Research Scientist (Respiratory Infection)

Applications Close: 23 March 2021

Salary: £32,255 - £49,750, depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: 18 months

Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Prof. Justin O’Grady at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

The role

The O’Grady group wishes to recruit an enthusiastic Research Scientist to work on a prestigious Innovate UK UK-China AMR grant on developing a deeper understanding of respiratory infection. Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) caused 3 million deaths worldwide in 2016, making it the deadliest communicable disease and the leading cause of mortality for children under five. The successful candidate will develop and implement metagenomics technology for the rapid detection and characterisation of LRTIs including hospital acquired and ventilator associated pneumonia.

The application of sequencing for tracking and monitoring infections has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by COG-UK. The successful candidate will join a world leading group at the cutting edge of sequencing technology and its clinical implementation for the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases (see recent paper here for more information).

The job will involve respiratory metagenomics method development and optimisation using nanopore sequencing technology. This will allow us to rapidly characterise (<6hrs) the pathogens present in samples from patients with nosocomial pneumonia and rapidly identify any associated antimicrobial resistance with the ultimate goal of replacing microbiological culture. Once developed the methods will be tested in UK and Chinese hospitals.

Candidates with substantial experience will be considered for a Senior Research Scientist post, at grade SC5. Candidates at an earlier stage in their career will be considered for the Research Scientist post, at grade SC6. Additional requirements for an SC5 appointment include strong bioinformatic skills and project management experience.

There will be the opportunity for travel to China to meet academic and industry project partners there depending on COVID-19 restrictions. There will also be the opportunity for the Research Scientist to develop their own relevant research interests and we actively encourage staff to apply for fellowships and grants to further their career.

The ideal candidate

Candidates should have a PhD in biological sciences or equivalent. They will have a background in genomics, metagenomics or molecular biology and will have an interest in infectious diseases. Relevant skills in data analysis, diagnostics and running research projects are an advantage. The ideal candidate will also have a publication track record appropriate for their career stage, and experience of scientific collaboration and supervision.

Applicants wishing to be considered for the senior SC5 appointment should also have excellent bioinformatics and project management skills.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,255 to £49,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a fulltime post for a period of 18 months.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003990.

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.