Postdoctoral Research Associate
The University Of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, GB
5d ago

Job Details

Job title : Postdoctoral Research Associate

School / Support Department : School of Biological Sciences

Unit : Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences

Line manager : Professor Gary J. Loake

2. Job Purpose

To undertake research in the lab of Professor Gary. J. Loake, collaborating with the biotech industry to develop a plant biomanufacturing platform for a high value chemical.

Employ synthetic biology approaches to generate transgenic plant cell culture cells. Select cultured plant cells synthesising high yields of the target biochemical.

3. Main Responsibilities

Responsible for the planning and execution of specific elements of the research project, acting under general guidance from Professor Gary.

J. Loake. Ensure all data production and recording is handled with integrity and that records and documentation are maintained correctly (70%).

Keep up to date with relevant scientific developments through literature review, seminar attendance etc. as well as publish papers and patents, contribute to grant writing (20%).

Develop and maintain appropriate interactions with the international research community and industry collaborators, transferring and receiving expertise (5%).

The post-holder will maintain accurate and up-to-date records to document the research progress and take a lead role in writing up data for publication.

Data will be presented at lab meetings to make data available for other research staff. Presentation of research findings at national and international level is also required. (5%)

Contribute laboratory maintenance and ensure safety compliance. This includes providing advice and technical guidances to PhD and MSc students, and visiting researchers / industry scientists as required. (5%).

4. Planning and Organising

  • The post-holder will Formulate research strategy and organise execution of research.
  • Assist more junior members of the research team and visiting international scientists in planning and scheduling of their workload, in accordance with the demands of the overall project.
  • 5. Problem Solving

  • The post holder is expected to resolve most problems using accumulated experience, with only the most serious non-standard issues reported to the line manager for assistance.
  • To use creativity and initiative to identify areas for research, develop new research methods, diversify the research parameters.
  • Use initiative to analyse and interpret research data, and draw conclusions from it.
  • Use initiative to help other researchers in the team to resolve project problems and develop new techniques and methods, as appropriate.
  • 6. Decision Making

  • Taken independently : Organise own workload according to priority and adapt as necessary, setting of short-term time-lines, design experimental set-up to address specific research aims
  • In collaboration with others : Problem solving and data interpretation, experimental design and discussion of short-term research aims and potential new research strategies
  • Referred to manager : Overall timelines, changes of direction, response to serious and unexpected events, identification of the best way forward and interpretation of complex data (although input to these areas is expected).
  • Level of Direction Given : Line manager will offer general orientation and advice, in addition to support in developing and implementation of research strategy, there will be an appropriate degree of independence
  • 7. Key Contacts / Relationships

    Internal : Principal Investigator and members of the immediate research team, members of other labs, and students, School Professional Services staff (Staffing, Health and Safety, Building Manager)

    External : Collaborating researchers in the UK and industry partners

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

    Qualifications / Training


  • A PhD (or shortly to obtain a PhD) in synthetic biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, plant tissue culture, bioinformatics and plant transformation or other closely related field
  • Knowledge, Skills and Competencies


  • Experience Molecular biology and synthetic biology.
  • High degree of self-motivation and ability to work under pressure while maintaining a high degree of accuracy
  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing
  • Ability to build rapport with internal and external stakeholders, including industry partners
  • Understanding of Health & Safety and other regulations and procedures
  • Desirable

  • Experience in gene editing, gene assembly, plant transformation, HPLC, and MS, as well as bioinformatic skills.
  • 9. Dimensions

    To work as part of the Professor Gary J. Loake group comprising approximately 12 research staff and students.

    10. Job Context and any other relevant information

    This is a demanding but exciting opportunity for an ambitious, driven individual to develop their research skills

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