Group Leader (Microbes and Food Safety)
Post Details
Job Title
Group Leader (Microbes and Food Safety)
Post Number
Closing Date
5 Jun 2024
Starting Salary
Competitive salary
Hours per week
Project Title
Group Leader, Microbes and Food Safety
Months Duration

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

As part of our mission to reduce human foodborne illness through improved food safety and reduce food waste due to microbial spoilage, we are looking to bring in a forward-thinking and team-focused group leader to help us deliver world-class research on how microbes evolve and survive as communities throughout the food chain. We particularly encourage applications in the following key areas of interest:

1. Microbial imaging
2. Multi ‘omics data integration and analysis
3. Molecular biology/pathobiology of key foodborne pathogen or food spoilage microbes

Working collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders, the post holder will lead innovative research strategies and programmes focused on at least one of the outlined key areas of interest.

Key Relationships

Internal: All employees working at the Quadram Institute, including QIB, UEA and NHS colleagues. NBI Partnership.

External: UKRI, BBSRC, Norwich Research Park, other scientific institutions and educational bodies, industry, governmental organisations, general public.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Lead and manage high profile and innovative projects focused on at least one of the outlined key areas of interest – as self-contained projects or as part of broader institutional strategic programmes – that add to our knowledge and understanding of microbes in the food chain and deliver effective prevention and intervention strategies.
Secure significant funding in accordance with the expectations of the discipline and level of the role
Lead and manage research teams, taking responsibility for the delivery of the research. This will include supervising Post-Doctoral Research Assistants, supporting effective career development and maintaining high levels of performance representative of a world class institute
Write and publish high quality and significant research papers together with providing expert commentary in a variety of media.
Promote a culture of world class science excellence, collaboration, and scientific integrity across the Institute
Develop pertinent research strategies for the QI to deliver high social and economic impact
Promote our research and develop business opportunities for the Institute by liaising with, and influencing government, industry and other external partners.
Disseminate research findings and consolidate the Institute’s international reputation through participation in international conference and exhibitions
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

PhD in a relevant subject (e.g., microbiology/molecular biology of microbes involved in the food chain, bioinformatics)

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

A track record of research into subjects relevant to the key areas of interest and the Microbes and Food Safety strategic interests
Extensive knowledge of microbes found in the food chain and their relevance for food safety or spoilage
Substantial knowledge of and skills to utilise microbial imaging, microbial genomics/machine learning, molecular genetics/biology, dependent on key area of interest

Relevant Experience

Established record of post-doctoral research, including effective management of projects
An excellent publication record in peer reviewed journals, commensurate with stage of career
Evidence of experience of – or potential for – attracting funding, commensurate with stage of career
Experience in bacterial foodborne pathogens or spoilage organisms
Success in leading research and initiating interdisciplinary collaborations
Ability to lead and participate in interdisciplinary research

Management and Leadership

Experience of leading, managing and mentoring teams, including promoting excellence and developing and maintaining high levels of performance

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Ability to create, build, strengthen and sustain highly effective relationships with key stakeholders
Good communication skills, both written and verbal
Ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with all people at all levels both inside and outside the institute
Strong collaboration skills

Additional Requirements

Attention to detail
Ability to travel nationally and internationally related to collaborations and/or seminars
Presents a positive image of self and the Institute, enhancing international reputation and promoting public engagement.
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work.
Promotes equality and values diversity
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required

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

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


Microbes and Food Safety

Living in Norfolk


Group Leader (Microbes and Food Safety)

Full or Part Time

We are looking for a dynamic, proactive individual to lead a research programme contributing to our goals of reducing foodborne illness through improved food safety and reducing food waste due to microbial spoilage.

The post holder will join a vibrant cohort of world class scientists who collectively contribute to achieving the strategic aims of the ‘Microbes and Food Safety’ research programme. The priorities for this programme are to understand and develop interventions to reduce enduring and emerging threats to food safety and security. Our team have expertise that brings together excellence in imaging, microbiology, genomics, bioinformatics and mathematical modelling in understanding how bacteria exist and thrive as communities across the food chain.

The Quadram Institute is a new, state-of-the-art facility based in Norwich that undertakes research in the study of key foodborne pathogens and spoilage organisms, including Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella and Pseudomonas. We are now seeking to bring in a forward-thinking group leader capable of contributing to this existing body of work whilst also developing their own research programme, exploiting the considerable resources available and helping to consolidate the Quadram Institute as a world leader in food safety and food security research. We particularly encourage applications in the following key areas of interest:

Microbial imaging: championing the use of advanced microbial bioimaging / super-resolution microscopy to reveal insight on microbial communities, such as biofilms, in matrices relevant to food safety and spoilage; and/or
Multi ‘omics data integration and analysis: developing and applying cutting-edge informatics tools, such as machine learning and AI, to large-scale genomic/imaging/metagenomic/transcriptomic datasets to address relevant food safety and spoilage questions; and/or
Molecular biology/pathobiology of key foodborne pathogen or food spoilage microbes: utilising the latest molecular tools to understand the biology and/or genetics of relevant organisms of interest for food safety or spoilage, particularly in the wider community context in which microbial hazards exist across the food chain

Applicants should have experience and a track record in at least one of the key areas of interest above. Successful candidates will have a good publication record and obvious potential for attracting funding commensurate for their career stage, and most importantly, have a clear vision for collaborative research to reduce the burden of foodborne pathogens or spoilage organisms in the food chain. Collaboration is a core value at the Quadram Institute, and we encourage collaboration not only with other scientists in the institute and with other UK or global researchers, but also with food safety stakeholders in industry and government.

The post will be based at the £75m Quadram Institute, an interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. The institute provides outstanding and custom-built facilities which bring together medical and molecular microbiologists, epidemiologists, bioinformaticians and clinicians to deliver pioneering interdisciplinary research focused on microbes in the food chain.

The Quadram Institute supports flexible, innovative working that brings together our scientists with partners co-located on the renowned Norwich Research Park including the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory and the Earlham Institute. Our team are also members of the recently established Centre for Microbial Interactions, a virtual centre bringing together the more than 75 microbiology research groups working across the Park.

The successful applicant will be offered an indefinite contract, or for applicants with less experience, a Career Track Group Leader position (5 year contract) with tenure subject to review. Positions come with a significant support package. We offer an exciting, innovative and supportive research environment, competitive salaries (depending on qualifications and experience) and a great place to live – a relocation package is available. Norwich, the City of Stories, is a magnificent medieval city that is rich in arts and sciences, while being a short distance from London (two hours by train).

At Quadram Institute Bioscience we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.  We value the diversity of our staff and are committed to creating a positive environment, one that is fair, welcoming and inclusive, and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. 

In line with our QIB values of Respect, Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence, our vision is to deliver high quality science in an inspiring environment where everyone is welcome.  We encourage our people to develop, as individuals, to their highest potential in a respectful and inclusive organisation. 

Please follow this QIB Group Leader Recruitment Pack for further information regarding the role of Group Leader (Microbes and Food Safety). Applicants are encouraged to apply with a CV and covering letter explaining why you are suitable for the role or apply using the "Apply for this vacancy" button above. 

Diversity is key to our success, and we work hard to make sure we’re inclusive. Please let us know if you need any adjustments made to the application or selection process so you can do your best.

For more details of our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, see our website Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - Quadram Institute

Closing Date: 5 June 2024