University of Exeter

Postdoctoral Research Associate/Research Fellow

University of Exeter

Exeter, United Kingdom

S66900 Postdoctoral Research Associate/Research Fellow

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences

Living Systems Institute

This full-time post is available immediately on a fixed term basis for up to 24 months to support the work of Professor Frank Vollmer.

Biophysics of Single Molecules
Laser light can be used to perform multiple roles, including manipulating and moving objects within a laser trap, so-called optical tweezers. You will develop an entirely novel and much more sensitive extension of the optical tweezer technology to study and manipulate single biomolecules with light. You will develop optoplasmonic micro/nanosensors for sensing and manipulation of single biomolecules. Measurements of energy landscapes combined with visualisation of enzyme movements will allow you to develop more accurate models for enzymes and molecular machines.

The new research programme will develop a new, and much more sensitive, alternative optical tweezer technology as part of the UKRI Molecular Mechanics Initiative at the University of Exeter. The UKRI funded Molecular Mechanics Initiative is a cutting-edge research programme that aims to achieve breakthroughs in how we detect, analyse, and manipulate molecules at the ultimate single-molecule level.

Prof Vollmer’s laboratory is pioneering optical sensors and spectrometers to visualise and detect processes at the micro- and nanoscale.

What we are looking for:
- Are a biophysicist experienced with biomolecular studies
- Have experience with developing biomolecular sensing and manipulation capabilities
- Are excited about working as part of a multi-disciplinary team composed of physicists, engineers, and biologists
- Will work at the newly established Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter which provides state-of-the-art research facilities for realising one of the first optical approaches to study the energetics and dynamics of biomolecular machines.

Label-free optical detection of single enzyme-reactant reactions and associated conformational changes
Science Advances 3 (3), e1603044

Advances in optoplasmonic sensors
Nanophotonics 7 (1), 1-38

Requirements for the role
You are highly motivated to develop a new biophysical technique. Experience with molecular biophysics is required. Familiarity with single molecule experiments, optical tweezers, nanophotonics or plasmonics is desirable.

Duties are to undertake research and fulfil other main duties and accountabilities associated with the position. You will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will:
- Possess a PhD (or nearing completion) in Biophysics, Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Physics, Optics, Engineering or a related discipline
- Be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes
- Be a nationally recognised authority in biophysics, chemistry or single-molecules, and will be able to develop research programmes and methodologies
- Be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required

The successful candidate will be appointed at PDRA (Grade E) or PDRF (Grade F) depending on skills and experience.

Please read the Job Description and Person Specification document for full details of the role and candidate requirements at each level.

You should demonstrate your suitability by submitting a CV and a personal statement addressing how you fulfil the requirements, which will be used to make an appointment at an appropriate level.

Appointments made at PDRA level will be on Grade E (£29,515 – £34,189 per annum) Appointments at PDRF level will be on Grade F (£35,211 – £39,609 per annum) based on qualifications and experience.

The University of Exeter
We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019). We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, achieving a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017.

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

We offer some fantastic benefits including:

- 41 days leave
- options for flexible working
- sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to six weeks full pay) and a new Fertility Treatment Policy
- stunning campus environments in the beautiful South West of England

Further information
Please contact Professor Frank Vollmer

The closing date for applications is the 8 July 2019.

Apply link

Please apply via recruiter’s website.