15 May

Research Assistant Jobs Vacancy at University Edinburgh Edinburgh

Research Assistant
University Edinburgh
Edinburgh SCT
15 May, 2018 11 days ago

University Edinburgh Edinburgh urgently required following position for Research Assistant. Please read this job advertisement carefully before apply. There are some qualifications, experience and skills requirement that the employers require. Does your career history fit these requirements? Ensure you understand the role you are applying for and that it is suited to your skills and qualifications.

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Research Assistant Jobs Vacancy at University Edinburgh Edinburgh Jobs Details:

A research assistant position is available in the Infection and Immunity Division at The Roslin Institute within the group of Dr Abigail Diack. The research group’s primary research focus is understanding the potential for prion strains to move within and between species and the mechanisms involved.

You will provide technical support on an ongoing project which aims to model subclinical vCJD in the UK population and is currently funded by Department of Health. Uniquely, this project will provide you with an opportunity to not only study prion disease pathogenesis but also murine influenza. The position will include analysis of in vivo data, laboratory based experiments and pathological analysis at both CL2 and derogated CL3 levels. In addition the position will involve maintenance of sample records, H&S implementation etc.

This is a unique opportunity for an experienced and motivated research scientist to contribute to our understanding of human prion diseases and may have direct impact on public health. You will have a degree in a relevant area of biological or health sciences, with expertise in molecular biology and relevant laboratory experience in line with the duties of the post. Prior knowledge and experience of prion diseases would be desirable.

This position is full time with a fixed end date of 31st March 2019.

The research group is part of the Division of Infection and Immunity at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh and the post holder will be based at The Roslin Institute.

Informal enquires are encouraged and should be directed to abigail.diack@roslin.ed.ac.uk in the first instance. Please indicate in your cover letter how you meet the essential and desirable qualities for this post.

Job Description

1. Job Details

Job title: Research Assistant

School/Support Department: Roslin

Line manager: Abigail Diack

2. Job Purpose
The Diack group’s current primary research focus is understanding the potential for prion strains to move within and between species and the mechanisms involved. The post-holder will be supporting ongoing project which aims to model subclinical vCJD in the UK population and is currently funded by Department of Health. The position will include analysis of in vivo data from both prion and murine influenza pathogenesis studies, laboratory based experiments and pathological analysis at both CL2 and derogated CL3 levels. In addition the position will involve maintenance of sample records, H&S implementation etc. This post is available on a fixed term basis, with a working pattern of 35 hours per week until 31/03/19.

3. Main Responsibilities

Approx. % of time

Conduct and analyse research experiments in order to achieve the research aims of the project. Studies will predominantly analysis of in vivo based studies in TSE and murine influenza at both CL2 and derogated CL3. This may also involve in vitro analysis (cell culture, in vitro assay systems). 75
Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of samples and document progress and analyse data that is generated. 10
Support scientists and students in the associated laboratories and collaborative laboratories (when required) 10
Communication of research findings by presentation of data at internal meetings and aid in preparation of reports, presentations and publications for national and international audiences. 5

4. Planning and Organising

The postholder will

The postholder will be expected to be responsible for managing their laboratory work and analysis with guidance from the PI. The postholder will undertake duties that require prioritisation and forward planning of the research activity. Key objectives and timescales will be agreed with the PI but discretion will be given in the method and order of accomplishing tasks within the timeframes agreed. They are expected to contribute to the training of staff and students when required. They are also expected to contribute to the general maintenance of the laboratories used.

5. Problem Solving

The postholder

The post holder will be expected to resolve the majority of problems with laboratory techniques using accumulated experience but is expected to recognise when additional help is required from the PI/other staff.

6. Decision Making

The postholder should be able to prioritise duties and will be given responsibility and autonomy for making decisions within the framework set by the PI. All major decisions will be agreed in discussion with the PI.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

Dr Abigail Diack and members of her research team. The post holder must have a good working relationship with other researchers to ensure that studies are conducted smoothly and within the required timescale. They will be required to actively engage with other members of The Roslin Institute and our collaborators.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


  • BSc (Hons) in a relevant discipline


  • Experience with working at CL2 and derogated CL3 levels
  • Experience in a range of molecular biology techniques
  • Experience in in vivo studies (rodent) including analysis of data
Knowledge, Skills and Competencies:
  • Comprehensive knowledge of relevant techniques including immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, genotyping, cell culture systems and image analysis
  • Comprehensive knowledge of rodent pathology and immunology
  • A good knowledge of Health and Safety regulations
Personal attributes:
  • Strong research interest in the prion field or neurodegeneration
  • Ability to communicate clearly in writing and orally
  • Be able to work both independently and as part of a team.


  • Home Office Personal licence for work with small rodents
  • Experience with Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)/prion diseases and/or murine influenza models
  • Experience of working with external collaborators
  • Experience in writing and maintain SOPs and risk assessments

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies:

  • Knowledge and understanding of neurodegenerative or protein misfolding diseases
  • Comprehensive knowledge of rodent brain pathology relating to prion diseases
  • Knowledge and understanding of prion biology
  • Evidence of research activity and published research

9. Dimensions

The postholder will be expected to work independently within the specific objectives given by the PI. The post holder will be part of a research group of one PI, one post-doctoral fellow and two technicians. No staff report to the job holder.

The role is grade UE06 and attracts an annual salary of £27,285 - £31,604 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

Pension Scheme
This role is grade UE06 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our pension’s website: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/finance/pensions/scheme-details/uss

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).
To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage

If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Application Procedure
All applicants should apply online by clicking the “apply” button at the foot of this page. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.

Closing date: June 14th at 5pm.

Interview date
You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

The Roslin Institute (http://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin)

The Roslin Institute is a world-leading centre for animal bioscience research and has a distinctive niche within the UK National Institutes of Bioscience, supported strategically by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The Institute moved to a new £60M state-of-the-art building at the Easter Bush Campus in 2011, which is now occupied by > 670 people including ~ 65 Group Leaders and Career Track Fellows, other research and support staff, students and visitors and ~90 staff from Scotland’s Rural College. The Institute has a vibrant programme of postgraduate research, with 176 PhD students registered at the time of writing. Research at the Institute is organised across three research divisions (Genetics & Genomics, Infection & Immunity and Developmental Biology) and three Institute Strategic Programmes (BBSRC funded from 2017-2022) that integrate many disciplines (Blueprints for Healthy Animals, Control of Infectious Diseases and Improving Animal Productivity & Welfare). Crosscutting themes in Epidemiology and Population Health and in Clinical Sciences link research at the Institute to clinical activities in the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and support the research activities of clinical academic staff. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), a joint submission from The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College was ranked 1st by research power (volume x quality) in the category of Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science.

Over £200M has been invested in physical infrastructure at Easter Bush since 2008, including recently in the National Avian Research Facility and the Charnock Bradley Building, which houses the Roslin Innovation Centre – an incubator space for agritech start-up companies and spin out companies to commercialise the Institute’s intellectual property. Investments continue, as the Institute is a major partner in the new Agri-Tech Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock, which together with the University, funds the construction of a £25 M Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility. The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, primed by investment from the Gates Foundation and Department for International Development, aims to unlock the genetic potential of farmed animals by dissecting genotype-by-environment interactions to sustainably improve animal productivity in low- and middle-income countries.

The Institute’s income exceeds £30M p.a., around 50% of which derives from the BBSRC via strategic and competitive funding. Our focus on improving farming systems, animal productivity and welfare, and the control of animal and zoonotic diseases is key to delivery of the BBSRC’s strategic priorities for Agriculture & Food Security, Veterinary Vaccinology and Bioscience for Health. This research is expedited by extensive interactions with industry, including via ongoing platform agreements with major animal breeding and pharmaceutical companies. The addition of our own £15M equity-funded commercialisation vehicle, Roslin Technologies Ltd, will accelerate translation of research at the Institute in the years to come. The Institute holds a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science.

Further details of the research conducted at the Institute can be found in the Job Description and via our website (http://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin)

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (R(D)SVS) (www.vet.ed.ac.uk)

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, headed by Professor David Argyle, has an international reputation for its research, teaching and clinical services. In 2008, The Roslin Institute was incorporated into the University and became the R(D)SVS associated research institute. The School is consistently highly ranked by The Times Higher and the Guardian newspaper.

The School is accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education (EAEVE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and participates in the Veterinary Medical Colleges Admissions Service (VMCAS).

The School, (with The Roslin Institute) and Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), were part of a joint submission to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. This submission to Unit of Assessment 6 (Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science) was ranked as number 1 in the UK. The joint submission was the largest to UoA6, with over three quarters of the research outputs submitted judged to be "world leading" or "internationally excellent". Over 80% of the submitted impact studies were scored highly, in addition to which the research environment was scored as 100% at 4*. The REF results saw the School maintain its position as the number 1 ranked vet school for research in the UK.

The School is a global education provider and has nearly 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and research students from a number of different countries. We provide world-class education to improve the health of animals and human beings alike and are leaders in veterinary education, research, and clinical practice, at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. The Roslin Institute collaborates closely in delivering research-led teaching to undergraduate veterinary students, and promoting clinical veterinary research and translation. The unique association with leading medical and veterinary schools (through the University’s College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine) with a genuine commitment to the concept of One Medicine, also enables the translation of expertise and knowledge into human health and vice versa.

The School has recently established a new Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security with £35M funding from the University. Its vision is to enhance sustainable development in global agriculture and rural land-based and aquatic economies. This will involve interdisciplinary teaching programmes intended to bridge theory, policy and practice, as well as basic and applied research that complements that of The Roslin Institute. It is forming partnerships across academia, commerce, government, civil society and local communities to form equitable relationships to improve food security.

The School holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of its commitment to advance the representation of women in veterinary medicine.

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine traces its origins back nearly 500 years (Darwin, Simpson and Conan-Doyle were students here) and is internationally renowned for its research and teaching. Professor David Argyle is currently the Interim Head of College, the only conjoint Medical and Veterinary Medical School in the UK employs over 2300 academic and support staff. The College has two Schools, the Edinburgh Medical School comprising 3 Deaneries; Biomedical Sciences; Molecular Genetic and Population Health Sciences and Clinical Sciences and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences

Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Teaching Organisation

Edinburgh Medical School: Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences

Edinburgh Medical School: Clinical Sciences

The undergraduate medicine teaching programme in the College enjoys a high reputation nationally and internationally, with over 1,300 students enrolled on the MBChB and Intercalated courses and nearly 1000 on the Veterinary Sciences BVS and related programmes. In addition, approximately 2000 students are currently enrolled in the College’s taught and research post-graduate courses, including an extensive range of online distance learning diplomas and degrees. They are trained by over 1000 outstanding academic staff. Details of PhDs, research programmes and studentships are available through our interdisciplinary research institutes and centres.

The academic disciplines within Medicine are largely concentrated in the two teaching hospital campuses, the Royal Infirmary at Little France and the Western General Hospital. Both have extensive new infrastructure with major research institutes and state of the art research facilities on clinical sites. Edinburgh hosts a number of prestigious MRC and BHF Research Centres. The approach is interdisciplinary, with basic and clinical researchers working together at the laboratory bench and in our clinical research facilities to address major themes in basic, clinical and translational medicine.

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies on the Easter Bush Campus houses outstanding teaching and clinical facilities as well as the splendid Roslin Institute, one of the world’s leading veterinary research centres. The College offers outstanding opportunities to address ‘One Health’ and Global Health problems of the highest international priority.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

The College’s reputation as one of the world’s leading centres of medical and veterinary medical research has been reaffirmed by its UK REF2014 results. Medicine, the University’s largest submission, was ranked in the top 5 in the UK. Veterinary Medicine came 1st in the UK, and retained its position as the UK’s top Vet School. It made a joint submission with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). Neuroscience was ranked 3rd in the UK out of 82 submissions, representing a major advance. Overall, 84% of the College’s research activity was rated world leading or internationally excellent (3* and 4*). In terms of 'one medicine' research (human and animal medicine), the University of Edinburgh's research power (quality x volume) is the strongest in the UK.

The University of Edinburgh

For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They’ve explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do.
The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 35,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 13,000 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles.

As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

The University of Edinburgh holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. We are members of the Race Equality Charter and we are also Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champions, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment, including flexible working and childcare vouchers. See our University Initiatives website for further information.

University Family Friendly Initiatives

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

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