Research Fellow - Metabolism and Systems Research

Country: United Kingdom;

City: Birmingham

Vacancy added: 23.08.2019

Employer: University of Birmingham

Resumes due: 22.09.2019


Position Details

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.
Grade 7
Full Time / Fixed Term Contract to 31 May 2022
Closing date: 22 September 2019


To create and contribute to the creation of knowledge by undertaking a specified range of activities within an established research programme and/or specific research project.

We are seeking a talented postdoctoral fellow to join Professor David Hodson’s research group at the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research (IMSR), University of Birmingham ( The project, funded by a prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant (“OptoBeta”), seeks to combine transcriptomics with next generation in vivo imaging approaches to identify novel mechanisms underlying insulin release. The overarching aim is to understand the basis for insulin secretory failure during type 2 diabetes, and use this information to produce novel therapies.

Job Summary

• Work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids 
• Operate within area of specialism
• Analyse and interpret research findings and results 

The post holder will contribute to research in Dr Hodson’s group using a variety of techniques:

• PCR, cloning and plasmid generation.
• Production of adenoviruses and/or lentivirus including amplification and titre to maintain stocks.
• Assisting with the generation, breeding and maintenance of transgenic (Cre-lox) animal colonies including genotyping.
• Mouse metabolic phenotyping (IPGTT, ITT, OGTT, body weights).
• Culture of primary cells (e.g. mouse and human islets) and cell lines (e.g. MIN6,INS1E, 1.1B4):
• Specific immunoassays for insulin, glucagon, GLP-1 etc.
• Gene over-expression and gene-silencing (e.g. siRNA, shRNA).
• Insulin and glucagon secretion assays.
• ATP/ADP, β-arrestin, Ca2+ and cAMP assays.
• Isolation of RNA and quantification of gene expression, including for RNASeq and other single cell transcriptomic approaches.
• Flow cytometry.
• Isolation of protein for quantification (e.g. Western blotting).
• Immunohistochemistry of fixed/frozen sections for various protein markers.
• In vitro and in vivo microscopy:
Fixed tissue (confocal and N-STORM)
Live tissues (spinning disk, confocal and TIRF-M)
Live animals (multiphoton)
• Data and image analysis, including the use of common software packages (e.g. Graphpad Prism, R, ImageJ)

Main Duties/Responsibilities

The post holder will assist with the daily administration and organisation of the work area. These duties include:
• Ensuring that the facilities are maintained in a clean, functional and safe condition, reporting any problems through the appropriate channels.
• Ensuring the best use of equipment through booking systems, if appropriate.
• Reporting any problems with equipment or services to the line manager as appropriate.
• Any other duties commensurate with the grade and skill base of the post holder as directed by either the Principal investigator for research based activities or the Technical Managers for non-research based activities.
• Analysis of data as required.
• Contribute to and write papers as required.
• Attendance at conferences as required.
• Budgetary/Finance awareness.
• Attendance at training courses required for work completion.

Responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.
• Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
• Contribute to writing bids for research funding
• Analyse and interpret data
• Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
• Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc
• Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
• Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
• Undertake management/administration arising from research
• Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
• Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews *
• Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters *
• Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research *
• Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines*

• Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture. 

• In collaboration with the Laboratory Manager or supervisor the post holder will take an active role in the training and mentoring process for junior or newly appointed staff/students.
• Communicating with collaborators and contributing to these projects as required.
• To actively engage in the Personal Development Process.
• To contribute at a level appropriate with the grade, to internal and external audit procedures, and to regulatory inspections.

Person Specification

• First degree in biology, biomedical science, biochemistry or similar with a higher degree in an appropriate subject (e.g. metabolism, diabetes, neuroscience or imaging)
• High level analytical capability
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly
• Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
• Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
• Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
• Practical experience of relevant techniques required for the post.
• Positive service attitude and shows courtesy in dealing with others.
• Ability to organise and manage own work load after consultation with supervisor and demonstrate flexibility in terms of work practices/requirements.
• Ability to work as part of a team but to perform under minimum supervision.
• Flexibility to work on-site at collaborators in the UK and EU.
• Awareness of current relevant H&S policies.
• Proficiency in commonly used software packages.

• Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.


Further particulars can be found here:

Informal enquiries can be made to David Hodson at  or telephone 0121 414 6896

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Where to send resume: