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Research Associate (Fixed Term)

University of Cambridge - MRC Cancer Unit

Applications are invited to apply for a Research Associate position within an established translational research programme headed by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald at the MRC Cancer Unit.

The overall focus of the research programme is to understand the earliest steps of cancer development and to apply this knowledge to develop clinical molecular tests for the early detection of cancer. Oesophageal cancer is a prime example of a cancer which often presents in advanced stages of disease resulting in poor outcomes for patients. On the other hand, we know that this cancer frequently develops slowly from a metaplastic condition called Barrett's oesophagus which is usually undiagnosed. Studies have shown that Barrett's surveillance can lead to much earlier detection of oesophageal cancer what dramatically improves patient survival. There is, therefore, the opportunity to try to find better clinical pathways to detect patients at an earlier stage of their disease when it is curable.

This project provides an exciting opportunity to develop clinically relevant molecular diagnostic assays for detection and risk stratification of Barrett's oesophagus. The assays will be applied to model systems, a large collection of clinical samples and Cytosponge - a novel cell collection device developed by our group that is currently in clinical trials. You will be embedded into an international and multidisciplinary group of molecular biologists, computational scientists and clinical scientists working within a collaborative and stimulating research environment.  The post will also provide opportunities for the researcher to work on multi-omics data from over 400 cases generated as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.  For more information please visit

The MRC Cancer Unit (MRC CU) is a University Department situated on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It provides an outstanding environment for cancer research, supporting some 10 research groups and ~100 bench scientists. The MRC CU's focus is to conduct world-leading research to understand how cancers develop and seeks to translate this knowledge into new approaches for diagnosis and treatment. The unit is a key participant in the Cambridge Cancer Centre, providing an opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary collaborations with Cambridge colleagues in the biological, physical, chemical and engineering sciences.

We are seeking independent and driven applicants with a PhD (or equivalent experience) with a strong background in biomedical research (academic or industrial). Excellent practical experience in experimental molecular biology laboratory work is essential including knowledge of next generation sequencing. An ideal candidate would also have working knowledge of next generation sequencing data analysis.  Experience working with human samples is an advantage. A track record of peer-reviewed publications is also desirable. Candidates should be able to demonstrate their capability of abstract thinking as well as their potential to develop and pursue scientific projects in the field of cancer biology.

This is a fixed term position funded by the Rosetrees Trust for two years from 1 October 2018. 

For candidates with a PhD the salary will be on the scale £31,604 - £38,833pa depending on relevant postdoctoral experience. Candidates without a PhD or due to complete their PhD within 6 months of their start date will be appointed at the Research Assistant level with a salary of £28,936pa (Grade 5) and, if applicable, advancing to Grade 7 Research Associate level following the conferment of your PhD.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a security check.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University’s Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Applicants should include a letter outlining suitability for the role, a CV including a list of publications and the contact details for 3 academic referees. Any offer of employment is subject to security screening. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

Closing date for applications is 31 August 2018

Interviews will be held w/c 10 September 2018

Please quote reference SK15949 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Location: Cambridge
Salary: £31,604 to £38,833
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 9th August 2018
Closes: 31st August 2018
Job Ref: SK15949
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