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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

University of Exeter - College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Location: Penryn
Salary: The starting salary will be from £35,211 up to £39,609 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 29th May 2019
Closes: 24th July 2019
Job Ref: S63835

The post
The College wishes to recruit a full time Postdoctoral Research Fellow to participate in research on host-pathogen interactions/insect antiviral immunity working with Dr Ben Longdon. This Wellcome Trust and Royal Society funded post is available for 2 years starting in 2019 (latest possible start beginning of 2020). The successful applicant will responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and will collaborate in designing and implementing an array of molecular biology experiments using up to 50 species of Drosophilidae and a natural RNA virus called Drosophila C Virus. The project will examine why viruses can infect some hosts and not others by examining the cellular and immune factors underlying these differences in susceptibility. We plan to examine the ability of the DCV-1A suppressor of RNAi to prevent processing of dsRNA into siRNAs by Dicer-2 in different host species. We will then look to see how the suppressor functions across the host phylogeny. Some background to the project can be found here and here

Applicants will be able to independently plan, run and collect data from molecular biology experiments. The post will be based at the University of Exeter, but will collaborate with and spend significant amounts of time in the lab of Prof Ronald Van Rij (Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Nijmegen, the Netherlands) and also collaborate with Dr Darren Obbard (University of Edinburgh, UK).

The post will include carrying out molecular and biochemistry assays to examine antiviral RNAi immunity in different species of Drosophila. Experience with molecular procedures (RNA work including: RNA extractions, qRT-PCR, siRNA isolation and denaturing gel electrophoresis/native PAGE, RNAi assays) is essential. Experience in working with insects/Drosophila, viruses and R is desirable. The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically.

Whilst the ideal candidate would have experience in both molecular and evolutionary biology, our main goal is to find someone with a background in molecular biology who can bring their expertise into a more evolutionary lab group. However, this is flexible, so if you think you might be a great fit for this position but are concerned about meeting all criteria please get in touch before applying.

Informal enquiries strongly encouraged to Dr Ben Longdon, e-mail

About you
The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required.

You can view the Job Description and Person Specification document here.

With over 22,000 students and 5,500 staff from 180 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment in which to work. We are an equal opportunity employer, 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.

For further information please contact Dr Ben Longdon, e-mail

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