Research Assistant
Post Details
Job Title
Research Assistant
Post Number
1004270
Closing Date
5 Jun 2022
Grade
SC7
Starting Salary
£25,568 - £31,384
Hours per week
37
Project Title
The molecular basis of chloroplast gene expression
Months Duration
9
Interview Date
13 Jun 2022

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Assistant to join the Webster Group at the John Innes Centre, working on cutting-edge science in the field of Biochemistry and Metabolism. The successful applicant will develop methods for the recombinant expression and purification of multi-subunit gene expression complexes, contributing to the output of the research group by providing technical and administrative support to the Project Leader and group members. New cloning toolkits developed for synthetic biology will be used to assemble expression plasmids, and intact protein complexes will be purified for use in biochemical and cryo-EM analyses.

Key Relationships

The appointee will work closely with other members of the Webster Lab and communicate with other researchers at the John Innes Centre. Contacts include research support staff, the postdoctoral and student communities on-site and external collaborators.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project under the supervision of the Project Leader
70
Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including through the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence
10
Undertake routine administrative tasks, such as maintenance of laboratory supplies and stocks
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
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
BSc or equivalent in molecular biology or similar discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Understanding of recombinant protein expression methods
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Desirable
Experience in DNA cloning for recombinant protein expression
Desirable
Experience in protein purification methods
Desirable
Experience of oral research presentations
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
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
Ability to prioritise to meet the demands of the group
Essential
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
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
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential

Who We Are

John Innes Centre

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

For more information about working at the John Innes Centre, please click here.

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, appointing staff from across the world. Any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

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, a founding signatory of the Tecnician Commitment 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).

Department

Biochemistry and Metabolism

Researchers within the Department of Biochemistry and Metabolism investigate the structure and function of biological macromolecules and fundamental aspects of plant and microbial metabolism. They aim to understand the mechanisms underpinning metabolic diversity and how to manipulate proteins, carbohydrates, small molecules and DNA, research which is facilitating advances of agricultural, environmental, medical and industrial importance.

Group Details

The successful applicant will be based in the Laboratory of Dr Michael Webster. Research in the Webster group focuses on understanding the molecular machines that express photosynthetic genes. We aim to discover what determines the timing and level of photosynthetic proteins production. We use cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to produce structural models of large and dynamic protein complexes and develop mechanistic models of their activity using biochemical and biophysical techniques. See, for example, Webster et al. 2020, Science 369:1355-59.

Living in Norfolk

Advertisement

Research Assistant
Salary:            £25,568 - £31,384 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract:        9 months, full-time
Location:        John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 5th June 2022
Reference:     1004270

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Assistant to join the Webster Group at the John Innes Centre, working on cutting-edge science in the field of Biochemistry and Metabolism.

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial genetics. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits.

Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management. Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

About the Webster Group:

Research in the Webster group focuses on understanding the molecular machines that express photosynthetic genes. The group aims to discover what determines the timing and level of photosynthetic proteins production.

The role:

Photosynthesis underpins oxygenation of the atmosphere and supports the global foodchain. In plants it occurs within chloroplasts, which contain a genome that encodes core subunits of the photosynthetic complexes. Despite their importance, we lack a detailed understanding of how chloroplast genes are expressed.

The Research Assistant will establish methods for the recombinant expression of protein complexes that perform gene expression in chloroplasts. Modern cloning toolkits developed for synthetic biology will be used to assemble multi-gene expression plasmids, and intact protein complexes will be purified for use in biochemical and cryo-EM analyses. This project is an essential foundation of our goal to understand the roles of proteins that underpin photosynthesis in plants. The work will support the long-term effort to control photosynthetic output and timing for improved crops and biotechnologies. They will also shed new light on the nature of the poorly-understood machinery of chloroplast gene expression.

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in modern DNA cloning methods, such as Gibson assembly and Golden Gate cloning, recombinant protein expression, and protein purification techniques, such as chromatography.  You will also support world leading scientists who are experts in their field.

The ideal candidate:

You will have a BSc or equivalent in molecular biology or a similar discipline and an understanding of recombinant protein expression. Demonstrable experience in protein purification methods and experience in DNA cloning for recombinant protein expression are desirable.

The ideal candidate should be available to start as soon as possible and by August 2022.

Additional information:

Interviews will be held on 13th June 2022.

This role does not meet the full salary requirements set by UKVI to allow for visa sponsorship.  However, some individuals may still be eligible for visa sponsorship depending on their personal circumstances.  If you require visa sponsorship, please click here to find out if you qualify before applying. Please note, the occupation code for this role is 2112, which is on the shortage occupation list.

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. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.