Research Assistant / Associate in DNA DATA STORAGE (Newcastle, GB)

Newcastle University

  • Full Time



Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,332 per annum 

Research Associate: £33,966 to £44,263 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 16 June 2024



The Role


As part of our commitment to career development for research colleagues, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


As a Research Assistant / Associate Experimentalist in DNA Data Storage, you will play a pivotal role in advancing the EnDROIDS project (http:\


This position involves the design, execution, and analysis of experimental systems for DNA-based data storage in vitro or/and in vivo. You will work in a cutting-edge field, combining principles of molecular biology, synthetic biology and computing science to pioneer new methods of data storage and retrieval using DNA as a data storage medium.


The role will require regular liaison with the other investigators in the project (specifically) and the research group (more generally) to aid in designing and carrying out experiments in in vitro or/and in vivo information storage. More specifically, the post holder will work collaboratively with our other nanobiotechnologists and scientific computing experts to achieve project goals. The post holder will also provide assistance to, and training of, academic, technical and research staff and students on specific experimental techniques and in the use of specialised experimental equipment when necessary. To keep excellent records of all laboratory experiments, procedures, protocols, workflows and outcomes, enabling reuse, interpretation with team members and delivery of project milestones.


The appointment is fixed-term, tenable for 30 months in the first instance. The position is available on a full-time basis (37 hours per week).


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.


For informal queries regarding the role or the project, please contact Prof. Natalio Krasnogor:


For more information about the ICOS group, please click here


For more information about EnDROIDS, please click here


Are you ready to make a remarkable impact in the world of Computing Science? Join us at the forefront of innovation and discovery at the School of Computing, Newcastle University. As a beacon of excellence in technological advancement, we foster a dynamic and collaborative environment where creativity thrives, and boundaries are pushed. Our School boasts a rich heritage of ground-breaking research and a commitment to nurturing the brightest minds in the field. With state-of-the-art facilities and a diverse community of experts, we are passionate about empowering our students to explore, innovate, and redefine the possibilities of computing. Come be part of our pioneering journey, where your expertise and vision will shape the future of technology.


Key Accountabilities

  • Design and develop experimental systems for DNA data storage and retrieval
  • Conduct experiments to test the viability, efficiency, and accuracy of DNA- based data storage systems in vitro and in vivo developing repeatable experimental protocols in vitro (e.g. cell free extracts) as well as in both prokaryotes (E.coli and B.subtilis) and eukaryotes (initially S.cerevisiae)
  • Analyse experimental data and contribute to the fine tuning of computational models and simulations
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to integrate biological systems with computing technologies as well as considering responsible research and innovation matters
  • Document and report experimental procedures and findings in scientific journals and to project stakeholders
  • Contribute to grant applications and secure funding for future research
  • Contribute to the design of scalable, high-throughput workflows to speed-up laboratory operations for points 1 & 2
  • Oral presentations at meetings, workshops and conferences
  • Contribute to the social media content for the project


The Person 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 


Essential for research assistant and research associate

  • Demonstrable molecular biology, biochemistry and/or microbiology experience.
  • Demonstrable laboratory experience in synthetic biology, microbiology, or molecular biological techniques, e.g., DNA sequencing and synthesis, plasmids and chromosomal manipulation techniques, operons design and assembly, DNA replication, stability, cloning and transformation in Bacillus spp., E. coli or S.cerevisiae.
  • Publication of work in relevant peer-reviewed conferences and journals.
  • Presentation of scientific work at group meetings and scientific events.


Essential for research associate

  • Demonstrable experience in DNA data storage or other relevant fields in synthetic biology or DNA nanotechnology, e.g., experimental realisation of DNA computing systems utilising strand displacements, DNA/RNA origami, etc.
  • Ability to supervise student projects and support with teaching and demonstrating activities.


Desirable for research assistant and research associate

  • Demonstrable experience with advanced molecular techniques such as utilisation of reverse transcriptase, flipases, CRISPR/CAS system, CRISPR prime, etc.
  • Experience in interdisciplinary projects combining biology with computing science.
  • Use standard bioinformatics and statistical computer programs to analyse laboratory data.
  • Demonstrable experience working with computer scientists, mathematicians, modellers, or colleagues of a different discipline.


Desirable for research associate

  • Experience of, or at least an understanding of, Scanning probe microscopy, fluorescence microscopy and it application.
  • Experience of contributing to grant writing.
  • Experience in the utilisation and development of social media for public dissemination.

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Proficiency in delivering clear and concise communication through both written and verbal mediums, including technical reports, academic papers, and presentations
  • Proficient in articulating intricate concepts effectively, demonstrating adaptability in tailoring communication for diverse audiences
  • Ability to demonstrate innovative thinking and generate original ideas
  • Driven and passionate individual with a strong work ethic and proactive goal-oriented mindset
  • Ability to interact with people from different disciplines
  • Consistently reliable and punctual in meeting deadlines and commitments
  • Professional approach with a commitment to equality, diversity, dignity, and respect in the workplace


  • Experience of communicating with the public as a representative of a research group, research organisation or industry specialist



Essential for research assistant and research associate

  • An undergraduate degree in Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology or closely related science or engineering discipline.
  • A PhD awarded (research associate), or close to be awarded (research assistant) in Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Biotechnology or closely related science or engineering discipline.


Desirable for research associate

  • A PhD awarded in DNA Data Storage or DNA/RNA Nanotechnology.
  • Postdoctoral or equivalent industrial experience in DNA data storage, synthetic biology, or related areas.


 Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26469

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