Research Assistant (Banfield Group)
Post Details
Job Title
Research Assistant (Banfield Group)
Post Number
1004306
Closing Date
14 Aug 2022
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£33,050 - £40,750
Hours per week
37
Expected/Ideal Start Date
03 Oct 2022
Months Duration
Indefinite
Interview Date
02 Sep 2022

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Research Assistants enhance the output of a research group by providing technical and administrative support to the Group Leader and group members.

Key Relationships

Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the JIC, within TSL, and across the NRP.

External: Collaborators

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Undertake key administrative tasks, such as maintenance of laboratory supplies and stocks and liaise with the Group Leader and Lab members to manage storage of important experimental samples (primers, plasmids etc). Take responsibility for distributing samples following both internal and external requests for materials.
15
Plan, perform, trouble-shoot and analyse experiments, providing data for research projects. To include leadership roles within some research projects but also contribute to those of others in the group.
15
Mentor/supervise less experienced researchers, encouraging scientific excellence and provide guidance and training on specialised items of equipment
10
Enhance the output of a research group by executing and refining existing experimental protocols and/or administrative procedures, assisting colleagues with trouble-shooting as necessary.
10
Run key items of equipment providing services and/or techniques, taking responsibility for purchases, maintenance and repairs. Liaise with Building managers as appropriate.
10
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.
10
Disseminate research findings and establish reputation through participation in conferences and exhibitions where appropriate.
5
Support the profile and reputation of the Institute by participating in relevant engagement activities (eg, school visits or open days).
5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities.
5
Ensure entry and exit procedures for staff and students are completed.
5
Design and supervise small research projects for students.
5
With the Group Leader, ensure research and record keeping by all members of the group is carried out in accordance with best practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements.
5
Assist in the preparation of research proposals and manuscripts, collaborating internally and externally as appropriate.
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

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
BSc or equivalent in Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, or equivalent
Essential
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology or related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Extensive, demonstrated, experience in the cloning of genes for successful expression of proteins for in vitro work
Essential
Some knowledge of structural biology techniques and how they can be used to understand protein function, and application of these to answer research questions (e.g. X-ray crystallography, SAXS, cryo EM)
Essential
Background knowledge of the area of host-pathogen interactions
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Extensive experience of purification of proteins from E. coli for in vitro work, including experience of protein purification equipment/systems
Essential
Some experience of Laboratory management
Essential
Experience of expression and purification of proteins from insect cells or other systems for in vitro work
Desirable
Provided technical training
Desirable
Experience in techniques used to study the affinity of protein:protein interactions in vitro (e.g. ITC, SPR)
Desirable
Experience of oral research presentations
Desirable
Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Desirable
Supervision of students and visiting workers
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Ability to prioritise to meet the demands of the group
Essential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Excellent 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
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
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
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
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

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 Banfield Lab investigates the molecular basis of plant-microbe interactions. Specifically, we are interested in (i) the structure and function of host translocated pathogen effector proteins, how they interact with host cell molecules to perturb activity for the benefit of the pathogen, and (ii) the structure and function of intracellular plant immune receptors (NLRs). For the latter, we are interested in understanding how they recognise and respond to pathogen effectors and/or their functions, in particular via integrated domains. We then use information from both these areas to engineer new disease resistance specificities in crops of relevance to global agriculture.

The Lab is comprised of both Postdoctoral Researchers and PhD students. We also frequently host visiting national and international scientists/students for short or longer term projects. We collaborate widely with research groups around the world.

Living in Norfolk

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Research Assistant (Banfield Group)
Salary:            £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract:        Indefinite, full-time
Location:        John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 14 August 2022
Reference:     1004306

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Research Assistant to join the Banfield Group at the John Innes Centre.

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial sciences. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits. Our strategic vision, Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, sets out our ambitious long-term goals for the game changing impact of our science globally. 

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 Banfield Group:

Research in the Banfield Laboratory explores the molecular interactions between plant pathogens and their hosts with the aim of understanding how pathogens cause disease and how the plant immune system functions to resist infection. By understanding the biochemical and structural basis of these processes we target protein engineering with the ultimate aim of reducing yield losses in agriculture from plant diseases and lowering the impact on the environment of current control measures.

The research team comprises Postdoctoral Researchers, PhD students and frequent short-term visitors including students and national/international scientists. As part of this team, the Research Assistant will work with the Group Leader to manage efficient and effective operation of the Laboratory, and to contribute directly to research projects (including leading their own research projects).

The role:

The role will involve helping to manage the research performed in the Banfield Lab, working closely with the Group Leader. The successful candidate will undertake a wide range of diverse tasks including: planning, performing, trouble-shooting and analysing experiments of their own and others; working closely with other Lab members to provide training and advice on effective use of resources; ensuring best-practice in research and recording/sample management processes are followed. They will also undertake other key administrative tasks, such as maintenance of laboratory supplies and stocks, and managing laboratory equipment (including coordinating use of shared equipment and resources) - taking responsibility for purchases, maintenance and repairs as appropriate.

The successful candidate will liaise with internal and external collaborators to advance the interests of the research group, providing the opportunity to interact with a diverse range of scientists. The post holder will also have opportunities to develop their technical and transferable skills through training programmes.

The ideal candidate:

The John Innes Centre is a world-class research institute and is looking to appoint an exceptional candidate who has some experience of Laboratory management, a keen enthusiasm for scientific research, and will be motivated by their own success but also celebrate their role in the success of others. The successful candidate will have, or soon expect to receive, a PhD in the areas of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, or related discipline. The ideal candidate will have the ability to carry out independent work, but also be a strong team player and have excellent communication skills.

Additional information:

Interviews will be held on 02 September 2022.

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.