University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Plant Sciences
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant with expertise in structural biology within the laboratories of Dr. Jorunn Bos (Division of Plant Sciences) and Prof. Bill Hunter (Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery). The post holder will join an exciting new project, funded by the European Research Council, to investigate aphid protein-host plant protein interactions that underlie host susceptibility to aphids. The project will combine structural biology approaches to unveil the 3D structures of aphid effector proteins bound to their plant host targets with mutagenesis and functional characterisation assays to gain a detailed insight into how aphids manipulate their hosts and inform strategies to prevent this.

The use of structural biology in the plant pathology field has recently shed new light on the mechanisms of plant immunity by unveiling structures of immune receptors and their ligands (pathogen effectors). This project provides a unique opportunity to contribute to advances in the field and unveil new roles of aphid effectors and their targets in susceptibility.

The successful applicant will apply a state-of-the-art structural biology pipeline to unveil the 3D structures of aphid effector proteins and their interacting partners, with the work including protein expression, purification, crystallisation, crystallographic and CryoEM methods, and mutagenesis. In addition, the applicant will gain experience and knowledge working in plant-insect interactions and applying new insights into protein-protein interactions and structures to the broader context of crop protection, while working closely between our two laboratories.

Candidate requirements:

  • Strong background and experience in biochemistry, including protein expression, purification and crystallisation.
  • A PhD in a relevant research area (eg biochemistry) and a strong track record.
  • A good understanding of/an interest in plant-parasite interactions.
  • Ability to work effectively and independently across interdisciplinary teams. 
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills.

Apply Here

The position is available for 3 years (based on a full-time basis). The appointment will be made on the University’s Grade 7 Salary scale.

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. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale.

Additional information:

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Dr. Jorunn Bos at To find out more about the Bos and Hunter laboratories please visit and

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee one of the top universities in the UK. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT staff, membership of Athena Swan and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.