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PDRA in Biomolecule Chemistry and Cellular Chemical Biology (10335)

The Rosalind Franklin Institute
Harwell, Didcot
From £37,500 per annum (depending on skills and experience)
Closing date
21 Jul 2024

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Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a national research centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

Within the Davis group in the Next Generation Chemistry theme, one of the aims is to develop new synthetic chemical methods to edit complex biomolecules as a form of post-translational mutagenesis. Specifically, this project will develop new methods for the manipulation of complex protein [see e.g. Nature, 2020, 585, 530], sugar [see e.g. Nature2016540, 574] and lipid [J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 566-569, Cell 2018175, 1045-1058] substrates. Within this theme, you will expand on these discoveries and develop new methods for chemical manipulation of biomolecules in ever more complex environments to probe fundamental biology and medicine. The post, reports to the Franklin’s Theme Lead for Chemistry (Ben Davis), as well as key academic collaborators and will work alongside other researchers in the Franklin and at partner university institutes including at the University of Oxford (where some groups, such as the Davis group, are jointly based).

Whilst the role is a Postdoctoral Research level and requires candidates to hold a PhD/DPhil (or equivalent), we may consider candidates who are close to completion of their PhD/DPhil qualification, in which case the initial appointment will be made at £36,500 per annum (to be increased on completion of the PhD/DPhil qualification).


You will:

  • Embrace the primary project of the role, namely developing new chemistries that may be applied to complex protein and/or sugar and/or lipid architectures and characterizing their consequences chemically, structurally, and functionally.
  • Collaborate with industrial and academic partners (especially on fundamental biological consequences).
  • Collaborate with other researchers on design hypotheses.
  • Work with other themes and researchers to develop the burgeoning Franklin environment to be as suitable as possible for such work, especially partners in omics and synthetic biology.
  • Develop the scientific scope of the project, formulate relevant research questions, conduct individual research, analysing detailed and complex qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources, and generate original ideas by building on existing concepts.
  • Work together with the surrounding facilities to ensure efficient processes at the Franklin and Harwell environment.
  • Publish research articles in leading academic journals.
  • Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences.
  • Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students, including recruitment, mentorship, and career development.
  • Raise research funds through grant applications and manage own area of a larger research budget.
  • Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin.
  • Any other duties that come up in the normal running of the facility and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.

This post may require occasional travel for training and dissemination of your work.

In return we offer:

  • 25 days holidays plus bank holidays and Christmas holiday shutdown
  • Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)
  • Group Life Assurance (also known as Group Life Insurance or Death in Service)
  • Hub building with state-of-the-art laboratories
  • Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels
  • Bus pass discount scheme and good transport links to Oxford and surrounding areas
  • Cycle to Work Scheme
  • Access to employee discount platform (Perkbox)
  • Occupational Health and wellbeing support including Employee Assistance (24/7 support and counselling)
  • Health Cash Plan
  • Subsidised canteen and food outlets on campus
  • Free on-site parking
  • Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Before submitting your application please ensure you read the Job Information Pack for full details of this role on our website.

About us: The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology.

Location: The Franklin is based in Harwell Campus, UK’s innovation hub and well-established as one of the leading science and innovation campuses in Europe. 

The Franklin’s underlying aim is to produce the best science for research today, and this means resolutely embracing a diverse team, who have a wide range of experiences, skills and knowledge to push forward on the innovative work our institution delivers. Both our work and our institution are better for it. For further information, view our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

At the Rosalind Franklin Institute we welcome applications from all around the world!

To be considered for this role, please send a CV and cover letter through explaining why you think you are the right person for this job. Please including information about your education and work experience.

Closing Date: The closing date for applications is 23:59 on Sunday 21st July 2024.

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy


The Rosalind Franklin Institute is dedicated to transforming life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development.

Company info
01235 395000
Harwell Campus
OX11 0QX

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