Research Assistant (Microbes in the Food Chain)
Post Details
Job Title
Research Assistant (Microbes in the Food Chain)
Post Number
1004313
Closing Date
25 Aug 2022
Grade
SC7
Starting Salary
£26,600 - £32,800
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Microbes in the Food Chain
Expected/Ideal Start Date
19 Sep 2022
Months Duration
12
Interview Date
09 Sep 2022

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Join the Microbes in the Food Chain Programme within the Quadram Institute, which aims to investigate the epidemiology of foodborne pathogens and to understand how these bacteria adapt and evolve to stresses in the food chain. Specific activities will be:
• Help isolate, curate and maintain culture collections of foodborne pathogens of interest
• Plan and complete phenotypic assays to determine the susceptibility of isolates to antimicrobials
• Determine capacity of isolates to form biofilms and survive food chain relevant stresses
• Use laboratory evolution experiments to study adaptation of foodborne pathogens to food chain relevant stresses
• Isolate nucleic acids from bacteria and prepare libraries for sequencing

Key Relationships

Internal: With the line manager, Mark Webber, other support staff within the MFC ISP, researchers within the MFC ISP, workers in the core capability groups (media preparation and sequencing facility) other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute and wider Norwich Research Park (NRP).

External: Collaborators based on the NRP and external to Norwich.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Plan, perform and trouble-shoot experiments as and when necessary under the supervision of project leaders. These will include phenotypic assays following SOPs to determine bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics, and capacity to form biofilms. Laboratory evolution experiments will also be used to generate mutant strains to be phenotyped as above.
30
Extract nucleic acids and prepare libraries for genome sequencing and metagenomic sequencing following SOPs
15
Undertake Illumina and Nanopore sequencing runs
10
Help curate a collection of isolates of bacteria from the food chain
10
Preparation of reports and curation of data re strain collections and phenotypic results
10
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
5
Contribution to laboratory management, group meetings, interactions with collaborators
5
Some responsibility for the running, effectiveness, maintenance/repairs and training/supervision for key items of equipment, providing services and/or techniques
5
Presentation of research findings at internal meetings and communication with relevant workers within the ISP
5
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
BSc or equivalent in Microbiology or a similar discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Handling pathogenic microorganisms
Essential
Extraction of nucleic acids
Essential
Antimicrobial susceptibility testing
Desirable
Preparation of libraries for genome sequencing
Desirable
Experience with preparation and analysis of samples for bacterial microscopy
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Previous experience of working in a multiuser biological research laboratory
Essential
Adhering to quality control processes and reporting
Desirable
Working with biofilms
Desirable
Curating a culture collection
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Ability to follow instructions/standard operating procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential
Highly committed and motivated to succeed
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills, including the ability to prioritise workload
Essential
Attention to detail and accurate record keeping
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, able to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Good communication skills, both written and verbal
Essential
Ability to think creatively, contribute new ideas, troubleshoot
Desirable

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national/international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Adaptability to learn new skills
Essential
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to undertake any necessary training for the role
Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential

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. Any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

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

Department

Microbes in the Food Chain

Living in Norfolk

Advertisement

Research Assistant

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant to join the Microbes in the Food Chain programme at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

This programme connects multiple research groups with a common aim of exploring the diversity of pathogenic bacteria present within the food chain and to improve understanding of how these pathogens can successfully survive and pose a food safety threat. This post will join a large team which enjoys new state of the art facilities for bacteriology and genomics, housed in a new purpose-built building. Work will focus on Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria although not exclusively. The strategic goal of the work is to understand bacterial behaviour in relevant conditions to the food chain to develop improved interventions that prevent bacterial survival and the development of antimicrobial resistance.

The role:

This post represents an exciting opportunity to join a newly established programme within the Quadram Institute and to be part of a stimulating, multidisciplinary environment. Candidates will be able to experience a range of research opportunities including the phenotyping of isolates for antimicrobial resistance, the use of laboratory evolution experiments and genome sequencing to help understand the basis for microbial survival in the food chain.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates are expected to have a degree in Microbiology or a similar discipline, with experience in handling pathogenic microorganisms and extracting nucleic acids. Some experience of working with biofilms or nucleic acid extraction is desirable.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £26,600 to £32,800 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 12 months.

Interviews will be held on 9th September 2022.

This role does not meet the full salary requirements set by UKVI to allow for visa sponsorship. However, some individuals may still be eligible for visa sponsorship depending on their personal circumstances.  If you require visa sponsorship, please click here to find out if you qualify before applying. Please note, the occupation code for this role is 2112, which is on the shortage occupation list.

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 dedicated to understanding how food and microbes interact to promote health and prevent disease. Its mission is to deliver healthier lives through innovation in gut health, microbiology and food. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a state-of-the-art building on the Norwich Research Park. This is one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute. (https://quadram.ac.uk/).

If you have any specific questions about the post please contact Matt Gilmour (Matthew.Gilmour@quadram.ac.uk, 17th-29th August) or Rob Kingsley (Rob.Kingsley@quadram.ac.uk, 5th-16th August).

The closing date for applications will be 25th August 2022

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