University of York

University of York

Research Associate

Research Associate




£36,024 - £44,263 a year


Grade 6

Contract status

Fixed term

Hours of work


Based at

University of York campus

Interview date

22nd March 2024

Posted Date


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Job Reference



  • Job Description 13099.pdf (PDF, 296.16kb)
  • Role Description Department

    You will be a member of the Department of Biology, which is one of the UK's leading Biology departments, and renowned internationally for our research. This is combined with a commitment to teaching and outstanding student satisfaction, and we have been recognised consistently for our family-friendly policies and are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive culture across all staff groups and levels. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. Further information can be found on our website (https:// www.


    We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join a new project engineering gene regulatory networks to design disease resistant crops. The project is a collaboration between Katherine Denby's group at the University of York, Nicola Patron at the University of Cambridge and Richard Morris at the John Innes Centre. We have modelled and validated a gene regulatory network underlying the lettuce transcriptional defence response to fungal pathogens, which has identified several regulators of the defence response (both positive and negative) and their downstream target genes. In this collaborative project we will further validate and refine the gene regulatory network, use computational modelling to predict network re-wiring to maximise plant resistance to infection, implement the re-wiring using gene editing and synthetic genetic controllers, and test in protoplasts and transgenic lettuce.

    The key aspects of the York PDRA role will be to carry out in vitro and protoplast-based techniques for network validation (protein-DNA interaction and gene regulation), design and build network re-wiring constructs and test these in lettuce protoplasts and gene-edited lettuce lines for impact on network gene expression and (for whole plants) disease resistance, work closely with the PDRAs in the Patron and Morris groups, lead on data analysis and drafting manuscripts for publication, and train/supervise other staff and students.

    Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

    ● PhD in a relevant biological science, or equivalent.

    ● Track record of research success; supervisory experience

    ● Good communication skills, ability to write up research work for publication in high profile journals

    ● Experience of working with plants and advanced molecular biology expertise

    ● Dependable, reliable and self-motivated; good interpersonal skills; able to work as part of a team

    Interview date: 22nd March 2024

    For informal enquiries: please contact Katherine Denby on [email protected]

    The University strives to be diverse and inclusive – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

    We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University.

    We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

    Job details


    Research Associate


    University of York


    United Kingdom


    February 06, 2024

    Application deadline

    February 26, 2024

    Job type




    About the employer

    The University of York was established in 1963 when the University Grants Commission permitted a university in 1960. The university started operating with its first batch of 230 students on Oct. 9, 1963, under the leadership of Lord James as its chancellor. Originally the university only had 28 staff members and six departments; economics, English, education, history, politics, and mathematics. At present, the university includes nine colleges and more than 30 research centers and academic departments. The university is now accredited by the Privy Council.

    Located in Heslington, the University of York has been improving and expanding its campus ever since its establishment. The campus has plenty of landmarks, sculptures, and college buildings. The King's Manor is a historic structure that currently houses the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and the Department of Archaeology. Located in the center of the campus, Central Hall is a tiered auditorium used for hosting concerts, competitions, conferences, graduations, fashion shows, and other events. The university's archives and library network includes many libraries on the campus and in the nearby area. The JB Morrell library is the campus' main library. Heslington Hall is another significant landmark of the campus.

    The University of York offers a plethora of undergraduate, research, and postgraduate programs in various fields like archaeology, sciences, computer science, law, management, medicine, mathematics, languages, arts, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The university has 18,930 students. The university has collaborations with reputed research-oriented institutions across the world. It is a part of an alliance of 24 well-established research-intensive universities. Also, the university has great student exchange programs and research links with numerous other universities around the globe. It offers excellent professional training to its students and provides them outstanding employment opportunities in prestigious firms.

    The university has produced several notable and successful alumni. Greg Dyke is a renowned British journalist, media executive, broadcaster, and football administrator. Aníbal Cavaco Silva is Portugal's former president. Mahmoud Mohieldin is the vice-president of the World Bank Group. Jung Chang is a British writer, famous for her award-winning book 'Wild Swans'. Anthony Horowitz is an English screenwriter and novelist, popular for his works such as 'The Diamond Brothers' series, 'The Power of Five' series, and the 'Alex Rider' series. Han Seung-soo is South Korea's former prime minister. Peter Hitchens is an author and journalist who writes for The Mail. His popular works include 'The Abolition of Britain', 'The War We Never Fought', and 'The Rage Against God'. Many other distinguished people are a part of the university's alumni network.

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