:

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
    To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).
  • Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at:

    Application Procedure
    All applicants should apply online by clicking the “apply” button at the foot of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

    Closing date: 22 April 2019 at 5pm.

    Interview date
    You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

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