Research Fellow – School of Chemical Engineering

Full-time University of Birmingham in Academic Email Job
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Job Description


Position Details

School of Chemical Engineering

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £34,980 to £44,263 with potential progression once in post to £46,974

Grade: 7

Full Time, Fixed Term contract up to September 2026

Closing date: 5th August 2024



A unique opportunity for a successful applicant to undertake research in phage display technology for enabling the discovery of peptides capable of targeting glycans.

Sugar chains, known as glycans, perform a vast array of biological functions and play key roles in various physiological and pathological events. Thus, glycans are a rich source of biomarkers for many diseases, including neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, hereditary disorders, immune deficiencies, and cancer. However, a major technological bottleneck exists in the development of binding entities that can recognise glycan biomarkers with high specificity and affinity. This hampers major advances in the early and accurate diagnosis of many devastating human illnesses.

The Research Fellow will tackle the technical challenges in the development of innovative solutions to creating a highly effective high throughput selection method for peptide-based glycan binders using phase display technology. It will include incorporation of non-natural amino acids and genetic modification of bacteriophages.

This is a two-year European Research Council (ERC)-funded project, and the Research Fellow will join an interdisciplinary research team across the School of Chemical Engineering and School of Biosciences.

Role Summary

  • Work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids
  • 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

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

  • Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
  • 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
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/School 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
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews*
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters*
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research*
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines*
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

* These indicative responsibilities may also be included in a research role at grade 6.

Person Specification

The successful candidate is required to have expertise in phage display technology including generation and screening of M13 Bacteriophage libraries, maintenance of phage stocks and genetic analysis of phage. In addition, expertise in genetic modification of bacteriophage, medium scale bacteriophage production and bioconjugation would be helpful.

  • First degree in area of specialism and normally, a higher degree relevant to research area or equivalent qualifications
  • High level analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration 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


Informal enquiries to Paula Mendes, email:


We believe there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ member of University of Birmingham staff and that diversity in its many forms is a strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of University life. We are committed to proactively addressing the barriers experienced by some groups in our community and are proud to hold Athena SWAN, Race Equality Charter and Disability Confident accreditations. We have an Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre that focuses on continuously improving the University as a fair and inclusive place to work where everyone has the opportunity to succeed. We are also committed to sustainability, which is a key part of our strategyYou can find out more about our work to create a fairer university for everyone on our website.

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