- Job Title
- Research Scientist
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 3 Dec 2019
- Starting Salary
- £31,625 - £38,575
- Hours per week
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 02 Dec 2019
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
Applications are invited for a highly motivated individual to Join the Food Databanks and National Capability at the Quadram Institute Bioscience(QIB).
We are looking for a Research Scientist to undertake all aspects relating to a human dietary intervention study, designed to test the effects of a bioactive-rich diet on the diversity of gut microbial composition (assessed through metagenomics) and glucose metabolism (through continuous glucose monitors). The post holder will be responsible for activities including: (i) preparation and submission of ethical review documents, (ii) recruitment of participants, (iii) collection and analysis of samples, and (iv) contributing to the collation and drafting of scientific reports and progress reports. The study is part of the Horizon 2020 FNS-Cloud project, in which QIB is a leading partner, that aims to build an EU-wide Food and Nutrition Security Cloud that will connect various types of data relevant for the food, nutrition and health community.
The post holder will work closely with Dr Traka, deputy Head of the Food Databanks, the rest of the FDNC team, and Dr Lindsay Hall, Group Leader in Gut Microbes and Health, to successfully deliver and complete the human dietary intervention trial. Within QIB, they will be additionally expected to interact with the QIB statistician and the Quadram Institute Clinical Trials Unit. Externally, they will be interacting with our partners and collaborators in the UK and across Europe to report on progress around the trial, and be a champion of our activities.
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Recruitment of study participants, including study talks, screening for eligibility and obtaining informed consent.
- Statistical analysis of biomarkers/measurements arising from the study, in consultation with the QIB statistician.
- Sample processing for metabolomics and gut microbiota sequencing (e.g. DNA extraction), and subsequent metagenomics analysis using established bioinformatics pipelines.
- Preparation of application for the approval of the study by the appropriate ethics committees (local and national) using the IRAS application system
- Maintaining engagement with study participants to minimise dropout.
- Having the overall study oversight and managing research activities associated with the study, including sample collection and storage, and generation of a sample-specific log, in a timely manner.
- Contribute to scientific publications and project reporting
- As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role
Education & Qualifications
- PhD in Biological Sciences, Nutrition or related discipline
- Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Knowledge of nutrition and metabolism, in particular glucose metabolism and aspects of gut physiology relevant for nutrition
- Knowledge or experience of research ethics and preparing applications for their approval using IRAS
- Theoretical or practical experience of bioinformatics analysis of gut microbiota using metagenomics pipelines
- Knowledge of data protection issues
- Experience of undertaking research in an academic setting
- Experience of running a human intervention study, as a study manager or part of the study team
- Theoretical or practical experience of human tissue processing (e.g., blood, stool), and of laboratory techniques, such as DNA extraction
- Experience in recruiting study participants
- Experience in coordinating research activities
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
- Excellent time management and organisational skills with the ability to work independently to tight deadlines
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
- 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
- Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
- Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
- Attention to detail
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Driving licence (Reasonable adjustments will be made for applicants with a disability)
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.
The Quadram Institute is a diverse and multicultural scientific community. We thrive on our international and European links, appointing staff from across the world. We expect this to continue post Brexit. However, any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food Databanks National Capability compiles and publishes data on the composition of foods eaten in the UK. The data held by FDNC are used to provide the nutritional information for food labelling across the UK but they also underpin research at the Quadram Institute, across Europe, and beyond into the links between diet and health, whilst also helping to inform policy to promote a healthy lifestyle.
FDNC provides two different food-related databases. The Nutrient Composition of UK foods (CoFID) database describes foods eaten in the UK in terms of their macronutrients, e.g. fats, protein, carbohydrates as well as their micronutrient content, which includes vitamins and minerals. The data are published in book form as McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, as well as online. FDNC also develops and maintains eBASIS, a database of non-nutrient plant-derived bioactive compounds with putative health benefits in foods.
The FDNC team has been involved and led a succession of UK- and EU-funded projects and consortia around diet and health. We are currently lead partners in a consortium to develop an EU-wide Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) data cloud that will connect various types of data relevant for the food and health research community (2019-2023).
The Hall lab’s research focus involves defining the complex interactions of the host with the intestinal microbiota and pathogens at mucosal surfaces. The Hall lab utilises multi-disciplinary approaches to answer these key questions including; microbiology (in vitro model-colon chemostat systems for complex culturing, molecular microbiology), metabolomics (NMR, MS), next generation sequencing (RNASeq, 16s rRNA, WGS, both host and microbe), bioinformatics tools, in vivo models (germ-free and infection models) and human studies.
Applications are invited for a highly motivated individual to Join the Food Databanks and National Capability (FDNC, https://fdnc.quadram.ac.uk/), in collaboration with Dr Lindsay Hall’s research group (https://quadram.ac.uk/lindsay-hall/) at the Quadram Institute (QIB) and lead a dietary intervention study on diet and gut microbiome.
FDNC compiles and publishes data on the composition of foods eaten in the UK, which is utilised by a wide-range of stakeholders from a variety of disciplines, and underpins research in food, nutrition and health. This includes the government’s National Diet and Nutrition Survey, which is used to inform public health policy. We are additionally responsible for developing and maintaining eBASIS, a database of non-nutrient plant-derived bioactive compounds with putative health benefits in foods. eBASIS provides information from published literature about bioactives with putative health benefits, or detrimental effects in humans, supported by peer-reviewed evidence.
The FDNC team is active in participating and leading a succession of UK- and EU-funded projects and consortia around diet and health. We are currently leading an EIT Food activity around personalised nutrition services and are one of the lead partners in a consortium to develop an EU-wide Food, Nutrition Security (FNS) Data Cloud (FNS-Cloud, 2019-2023) to connect various types of data relevant for the food and health research community.
The Hall lab’s research focus involves defining the interactions of the host with the gut microbiota, with a focus on microbe-diet interactions and microbe-host cross-talk. The lab utilises multi-disciplinary approaches to explore these themes including innovative in vitro and in vivo models complemented with metabolomics, next generation sequencing and bioinformatics approaches and analysis.
The post holder will be expected to undertake all aspects relating to a human dietary intervention study, designed to test the effects of a bioactive-rich diet on the diversity of gut microbial composition (assessed through metagenomics) and glucose metabolism (through continuous glucose monitors). The post holder will be responsible for activities including: (i) preparation and submission of ethical review documents, (ii) recruitment of participants, (iii) collection and all aspects of analysis of samples, and (iv) contributing to the collation and drafting of scientific reports and progress reports. The study is part of the Horizon 2020 FNS-Cloud project, in which QIB is a leading partner, that aims to build an EU-wide Food and Nutrition Security Cloud that will connect various types of data relevant for the food, nutrition and health community.
The ideal candidate:
This post will be well-suited to a PhD graduate in Biological Sciences, with an interest in nutrition and the role of the gut microbiome. You will have prior experience with undertaking laboratory-based research studies in diet and health or microbiology, and preferably have participated in running or coordinating a human intervention study. You will have strong interpersonal skills to facilitate interactions on a day-to-day basis with the study participants.
You will also have good organisational skills and ability to interact and collaborate with researchers from different disciplines (e.g. nutrition science, microbiology, bioinformatics).
Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 23 months.
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.
The closing date for applications will be 3 December 2019.
The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.