Research Assistant (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

July 1, 2022


Research Assistant (Fixed Term)

We are seeking a research assistant experienced in mammalian tissue culture to join our group's efforts to find new treatments for obesity and neurodegeneration using unique human stem cell-based model systems. The role offers an exceptional opportunity to join a friendly and diverse team with expertise in developmental and stem cell biology, neuroscience, gene editing, disease modelling, and computational biology in the laboratory of Dr. Florian Merkle (www.

We are based at the highly collaborative environment and world-leading Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science (https: // www. at the University of Cambridge. This position is funded by the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYCSF, https: //, and will enable the successful applicant to join an international network of investigators tackling major challenges in human health. Our group is also affiliated with the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute (https: // www. and we collaborate closely with the Open Targets academic-industrial partnership (https: // www., and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI, https: //

The successful applicant will culture human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), differentiate hPSCs into neurons and other cell populations, assist with the generation of gene-edited hPSC lines, and be responsible for the smooth and efficient function of the group's tissue culture facilities. In this environment, the candidate will be exposed to cutting-edge techniques such as single-cell transcriptomics, drug screening, and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing.

Candidates with strong background and interest in cell culture and a curiosity about many areas of biology are likely to find this position rewarding, as it affords an opportunity to make a substantial impact in numerous areas of research relevant to human health. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities for technical and personal growth and career development, and to help shape the course of research projects. Applicants should have:

  • MSc in biological sciences (molecular biology, cellular biology, neuroscience, or similar) or a BSc with 2+ years relevant laboratory experience

  • Extensive experience of mammalian cell culture, ideally with human ES or iPS cells

  • Outstanding organisational, managerial, and record-keeping practices, and be able to independently manage long-term projects to meet deadlines

  • Clear oral and written communication skills to allow accurate information to be exchanged, and strong interpersonal skills with a track record of effectively working as part of a team

  • An ability and desire to work independently once appropriate training and guidance have been provided, and an interest in neurodegeneration, stem cell biology, in vitro differentiation and/or cellular modelling of disease, and the development of new treatments of disease

  • Willingness to work flexible hours (e.g. occasional evenings and weekends) and assist multiple group members with their projects.

  • Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

    Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

    We encourage applicants meeting these criteria to apply, and especially encourage applications from individuals from underrepresented backgrounds. The ideal applicant would also have the following experience and attributes:

  • Experience with human pluripotent stem cell culture and differentiation (especially to neurons) and/or neuronal culture and analysis methods

  • Theoretical training and practical experience in cellular biology (immunostaining, confocal and high content microscopy and screening, viral production and transduction, FACS, gene editing)

  • Theoretical training and practical experience in molecular biology (nucleic acid purification, PCR & qRT-PCR, molecular cloning, sample preparation for Illumina sequencing and other 'omics methods)

  • Experience with large-scale studies such as handling many cell lines in parallel, image-based high-throughput screens, and/or CRISPR based genome engineering techniques (e.g. knockout, knock-in, arrayed and pooled screening)

  • Good computer skills in the use of office software (e.g. Excel, Word, PowerPoint), ideally also sample management and image analysis software

  • Closing date: 1st July, 2022

    Interview date: 11th-13th July, 2022

    Proposed start date: 1st August 2022 .

    Informal inquiries about this position should be directed to Florian Merkle at

    Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

    Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

    Please quote reference RG31832 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

    The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

    The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

    Further information
  • Further Particulars
  • Department/Location

    Department of Clinical Biochemistry








    17 June 2022

    Closing date

    3 July 2022

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