Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of York
February 05, 2023
Offerd Salary:£34,308 - £42,155
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A
Postdoctoral Research Associate




£34,308 - £42,155 a year


Grade 6

Contract status

Fixed term

Hours of work


Based at

University of York campus

Interview date

To be confirmed

Posted Date


Apply by


Job Reference



  • 11717 Job description.pdf (PDF, 272.03kb)
  • Role Description Department

    The aim of the lab, and of this project, is to use insect synthetic biology to develop new, safe, sustainable methods for reducing the harm caused by pest insects, particularly mosquitoes and mosquito-borne disease. This position is part of a new five-year £3m project funded by the Wellcome Trust led by Prof Luke Alphey at York; project partners include The Pirbright Institute (UK), University of Tartu (Estonia) and Universiti Malaya (Kuala Lumpur).

    Better methods for controlling mosquito-borne viruses are urgently required. We will develop broad-spectrum anti-viral traits in engineered mosquitoes. By “broad-spectrum” we mean active against multiple arboviruses, in contrast to the current state-of-the-art for synthetic anti-viral (“reduced vector competence”) traits, which provide resistance only against specific viruses or virus strains.

    Such tools could be delivered to wild vector populations via mating between released modified mosquitoes and wild mosquitoes, possibly in combination with “gene drives” - the target of another project team in the lab. These methods are egalitarian – everyone within the protected area is equally protected, irrespective of wealth, ethnicity, gender, education etc.

    The project focuses on alphaviruses, using super-infection exclusion to provide broad-spectrum protection. https: // www. describes our initial work in this area. This project will develop prototype strains with characterised, validated, broad-spectrum resistance to alphaviruses.

    Nominal start date is 01 April 2023 but potentially negotiable. It is anticipated that additional roles will later become available, across a range of grades, for which informal enquiries may be made to [email protected]


    The core of the project is to develop and test components, modules and systems for these novel anti-viral “refractory insect” systems in Aedes aegypti. Correspondingly, the main component of the role is insect genetic studies (responsible for design and development of new transgenic/gene edited strains, rearing and colony maintenance, phenotypic analysis, experimental design and statistical analysis). Additional responsibilities include molecular biology (assisting with design and development of novel plasmids, preparing DNA for mosquito injections, molecular analysis of transgenic strains), communicating progress and data including assisting with manuscript preparation, and training/supervising other staff/students as required.

    Skills, Experience & Qualification needed
  • PhD in a relevant biological science, or equivalent
  • Knowledge of relevant research techniques and methodologies.
  • Good communication skills, ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals
  • Experience of one or both of (i) working with insects, preferably mosquitoes; (ii) virology, preferably arboviruses or other RNA viruses
  • Interview date: To be confirmed

    For informal enquiries: please contact Prof Luke Alphey ([email protected])

    The University is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive community – a place where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, staff engagement forums, campus facilities and services to support staff from different backgrounds. #EqualityatYork”. Biology at York was the first UK Biology Department to achieve Athena Swan Gold Award.

    Condition of employment

    This role is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Consequently, all applicants will be asked to declare both unspent and spent convictions on their application form.

    Appointment of the successful candidate will be conditional on a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

    The University strives to be diverse and inclusive – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

    We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University.

    We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

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