Research Assistant (Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher)

University of Aberdeen - Institute of Medical Sciences

College of Life Sciences and Medicine

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

The University of Aberdeen is offering a unique opportunity for an Early Stage Researcher to undertake research in the framework of the project in PROTECTED (PROTECTion against Endocrine Disruptors; Detection, mixtures, health effects, risk assessment and communication). The Early Stage Researcher will be funded for 3 years through the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme which is an initiative by the EC to foster academic-industrial collaboration in the frame of an innovative and entrepreneurial PhD training program.

University of Aberdeen unique SAFeR (Scottish Advanced Fetal Research) cohort of fetus and placenta samples (with associated data from normal pregnancies 7-20 weeks of gestation) will be used by the ESR to answer 3 major knowledge gaps with regard to human fetal exposure and endocrine disruptor (ED) bioactivity: (i) the levels of selected EDs in 200 (100/sex) human fetal liver and placenta sample pairs; (ii) the levels of endogenous circulating and or intra-liver steroid hormones; (iii) Since human fetal oestrogen levels are much higher than animal/in vitro systems, fetal liver and placenta will be used for quantification of ED bioactivity (xenosensor and endocrine receptor modulating activity) by AHR activation at other PROTECTED partners. Combinations of endogenous fetal steroid hormones and ED mixtures will be investigated using the full panel of assays available to PROTECTED. The relationships between endogenous steroid hormones, ED levels and ED bioactivities with fetal growth indices and expression of key transcripts of developmentally important tissues (plasma steroids, gonads, liver, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, placenta) will be investigated. SAFeR cohort data, together with post-natal human cohort (HUMIS) data and that from farm animals will be integrated in a mechanistic network to elucidate potential risks post by developmental exposure to complex ED mixtures.

You must have a 1st class or 2.1 Honour Degree or equivalent in Biology, Developmental Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, or related discipline.

  • Be eligible and qualified for enrolment in the PhD programme at University of Aberdeen.
  • Be willing and able to perform secondments or participate in training programs at the facilities of other consortium members such as Ulster, Norway, France, Chile, Belgium, Spain and The Netherlands.
  • Must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their selection for this post.

As this post is funded by the EU commission it will be available for a period of three years starting on 1 June 2017. This appointment will be made subject to the usual terms and conditions of employment of the University.

Salary will be paid at the rate of £28,993 per annum and you will also receive a monthly mobility allowance.

Informal enquiries are welcome and should be made to Professor Paul Fowler, Director of the Institute of Medical Sciences (Tel: 01224 437528 or e-mail:

To apply online for this position visit

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 9 January 2017.

Please note that interviews are scheduled to take place on 27 January 2017.

Promoting Diversity and Equal Opportunities throughout the University

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