Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Group)
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher (Osbourn Group)
Post Number
Closing Date
6 Jan 2019
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £35,400
Hours per week
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Feb 2019
Months Duration

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scientist with expertise in natural product chemistry. The post involves extraction, analysis, purification and structural determination of medicinally important complex triterpene glycosides . The successful candidate will work with other researchers within the Osbourn lab as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Further details of this project and the laboratory can be found at

Key Relationships

The successful applicant will be line-managed by Professor Anne Osbourn. The position is one of four postdoctoral positions funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Super Follow-on Fund award for translational research. The successful applicant will work closely with this team and with John Innes Centre Metabolite Services.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Extraction, analysis, purification and strutcural determination of complex triterpenes (saponins)
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
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
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
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

PhD in natural product chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline, or equivalent

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Experience of GC-MS and LC-MS
Natural product chemistry, including extraction, purification and structural elucidation
Demonstrated experience of determination of complex structures by NMR

Relevant Experience

Extensive experience in natural product chemistry
Previous experience of compound extraction, purification and structural determination
Experience of GC-MS and/or LC-MS; NMR, metabolic profiling/metabolomics
Experience of analysing terpenes

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Evidence of intellectual independence, rigour and creativity
Experience of delivering oral presentation to scientific audiences
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well in a team
Good verbal and written communication skills

Additional Requirements

Promotes equality and values diversity
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required

Who We Are

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.


Metabolic Biology

The aims of research in the Department of Metabolic Biology are to understand the basis of diversity in plant metabolism, and the interplay between metabolism and plant nutrition, development and responses to disease and stress. This information underpins the development of sustainable agriculture and bio-based industries.

Group Details

The Postdoctoral Scientist appointed to this position will be based in the Department of Metabolic Biology at the John Innes Centre.


Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Anne Osbourn at the John Innes Centre (JIC).

The role:

The postholder will be responsible for the extraction, analysis, purification and structural determination of medicinally important structurally complex plant triterpene glycosides (saponins).

The successful applicant will join a team led by Professor Anne Osbourn at JIC working on metabolic engineering of plant-derived natural products. The JIC has state-of-the-art facilities for small molecule analysis.

The ideal candidate:

The John Innes Centre is a world-class Institute and is looking to appoint an exceptional candidate with a PhD or equivalent in natural product chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline. We will be providing the job-holder with opportunities to develop their technical and transferable skills during this assignment, by way of training programmes, coaching and mentoring.

The successful applicant will have excellent natural product chemistry skills, including in extraction, analysis, purification and structural elucidation. Experience of GC-MS, LC-MS and NMR are essential. Experience of working with terpenes, and more specifically triterpenes, is desirable.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £35,400 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post for a period of 17 months.

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.