Research Scientist
Post Details
Job Title
Research Scientist
Post Number
Closing Date
22 Apr 2019
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
Project Title
Gut microbe pathogen interactions and diagnosis of GI tract infections
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 May 2019
Months Duration

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Gastrointestinal illness continues to be a considerable cause of morbidity in the UK and recent estimates are of up to 17 million sporadic, community cases of IID and 1 million GP consultations annually. Current diagnostic strategies do not detect an aetiological agent in the majority of cases. Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies provides a unique opportunity to assay the microbiome in an untargeted manner allowing us to explore GI diseases with unknown etiology. The main purpose of the post is to evaluate the use of metagenomic and metabolomic profiles of faecal specimens collected from patients with diarrhoea for detection of pathogens and identification of biomarkers of disease. We are seeking a microbiologist/molecular biologist to join a team investigating the relationship between gut bacteria and gastrointestinal infections.You will hold a PhD in Microbial Ecology, Microbiology or Molecular Biology and have experience and motivation to work on complex microbial communities. You will have experience of handling anaerobic bacteria, and bioinformatics skills to analyse metagenomics and metabolomics data sets.

Key Relationships

The post holder will be responsible for experimental research under the supervision of their Line Manager Professor Arjan Narbad. The post holder will work in close collaboration with Professor Jim Mclaughlin and Dr Tim Dallman at PHE in Colindale and participate in the activities related to Health Protection Research Unit co-ordinated by Professor Sarah O'Brien in Liverpool University.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Molecular profiling of gut bacteria
Metabolomics profiling using proton NMR
Bioinformatics analysis and integration of 'Omics' data
Written communication of results and preparation of results for publication
Undertake pathogen microbiome analysis using the QIB colon model facility
Training and supervision of PhD students
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

PhD in Microbial Ecology, Microbiology or Molecular Biology

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Experience of molecular profiling of microbial communities

Relevant Experience

Experience in metagenomics data analysis
Experience of using new generation
Experience of metabolomics
Experience of using in vitro colon models
Experience of anaerobic microbiology
Experience of conducting human studies
Ability to handle pathogens safely

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Able to work effectively as part of a team
Able to communicate effectively with a team
Good written and verbal communication skills
Ability to effectively liaise with members HPRU consortium

Additional Requirements

Ability to work independently
Promotes equality and values diversity
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Attention to detail

Who We Are

Quadram Institute Bioscience

The Quadram Institute is at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health.

We are engaged in fundamental and translational food and health research, alongside clinical studies, endoscopy and industry, working together to become a leading international hub for food and health research, combining scientific excellence and clinical expertise, delivering impacts on patient care and accelerating innovation.

For more information about working at Quadram Institute Bioscience, please click here.


Gut Microbes and Health

Group Details

The Narbad Group is working on the role of gut commensals on health and disease in humans and animals. We have particular interest in isolation and characterisation gut commensal bacteria of animal and human origin for use as probiotics for exclusion of gut pathogens. Mechanisms of competitive exclusion phenomena are being investigated with the objective of designing strains with improved functionality. Identification and characterisation of novel antimicrobials including bacteriophage endolysins that target gut pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens and the impact of these biomolecules on the gut microbial communities is another area of active research within the group.


Advert Text

Research Scientist

Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to undertake collaborative research funded by The NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections ( The position will be based in the group of Prof Arjan Narbad in the Gut Health and Microbiome Programme at the Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.


Gastrointestinal illness continues to be a considerable cause of morbidity in the UK and recent estimates are of up to 17 million sporadic, community cases of IID and 1 million GP consultations annually. Recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies provides a unique opportunity to assay the microbiome in an untargeted manner allowing us to explore GI diseases with unknown aetiology.

The role:

The successful candidate will join a team working in the area of gut commensal microbiome and the biocontrol of pathogens. The post holder will perform extensive analysis of gut microbiome using molecular profiling methods and assess the metabolism of the gut microbiome using metabolomics platforms.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates will have a PhD in microbiology and have experience of using next generation sequencing platforms and the required bioinformatics to undertake metagenomics analysis. Experience of designing human studies and the ability to handle anaerobic gut bacteria is also required.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a fulltime post for a contract of 12 months.

Please note, this position does not meet UKVI requirements to sponsor a Tier 2 visa.

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society. The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values. To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

About the Quadram Institute:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. Its mission is to understand how food and the gut microbiota are linked to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience (formerly the Institute of Food Research), the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a new state-of-the-art building. The Quadram Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute. (

The closing date for applications will be 22 April 2019.

The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.