Position type:

Full time


£30,942 - £32,817

22 Sep 2020
26 Oct 2020

Full details:

Reference number: BIR-200002HU

College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322, with potential progression once in post to £42,792.

Please note: As this vacancy has limited funding the maximum salary that can be offered is £32,817 per annum.

Grade 7

Full Time

Fixed Term contract to 31 March 2022, with the possibility of further extension

Closing date - 26 October 2020



The group of Dr. Martin Higgs is seeking a highly motivated and dedicated individual for a postdoctoral position to work in the area of lysine methylation and the DNA damage response. The project is funded by the Medical Research Council and focuses on the function of Lys methyltransferases and their role in promoting genome stability and preventing disease.

With a PhD (or near to completion) in a relevant subject area and laboratory experience in cell and molecular biology, you are expected to have practical experience in cell culture, cloning, protein expression and in vitro biochemistry. Knowledge of the DNA damage response and/or Lys methylation is essential. Experience in SILAC-based mass spectrometry and CRISPR gene editing would be an advantage.


Summary of Role

  • Work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids
  • Develop novel areas of research where appropriate
  • Operate within area of specialism
  • Analyse and interpret research findings and results
  • Contribute to generating funding
  • Contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as revenues, asset or company sales, IP generated) and/or public understanding of the discipline or similar


Main Duties / Responsibilities

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

  • Plan and develop research objectives as outlined in the grant proposal, as well as pursuing novel research directions, with the assistance of a mentor if required
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Collect, analyse and interpret data and generate original ideas from the outcomes
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Manage individual components of the study from the start of the project to dissemination of findings within set timeframes, and deal with problems that may affect the achievement of these objectives/deadlines
  • Present research results within the research group and the Institute and disseminate research findings through publication or other recognised forms of output, e.g. peer-reviewed journals, reports and conference presentations at local and national level
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Evaluate methods/techniques and results from other researchers and relate such evaluations to your own work
  • Keep abreast of the literature and maintain a good working knowledge of the background and current developments in the field of the project
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/Institute research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Contribute to the work and decision making of the research team as a whole through dialogue with colleagues, generation of ideas, contributing to grant applications, advising on study design, problem solving etc
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.


Person Specification

  • First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
  • PhD (or near to completion) in research devoted to understanding the DNA damage response, epigenetics and/or lysine methylation
  • Proven track record and practical experience in cell and molecular biology techniques, including:
  • cell culture and transfections (including generation of cell lines);
  • cloning (RT-PCR, cloning, DNA sequencing, plasmid generation) and mutagenesis;
  • immunofluorescence/immunoblotting;
  • proximity ligation techniques;
  • advanced protein purification/in vitro and in vivo assays;
  • radiolabelling;
  • SILAC and mass spectrometry.
  • Previous experience with CRISPR technology would be highly advantageous
  • Evidence of an ability to disseminate research findings through publication and at scientific meetings/conferences (at least 1 first author publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal)
  • Excellent knowledge of modern concepts and literature surrounding the DNA damage response and post-translational modifications
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills (including written and presentational), including an ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Evidence of an ability to write to a standard necessary for research reports and publications
  • Effective organisational skills and the ability to prioritise work to meet deadlines
  • High level analytical capability
  • Working knowledge of Health and Safety requirements within the laboratory setting
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Evidence of an ability to work individually and in a research team
  • Willingness to work flexibly, when necessary, to fulfil the needs of the research project
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration and teaching processes
  • Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly


For informal enquiries please contact Marin Higgs (

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