Research Associate and Project Management in NanoSafety

Heriot-Watt University - School of Engineering and Physical Sciences

The successful candidate will be taking a leading role in the newly funded European Project GRACIOUS.  GRACIOUS is a 7 Million Euro project with 23 partners. The goal of GRACIOUS is to develop a highly innovative science-based framework to support the grouping nanomaterials and thereby simplify their risk assessment.

Nanomaterials (NMs) (materials with at least one dimension between 1 and 100nm) often exhibit novel properties compared to larger forms of the same material. Such properties have led to increased use of NMs into a diverse array of products (e.g. pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, food, electronics). In fact, NMs are available in a wide variety of physico-chemical properties such as size (and surface area), morphology, charge, and surface coating, all of which can influence their properties, but also their toxicity. Due to the extensive use of NMs, much work has been invested in understanding which characteristics might infer such toxicity.

The large number of NMs makes traditional regulatory toxicity testing, via animals, too expensive and ethically inappropriate. For this reason, more intelligent testing strategies (ITS) are required which limit animal use, by increasing exploitation of alternative in vitro and modelling options.  GRACIOUS will develop a framework for grouping NMs so that their risk does not need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  As part of this framework, a hazard ITS will be developed.

The PDRA will have two roles. Firstly, they will existing toxicology literature and focused in vitro hazard experiments in order to design and generate an Intelligent Testing Strategy to facilitate hazard assessment and grouping of nanomaterials. Secondly they will be involved in the project management, including organisation of steering committee meetings, webinars, conferences and workshops, as well as monitoring staff input into the project and collection of financial information.

The post is available for three years.

Applicants must have a BSc (at least 2:1) and PhD degrees a relevant subject area, e.g. toxicology, pharmacology, cell biology, biomedical sciences, biochemistry; be able to perform literature searches and write literature reviews (including a critical appraisal of the literature) and have experience of designing experiments, problem solving, performing data analysis and interpretation and conducting appropriate statistical analyses.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Vicki Stone at

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and ethnic minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts at Heriot-Watt.

For application details and further information please go to:

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