Postdoctoral Researcher

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John Innes Centre

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.

Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Post Details

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003575
Closing Date
5 Dec 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Exploiting the power of heterologous expression in plants to discover new virus structure

Expected/Ideal Start Date
07 Jan 2019
Months Duration
12
Interview Date
17 Dec 2018

Main Purpose of the Job

The main purpose of the job is the production of plant viruses and virus-like particles for structural characterisation and bionanotechnological applications. Postdoctoral Researchers work with limited supervision to carry out individual and collaborative research projects relevant to the overall needs of the research programme.

Department

Biological Chemistry

The Biological Chemistry Department at the John Innes Centre carries out fundamental research on molecular processes in plants and microbes. With activities ranging from determining DNA topoisomerase structure to mechanism and the generation of novel functional nanostructures from engineered viruses, we employ a multidisciplinary approach that embraces contemporary aspects of enzymology, structural and molecular biology, bionanotechnology, carbohydrate and natural product chemistry. Coupled with state-of-the-art platform technologies for structural, proteomic and chemical genomic analysis, the Department bridges the gap between molecular science and cellular and systems biology. Collectively these studies provide key information with which to manipulate and control molecules, pathways and processes of agronomic, environmental and industrial importance.

Group Details

The Lomonossoff group works on the production and uses of viruses and virus-like particles.

Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Professor George Lomonossoff at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology.

The Lomonossoff group uses molecular biology to understand the assembly and properties of viruses. Their research uses nanotechnology to create virus-like particles which can be used for immune recognition and vaccine development, they also make good nanoparticles for drug delivery.

The role:

The main purpose of the job is the production of plant viruses and virus-like particles for structural characterisation and bionanotechnological applications. The post holder will produce viruses and VLPs of sufficient purity for studies. They will also assist in preparing manuscripts for publication, presenting research findings at national and international meetings, and help supervise visitors to the laboratory.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates should possess a PhD in Biology, Chemistry or related subject. They should also have knowledge of the propagation and purification of plant viruses and virus-like particles. Knowledge of chemical and genetic modification of viral particles is also essential, as is a proven record in scientific writing.

All candidates should possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students is desirable.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a fulltime post for a period of 12 months.

Interviews are expected to take place on 17th December 2018.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

Key Relationships

Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.

External: Collaborators, particularly the University of Leeds

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
50
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
10
Disseminate research findings through presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
10
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
10
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
5
Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence
5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
5
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post, for example, contributing to the work of Institute committees
5
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biology, Chemistry or related discipline
Essential
BSc or equivalent in Biology, Chemitry or related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Knowledge of the propagation and purification of plant viruses and virus-like particles
Essential
Knowledge of physical techniques for characterisation for virus particle characterisation
Essential
Knowledge of chemical and genetic modification of viral particles
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas in area of nanotechologiocal uses of viral particles
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Experience of oral research presentations
Essential
Experience in transmission electron microscopy
Essential
Experience in the purification of virus particles from plants
Essential
Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Desirable
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential