Research Fellow - School of Chemistry

Country: United Kingdom;

City: Birmingham

Vacancy added: 04.09.2019

Employer: University of Birmingham


Position Details:

Area: School of Chemistry in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609, with potential progression once in post to £42,036
Hours: Full time 
Duration: Fixed-term for up to 12 months
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Closing Date: 4 October 2019


Project title: De novo design and evaluation of rhodium coiled coils as artificial miniature metalloenzymes for catalysis

Background and project aims: The Peacock research group aim to develop new artificial miniature metalloproteins capable of non-biological applications. Metallo peptide complexes featuring non-biological metals coordinated to miniature protein scaffolds based on the coiled coil motif, which harness the individual advantages of chemistry and biology, should outperform each in isolation. We are looking to hire a skilled research fellow to explore a new class of rhodium coiled coil complexes in an effort to develop artificial metalloenzymes which offer the advantages afforded by an enzyme protein scaffold, yet with the catalysis power provided by rhodium. The project has the following aims:

1. To lead the design, synthesis and characterisation of new rhodium complexes based on the coiled coil peptide motif. 

2. To conduct individual research and contribute to writing bids

3. To evaluate the resulting complexes for catalysis.

The appointed fellow will be based in the School of Chemistry and will work under the guidance of bioinorganic chemist Dr Anna Peacock.

Summary of Role

  • Work within specified research projects and contribute to writing bids 
  • Operate within area of specialism
  • Analyse, interpret and communicate research findings and results with project partners
  • Contribute to generating funding 
  • Contribute to the preparation of scientific manuscripts

Main Duties/Responsibilities

The responsibilities may include some but not all of the responsibilities outlined below.

  • To conduct own and original research in line with the project
  • To design, synthesise and characterise peptides.
  • To complex metals to designed peptides and characterise the resulting assemblies.
  • To evaluate complexes for catalysis. 
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation and literature reviews.
  • 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 or Masters students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Collaborate in the preparation of scientific reports and journal articles and occasionally present papers and posters
  • Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
  • Actively participate in group meetings and other project meetings
  • Carry out management/administrative tasks related directly to the delivery of the research and project objectives
  • Carry out management/administrative tasks related to the running of the research group


Person Specification 

  • First degree in Chemistry and  hold or be close to completing a PhD relevant to Bioinorganic Chemistry, or equivalent qualifications 
  • To be experienced in peptide design 
  • To be experienced in transition metal catalysis
  • Have excellent analytical skills and the ability to interpret complex information and data
  • Communicate well in English in writing and in oral and visual presentations.
  • Be able to keep detailed laboratory records and report on progress at regular intervals
  • Ability to work collaboratively on multidisciplinary projects 
  • Ability to supervise and support junior group members in relevant research work
  • Contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project
  • Be able to work proactively under pressure and to deadlines
  • Coordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Manage administrative tasks related to own work
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes


Informal enquiries can be made to Anna Peacock;

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