Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Exeter - Living Systems Institute

The Living Systems Institute (LSI) is a major new initiative by the University of Exeter (ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world), designed to promote interdisciplinary research that transcends the boundaries of mathematics, engineering and the biological, medical and physical sciences. Its mission is to analyse living cells and organisms as integrated systems, with the aim of unravelling how diseases disrupt biological processes at the molecular, cellular and organismal level. Our vision is to build a team of researchers who will work together across disciplines to identify new ways to diagnose, treat and cure disease in plants and animals, especially humans. Our goal is to identify common signatures of disease, irrespective of host or the precise mechanism of disease pathogenesis. The University of Exeter is also part of the GW4 group, a highly interactive network that also includes the universities of Bristol, Bath and Cardiff to facilitate sharing of equipment and expertise.

We are recruiting a new full-time (fixed term for 3 years) post-doctoral researcher to be based in the lab of Dr. Vicki Gold (

The position is available immediately for a fixed term of three years, but may be extended subject to funding. The successful candidate will investigate the structure and function of bacterial macromolecular secretion and assembly machines using a combination of biochemistry and state-of-the-art electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) and tomography (cryoET). The candidate will have access to our own 120kV automation and cryo-capable Tecnai Sprit EM equipped with a fast-readout CMOS camera for screening samples, as well as a GW4-supported 200 kV Talos Arctica with a K2 direct electron detector at the South West Regional Facility for CryoEM.

The post will include:

  • Bacterial cell culture and protein purification
  • Sample preparation for electron microscopy (negative stain and cryo)
  • High-resolution data collection
  • Image processing and structural determination
  • 3D model building

Candidates will be expected to be motivated and demonstrate good knowledge of the topic, possess excellent problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills and a collaborative spirit, combined with an ability to think carefully about their research. You will also be able to supervise the work of others as required. Experience of electron-cryo microscopy and image processing would be a strong advantage, but is not absolutely essential for the right candidate.


  • Have a higher degree/Phd (or nearing completion) in structural biology, biophysics, biochemistry or a related field
  • Possess a keen interest and desire to learn/advance skills in electron cryo-microscopy of membrane proteins

Please visit our website to view the full person specification.

The University offers some fantastic benefits including 41 days leave per year, options for flexible working, numerous discounts at leading retailers, an onsite gym, a cycle to work scheme and a stunning campus environment in the heart of Exeter.  If you are not currently in Exeter please have a look at our website ( for some further information on what a beautiful part of the country we are based in.

For further information please contact Dr. Vicki Gold, e-mail or telephone (01392) 727454.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer.  We are officially recognised as 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.

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South West England