Research Fellow (106343-0123) . Job Reference: 1889726

University of Warwick
February 13, 2023
Offerd Salary:£32,348 - £42,155
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed-term contract
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Vacancy Type/Job category

Research Only


Life Sciences


£32,348 - £42,155 per annum


University of Warwick, Coventry

Vacancy Overview

Fixed-term contract for up to 24 months, 1.0 FTE.

Using in vitro single molecule FRET to investigate how protein conformational dynamics regulate bacterial cell wall synthesis

What scientific question will you investigate?

Bacteria are surrounded by a mesh-like peptidoglycan cell wall which gives cells their shape and prevents them from bursting due to the cells high internal turgor pressure. The molecular mechanism of many key aspects of peptidoglycan synthesis remain unresolved, and the proteins involved are widely conserved and a key target for antibiotics.

In this project you will use in vitro use single molecule FRET to determine how protein conformational dynamics regulate peptidoglycan synthesis. You will collaborate with a team of structural biologists, protein biochemists, molecular dynamics experts and chemists to make substantial advances in our understanding of this problem.

The key technical challenge in this project is to develop a novel platform for single molecule fluorescence microscopy/ spectroscopy of peptidoglycan synthesis proteins, adapting established biochemical assays to the single molecule level.

About our lab

You will join the Holden lab at Warwick University. We are a diverse group of interdisciplinary scientists who investigate mechanistic principles of bacterial cell envelope remodelling using single molecule fluorescence methods. See e.g.: Nature Communications 12, 2448 (2021), Nature Protocols (2022) 1-23, Science 355 739-743 (2017). We are based at the new £54M Interdisciplinary Biosciences Building at the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, which brings together researchers from microbiology, eukaryotic cell biology and neuroscience in a single interdisciplinary, collaborative environment with state-of-the-art facilities.

Is this project right for you?

We are looking for someone who is expert in using in vitro single molecule fluorescence methods, preferably smFRET or a closely related technique, to study protein dynamics. This project would particularly suit someone with a single molecule biochemistry or biophysics background. Experience in the bacterial cell envelope field is not required. Applicants should either have a PhD in a relevant subject or should submit their PhD thesis before starting the post.

If you are interested in the position and have informal enquiries in advance of application, please email Dr Séamus Holden with CV at [email protected]

Please explain how you meet each of the essential criteria and the degree to which you meet each of the desirable criteria for the post in your application cover letter.

For those eligible, the University of Warwick offers relocation and Immigration Support Scheme packages to assist with costs of relocating and any associated visa applications and IHS surcharge fees.

Interview Date: TBC.

Job Description


Undertake research in order to support the work of the department and develop an enhance its reputation, both internally and externally. Assist the Project Leader and, where appropriate, project collaborators in the successful execution of the project.



• Help establish a sound research base within the department in order to assist the development of research objectives and proposals for own or joint research.

• Conduct individual and collaborative research projects.

• To publish research outcomes in appropriate journals of international standing and to publish and disseminate the result of research to other reputable outlets.

• Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity.

• May contribute to preparing proposals and applications to external bodies, e.g. for funding and contractual purposes, to support a developing research agenda.

• May present information on research progress and outcomes to bodies supervising research, e.g. steering groups.

• May contribute to the preparation of papers for steering groups and other bodies.

• Communicate complex information (orally and in writing) and material of a specialist or highly technical nature.

• Continually update own knowledge and understanding in field or specialism.

Teaching and learning support

• Could be expected to contribute to the teaching and learning programmes in the department.

• Assist in the supervision of student projects and the development of student research skills.

• May be involved in the assessment of student knowledge and supervision of projects.

Administration and other activities

• May be required to attend departmental meetings and to participate (where necessary) in other committees and working groups within the department, the faculty and the University.

• Ensure compliance with health and safety in all aspects of work.

• Work within budget constraints.

The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but provide guidance on the main aspects of the job. You will be required to be flexible in your duties.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.

Essential Criteria 1

Good honours degree and possession of a PhD or equivalent in relevant discipline. (a)

Essential Criteria 2

Extensive expertise in in vitro single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy/ microscopy. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 3

A developing research profile with the ability to publish and/or produce high quality research output. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 4

Sufficient breadth or depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 5

Good effective communication (oral and written) skills, presentation and training skills. (a, c, d)

Essential Criteria 6

Ability to work independently and as part of a team on research programmes. (a, c, d)

Desirable Criteria 1

Expert in using in vitro single molecule FRET or closely related method to study protein dynamics. (a, c, d)

Desirable Criteria 2

Experience in skills relating to in vitro single molecule fluorescence assay development,such as dye labelling of proteins,fluorescence spectroscopy & protein functionality assays,single molecule FRET sample preparation,data acquisition & analysis. (a, c)

Further Particulars

If you are near submission or have recently submitted your PhD but have not yet had it conferred, any offers of employment will be made as Research Assistant at the top of level 5 of the University grade structure (£31,411). Upon receipt of evidence of the successful award of your PhD, you will be promoted to Research Fellow on the first point of level 6 of the University grade structure (£32,348).

For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars.

For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website.

Warwick is committed to building an organisation of mutual respect and dignity, promoting a welcoming, diverse and inclusive working and learning environment. We recognise that everyone is different in a variety of visible and non-visible ways, and that those differences are to be recognised, respected, and valued. Where possible, we go beyond legislation to provide a place where everyone can thrive, supporting all staff to achieve their full potential. We aspire to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that may otherwise prevent people from succeeding.

We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all communities regardless of culture, background, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion/belief, or sexual or romantic orientation. To find out more about our social inclusion work at Warwick visit our webpages here.

The University of Warwick holds an Athena SWAN Silver award; a national initiative to promote gender equality for all staff and students. Further information about the work of the University in relation to Athena SWAN can be found at the following link: Athena Swan (

The University of Warwick is one of the six founder institutions of the EUTOPIA European University alliance, whose aim is to become by 2025 an open, multicultural, confederated operation of connected campuses.

Right to work in the UK If you do not yet have the right to work in the UK and/or are seeking sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa in the UK points-based immigration system please click on this link which contains further information about obtaining right to work in the UK and details about eligibility for sponsorship for a Skilled Worker Visa.

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants' suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University's Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice.

Closing Date

13 Feb 2023

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