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Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a Post-doctoral Research Associate position in the group of Dr Alexander Jones at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University, to carry out fundamental research in the development of optogenetic sensors and actuators. The development and application of these high-resolution technologies opens the door to obtaining a cellular-level understanding of molecular events in vivo. This project focuses on sensing and perturbing phytohormone patterning, in a minimally invasive manner in live plants, by developing and optimizing FRET biosensors for high-resolution measurements and optogenetic actuators for high-resolution spatiotemporal control.

Candidates must have, or be close to obtaining, a PhD in plant biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, systems biology, or related field and have expertise in molecular biology, assay development and microscopy. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of scientific achievement alongside an element of creativity and initiative to develop novel approaches and methods. Candidates with advanced knowledge of, and experience in, some or all of the following areas will be preferred: synthetic biology, structural biology, biochemistry, and bioengineering.

The successful candidate will be fully involved in the basic research in these areas whilst also writing up their research work for presentation and publication. The post holder may be required to assist in the supervision of student projects, provide instructions to colleagues and deliver seminars relating to their research area.

Good communication and organizational skills are essential as the post holder will work in a highly collaborative team with creativity, initiative and personal development as core values. Candidates should also demonstrate a history of scientific communication (e.g. presentations, outreach activities, teaching).

The Laboratory provides a welcoming and collaborative environment with a wide-range of family-friendly benefits and development opportunities.

  • Salary £30,175-£38,183
  • Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.
  • Please quote reference PT13223 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.
  • Further information is available here.
  • Closing date: 04 October2017
  • To apply online, please use this link
  • Please ensure that you upload a copy of your full CV including a list of publications, and a covering letter highlighting your suitability for the position and contact information of three referees.
  • Scientific enquiries apart from the formal application should be directed to Dr Jones at

The Sainsbury Laboratory receives a high volume of applications. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date, please consider your application as unsuccessful on this occasion.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

PhD applicants

Information on applying for a PhD can be found here.