Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Job Details
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Job Start Date: 2019-02-04
Term: 1 year
Keyword Names: Academic/Research
Line 1: University of Edinburgh
City: Edinburgh
Country: United Kingdom

Job Description

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences, University of Edinburgh, UK

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral fellow to work on a 12-month project at The University of Edinburgh. The team investigates the regenerative properties of immune cell activation in the central nervous system following injury, with the goal of identifying new therapeutic strategies to treat disorders like multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. The project is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms driving central nervous system myelination and myelin repair, and how harnessing the regenerative properties of inflammation is a potential strategy to overcome failure of this repair. The group uses a range of approaches from examination of post-mortem tissue to in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo experimental modelling, molecular biology and bioinformatics.

The primary responsibilities of this position consist of analysis of transgenic brain tissue by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, in vivo modelling of myelin injury/ repair, use of molecular biology techniques, immunofluorescent staining, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, data acquisition and quantification, and communication of results to the PI.

Applications are welcome from scientists with a PhD in biological sciences. Experience is required in the majority of the following techniques: animal handling, in vivo modelling of rodent injury, perfusion, CNS dissection, electron microscopy, immunofluorescent staining and fluorescent microscopy, and flow cytometry. Applicants with a first author publication and experience in the following techniques would be at an advantage: ultrastructural analysis of myelin, myelination assays, experimental modelling of demyelination and remyelination, and stereotaxic surgery.

The post is a fixed-term, full-time position. The post is available in February and tenable for 1 year. Line manager: Dr Veronique Miron

Job Purpose
To carry out independently-led studies on the role of macrophages in regulating myelin dynamics, by i) analysing CNS of transgenic models, ii) manipulating in vivo models of myelin injury, iii) carrying out analyses by flow cytometry, immunofluorescent staining, or ultrastructural analyses, iv) contributing to publication outputs from the lab, v) contributing to scientific exchange and discussion of scientific direction within the lab.

  1. Main Responsibilities

  2. Conducting in vivo experimental lesioning of the mouse central nervous system, involving setting up experiments, isolation and sectioning of tissue, immunofluorescence/confocal, flow cytometry, qPCR, ultrastructural analysis (Approx 45% of time).

  3. Analysis and accurate recording of above work with quantitation and statistical analyses, and contributing to manuscript preparation relating to said work (Approx 50% of time).

  4. Discussing and presenting work at internal and external meetings (Approx 5% of time).

  5. Planning and Organising
    The overall outline of work will be derived from a defined research project, directed and assisted by the line manager. The applicant will be responsible for independent experimental design, day to day running of the project’s needs in terms of organizing their time to prioritize and carry out experiments, verifying reagent stocks, accurate record keeping of experiments, and liaising with facilities for colony management.

  6. Problem Solving
    Independent problem solving and use of initiative to troubleshoot or improve experiments is expected.

  7. Decision Making
    The applicant should be able to prioritise duties and make routine decisions, but will be supported by the PI in terms of research methodology decisions when needed.

  8. Key Contacts/Relationships
    The applicant will maintain good relationships within the group and within other groups within the Centre and the QMRI to foster efficient, safe and harmonious workplace conditions.

  9. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job



  • PhD in biological sciences.


  • PhD in Neuroscience, Immunology, Biology, or Regenerative Medicine.
    UK Home Office personal licence (modules 1-4).

Knowledge, Skills and Competencies


  • Experience is required in the majority of the following techniques: animal handling and in vivo rodent models of injury, central nervous system dissection, immunofluorescent staining, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, real-time PCR.
  • Computer skills in data and statistical analyses (e.g. Excel, Prism) and presentation (e.g. Powerpoint).

Applicants with experience in the following techniques would be at an advantage: ex vivo brain explant cultures, electron microscopy, experimental modelling of demyelination and remyelination, stereotaxic surgery.

Personal Attributes

Experience in working on a project with a team of researchers, and ability to interact effectively with other members of the research team and the PI.
Demonstrated skills in organization, carrying out experiments independently, attention to detail, and time management.

Demonstrated troubleshooting skills and successful application of newly learned techniques.
Published first author publication in field of research in biological sciences.

  1. Dimensions
    The job holder will manage their responsibilities within the project in consultation with the PI and regularly with the 4 members of the local research team. There will be regular interactions with research collaborators within the centre and neighbouring centres on campus, during which the job holder will be expected to lead scientific discussions and present the work independently either during informal discussions, centre or university seminars, or local/national/international conferences.

  2. Job Context and any other relevant information
    The postdoctoral fellow will be based at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh, and will be expected to liaise with the PI and other members of the research team. At the time of post uptake, the research group will consist of the PI, 1 post-doctoral fellow, 1 full-time research assistant, and 2 PhD students. The group shares laboratory space, equipment, reagents and lab meetings with other groups within this centre with a research focus on the immune system. The group also interacts closely with other labs with similar research interests on campus (particularly within the Centre for Neuroregeneration and the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine). The University of Edinburgh also provides free professional development in the form of mentorship and workshops which will help provide support to the fellow in career progression.

The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,199 to £39,609 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

This post is available on a fixed term basis, with a working pattern of 35 hours per week for 12 months.