University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Molecular Microbiology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Friday, August 23, 2019
Grade 7 (£32,236 - £39,609)

Two post-doctoral research positions are available in the Division of Molecular Microbiology and the Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, in the School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.

Applications are invited for two post-doctoral positions, in the labs of Dr. Sarah Coulthurst (SJC) and Prof. Bill Hunter (WNH), to work on an exciting new collaborative project to study the nature, role and molecular basis of anti-fungal activity mediated by the bacterial Type VI secretion system. We have recently discovered that bacterial cells can use a dynamic, versatile nano-weapon known as the Type VI secretion system (T6SS) to deliver novel anti-fungal effector proteins into fungal cells. This system is likely to be widespread and represent a key determinant of competitive inter-microbial interactions in diverse polymicrobial communities, including those relevant to health and disease. We have recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award, with colleagues in Newcastle University, Heriot-Watt University, The University of Exeter and the Hans Knöll Institute (Jena), to investigate the mechanisms and importance of T6SS-mediated bacterial-fungal interactions.

We are seeking highly-motivated individuals to contribute to this multidisciplinary project. One scientist will be an expert molecular bacteriologist based, in the SJC lab, who will lead work on understanding the bacterial side of the T6SS-mediated interaction, including effector identification. The other will be an experienced biochemist and/or structural biologist, based in the WNH lab but working closely with the SJC lab, who will work on effector mode of action and other molecular aspects of the project. This Wellcome Trust funded project is expected to start in November 2019 and the positions are available for three years in the first instance, with the possibility of extension for a further two years.

The SJC and WNH labs are situated within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. The School of Life Sciences is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. The School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art technology and laboratory facilities. The successful candidates will be encouraged and supported to demonstrate independence and innovative thinking whilst being an integral part of our close-knit lab teams. They will have the opportunity to learn a variety of new techniques and approaches within our lab and those of the collaborator labs. In particular, we are looking for candidates who will interact successfully with all members of our diverse consortium (including cell biologists and specialists in polymicrobial infection models) and who will enjoy within such a multidisciplinary project.

The successful candidates will have (essential):

- An outstanding academic record, a PhD in a relevant discipline, and at least one first-author publication in an internationally-recognised, peer-reviewed scientific journal

- A strong background and proven expertise in either:

   1. Microbiology (bacteriology) and molecular biology; experience with more than one organism is highly desirable, as is expertise in performing a variety of genetic manipulations of bacteria

   2. Protein purification, biochemistry and structural biology

- A demonstrated ability to plan work independently, train others, develop productive interactions with colleagues and work as part of a team

- Candidates must have excellent communication skills and proficiency in English.

The successful candidates will also have at least one of the following (highly desirable):

- A research background in the areas of bacterial protein secretion, inter-microbial interactions and/or toxin/effector biology

- Experience in RNA-seq and/or bacterial cell biology

- Expertise in molecular biology

- Expertise in biophysical analyses

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,302).

Applications sent to Dr. Coulthurst or Prof. Hunter directly will not be considered, but informal enquiries may be made to or

The closing date for applications is 23rd August 2019. Interviews will be conducted as soon as possible after that.

Additional Information:

More information about the Divisions of Molecular Microbiology and Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, and the University of Dundee can be found in the following websites:

• Division of Molecular Microbiology (

• Division of Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery (

• School of Life Sciences (

• University of Dundee (

A few facts about The School of Life Sciences at Dundee:

• The School of Life Sciences was the top-rated university biology department in the UK in the 2014 national Research Assessment Exercise.

• The School of Life Sciences has over 900 research and support staff from 59 countries and external funding in excess of £40 million per year.

• Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine.

• The School of Life Sciences has outstanding laboratory and technological infrastructure.

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and challenging hills. It has a high-standard, but relatively low-cost, of living.

How to apply:

To apply on-line please visit: Applications should include a full CV and list of publications, and the names and contact details of three academic referees.

Apply Here

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.