Research Scientist (B12 Health)

Applications Close: 04 November 2020

Salary: £32,255 - £39,345 depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: 5 years

Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Prof Martin Warren in the Food Innovation and Health Programme at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.


Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is unique among the vitamins in that it is exclusively made by only certain prokaryotes and whilst present in dairy products and meat it is completely absent from crop-based diets. Global population expansion and climate change worries will likely result in a greater number of people reducing meat intake and switching to vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, resulting in a decrease in vitamin B12 levels. This project aims to study the range of vitamin B12-like molecules that are present within the GI tract microbiome and to investigate whether variant forms of B12 have an adverse affect on human health.

The role:

We will investigate the effect of specific analogues on a range of defined bacteria that are common to the GI-tract. We will determine the effect of the analogues’ ability to stimulate growth or to act as an antivitamin.

Separately, we will investigate the levels of vitamin B12 in various foods. We will monitor the effect of changing diet on cobalamin levels in volunteers, especially those moving to a vegan diet. To what extent does changing diet have on cobalamin levels and over what timeframe? The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the bioavailability of the nutrient from non-meat sources and whether alternative sources of the nutrient from micro- and macro-algae can restore/maintain levels.

The ideal candidate:

We are seeking a Research Scientist with an interest in areas such as vitamins, nutrition, food science, animal-microbe interactions, synthetic biology and analytical measurements including LCMS. You should have a PhD or equivalent in Biochemistry, Nutrition, Microbiology or a related discipline. You will have a proven record in scientific writing and demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,255 to £39,345 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full-time post for a contract of 5 years.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003940.

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.

The closing date for applications will be 4 November 2020.

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