Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Chemistry job with DURHAM UNIVERSITY

Department of Chemistry

7th grade: – £34,304 per year
Fixed Term – Full Time

Contract hours per week: 35

Closing Date: 19-Apr-2022, 06:59:00

Durham University

Durham University is one of the best universities in the world with strengths in the arts and humanities, sciences and social sciences. We are home to some of the most talented scholars and researchers from around the world tackling global issues and making a difference in people’s lives.

The University is located in a beautiful historic town where it shares ownership of a UNESCO World Heritage Site with Durham Cathedral, the largest Romanesque building in Western Europe. A collegiate university, Durham recruits exceptional students from around the world and offers an unparalleled student experience.

Less than 3 hours north of London and 1.5 hours south of Edinburgh, County Durham is an area steeped in history and natural beauty. The Durham Dales, including the North Pennines Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty, are home to breathtaking scenery and attractions. Durham offers an excellent choice of urban, suburban and rural residential locations. The University offers a range of benefits, including pension and child care benefits, and the University relocation officer can help you with any educational requirements.

Durham University seeks to promote and sustain an inclusive and supportive work and study environment that helps all members of our University community reach their full potential. Diversity brings strength and we welcome applications from the international, national and regional communities with which we work and serve.

The Department

Durham Chemistry is one of the best in the UK, with an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching, research and the employability of our students. Ranked fifth overall in REF2014 and first for impact, we are an active and dynamic department with many of our internationally renowned researchers. We have a strong cohort of early career researchers, future leaders, pursuing innovative research programs and hold an Athena Swan Bronze Award supporting the development of women in science.

Ranked fifth in the Guardian University League Table 2022 and fourth in the Complete University Guide 2022, our undergraduate programs are highly rated outside the department and well received by our students (89% overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020 ( NSS)) . At the postgraduate level, our students come from all over the world to carry out research. Durham Chemistry is involved in the EPSRC centers for doctoral training in soft matter and interfaces, SOFI2 CDT, and in molecular sciences for medicine, MoSMed CDT.

Our research is centered on three main themes, the manufacturing of the future, the bioeconomy and new materials, all of which are real global challenges with the potential to generate significant economic and social impact. Durham Chemistry was ranked the UK’s top chemistry department for research impact in REF2014.

To support these themes, researchers with common interests and complementary skills are grouped together in Research Groups. We currently have six research groups: Functional Molecules and Materials; Organic Physics & Assembly; informatics and dynamics; Soft Matter & Interfaces; Catalysis and sustainable chemical processes; and Bioactive Chemistry and Synthesis. We work closely with many other departments, institutes and centers within the University, including the Institute of Biophysical Sciences and the Durham Institute of Energy, as well as with research centers in areas such as sustainable chemistry, x-ray methods and soft matter. We have close links with many universities, research centers and companies in the UK and overseas.

The role

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate in chemical biology with particular emphasis on the application of activity-based proteomics to the identification and validation of drug targets in Leishmania, the causative agent of leishmaniasis, neglected tropical diseases.

The successful candidate will design and synthesize novel analogues of current lead compounds, optimize protocols for applications in parasites, and undertake subsequent chemical and biochemical assays as needed.


  • Assist in the development of research objectives and proposals.
  • Understand and convey material of a specialized or highly technical nature to the team or group of people through presentations and discussions leading to the presentation of research papers in conferences and publications.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations on research findings/activities to audiences that may include: research sponsors, academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Publish high-quality outputs, including papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals and papers for presentation at conferences and workshops under the direction of the principal investigator or grant holder.
  • Conduct individual and collaborative research projects under the direction of the principal investigator or grant holder.
  • Work with the principal investigator or grant holder and other colleagues in the research group, as appropriate, to identify research areas, develop new research methods, and expand the research portfolio.
  • Address issues that may affect the achievement of research objectives and timelines by discussing with the Principal Investigator or grantee and proposing creative or innovative solutions.
  • Liaise with research colleagues and establish internal and external contacts to develop knowledge and understanding in order to build relationships for future research collaboration.
  • Plan and manage own research activity, seek resources in collaboration with others and contribute to the planning of research projects.
  • Provide training on research techniques/approaches to peers, visitors and students, as appropriate.
  • Participate in the supervision of students, as appropriate, and assist in the assessment of student knowledge.
  • Contribute to fostering a collegial and respectful work environment, inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect.
  • Engage in broader citizenship to support the department and the discipline at large.
  • Engage in continuous professional development through participation

This position is fixed term for a period of 8/9 months.

The incumbent is employed to work on a research project to be conducted by another colleague. Although this means that the post holder will not carry out independent research in their own right, they are expected to contribute to the progress of the project, through the development of their own ideas for research / adaptation and development of the research. protocols.

Successful candidates will ideally be in post no later than 1st May 2022.

How to register

For all informal enquiries, please contact Professor Patrick Steel ([email protected]). All requests will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University vacancies site. As part of the application process, you must provide details of 3 referees (preferably academic/research) and details of your current supervisor so that we can seek a job reference.

Applications are especially welcome from women and black and minority ethnic applicants, who are underrepresented in academic positions at the University.

What to submit

All applicants are invited to submit:

  • A CV and cover letter that details your experience, strengths and potential within the requirements set out above

Next steps

The assessment for the position will include a review of qualifications and experience, a presentation on previous experience and an interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview and assessment.

the Terms

1. Qualifications

  • A good first degree in chemistry
  • A doctorate (or having defended the thesis) in organic chemistry or a related field.

2. Experience

  • Experience in conducting high quality academic research.
  • Demonstrable ability to write papers of a quality comparable to publication in top-tier journals.
  • Demonstrable ability to present research papers at conferences and communicate complex information to scholars and within the wider academic community.
  • Experience in synthetic organic chemistry
  • Experience working with leishmania parasites

3. Skills

  • Exceptional skills in performing targeted organic syntheses with the ability to collect appropriate analytical data required for publications, patents, sponsor reports.
  • Demonstrable ability to work flexibly and cooperatively within a team, including participating in research meetings.
  • Ability to work independently, on own initiative and to strict deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain accurate laboratory records
  • Demonstrable ability to prepare and deliver accurate written reports and oral presentations.
  • Ability, willingness and desire to acquire new skills in the chemistry-biology interface necessary to achieve the project objectives


4. Experience

  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals, depending on career stage.
  • A record of presentation of research at conferences, symposia or meetings, depending on career stage.
  • Demonstrable ability to develop research proposals and designs in collaboration with other academics.
  • Experience in supervising students in relation to the development of their practical/research skills, e.g. acting as a demonstrator, supervising student projects/practices.
  • Chemical biology experiment using chemical probes in in vitro assays
  • Work experience at the academic-industrial interface

5. Skills

  • Demonstrated ability to plan and manage independent research.
  • Experience using ELN to record experimental work
  • Working knowledge of modern proteomics techniques

DBS requirement: Not applicable.