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Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

Department/Location: Department of Pharmacology, Central Cambridge 

Salary: £26,715-£40,322 

Reference: PL23270 

Closing date: 19 July 2020 

Applications are invited for a Dunhill Medical Trust funded Research Associate position in the laboratory of Dr Ewan St. John Smith at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge for an immediate start (subject to COVID-19 travel/work conditions). We are looking for an innovative scientist to conduct a research project entitled: Naked neurones: how does the naked mole-rat brain stay healthy during ageing? This project will examine how pathogenic moieties associated with neurodegeneration influence cellular integrity and neuronal excitability, whilst also generating cell lines and organoids for identifying genes of interest relating to neural fitness. This project is a collaboration with Dr Gabriel Balmus (UK Dementia Research Institute, Cambridge) and Dr Daniel Frankel (University of Newcastle). 

Various techniques will be employed, including: neuronal cell culture, electrophysiology, Ca2+-imaging, CRISPR/Cas9 screening and organoid development. The role holder will be based in Cambridge. Key responsibilities include, but are not limited to: conducting the research project, translating knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity, managing own research and administrative activities, helping in student supervision and assisting in writing applications to external bodies (e.g. for funding).

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain shortly, a PhD in neuroscience or a related discipline. Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£26,715 - £30,942). Upon the award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate, Grade 7 (£32,816 - £40,322). Successful candidates will ideally have a background in ageing/neurodegeneration and experience in one or more of the following: neuronal cell culture, electrophysiology, Ca2+-imaging and cell-based screening. You must be a careful and methodical worker, paying attention to accuracy and ready to take responsibility as part of a team. 

The salary range if appointed as a Research Assistant is £26,715- £30,942 per annum and Research Associate is £32,816 - £40,322 per annum.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN bronze award, demonstrating a commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in science subjects. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender but, as women are currently under-represented at this level in our department, we strongly encourage applications from female candidates. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Applications will be assessed upon submission. Interviews are anticipated to occur virtually via Zoom, week commencing July 20th 2020. 

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit :

The online application is to include your personal details, names and addresses of referees, as well as your CV, research publications list and cover letter. 

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