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Mass Spectrometrist - Postdoctoral Research Associate in Proteomics

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The Rosalind Franklin Institute (the Franklin) is a new national Research Centre, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology. We are currently expanding and looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our Next Generation Chemistry theme’s proteomics team (specialising in the area of mass spectrometry).

As a PDRA specialising in separations you will primarily characterise, maintain, and modify a bespoke mass spectrometer that possesses several fragmentation regimes including some that are laser based. You will use this bespoke system and other state-of-the-art mass spectrometers to characterise several fragmentation regimes for several types of biomolecules including peptides, proteins, several common Post-translation modifications and sugars. You will also characterise several types of cellular extracts using these instruments. There will be significant levels of data analysis of the generated proteome datasets.

The project is a collaboration with other themes at the Franklin and with potential industrial and academic collaborators, with whom you will work extensively, while liaising with academic experts in the UK and beyond. The post, which is for 3 years in the first instance, reports to the Franklin’s Head of Mechanistic Proteomics, and will work alongside other researchers in the Franklin.

You will be primarily based at the Franklin in Harwell with significant time also spent at Oxford University. You may also be required to spend some time at our other partner institutions.

Role overview and responsibilities

We are currently looking for an experienced Postdoctoral Research Associate – mass spectrometrist with excellent skills in the following areas:

• Practical experience with several mass spectrometer types including orbitraps

• Practical experience with studying fragmentation approaches utilised in the field of proteomics

• Practical experience with handling and maintaining lasers.

• The ability to carry out analytical procedures that are applied for proteome characterisation to a high degree of precision.

• Able to analyse quantitative proteomic data with a degree of statistical rigour using common freely available software packages.

The main specific responsibilities of this role will include

• Characterise, maintain, and develop a bespoke orbitrap based mass spectrometer including its lasers.

• Characterise several fragmentation regimes including collision-, electron- and photon- based approaches in the context of proteomics.

• Characterise a range of complex proteomic samples using a range of mass spectrometers and fragmentation regimes.

• Carry out analytical procedures that are applied for proteome characterisation to a high degree of precision including sample preparation.

• Analyse quantitative proteomic data with a degree of statistical rigour using common freely available software packages.

• Act as a source of information and advice to other members of the group on scientific protocols and experimental techniques

• Assist with general laboratory maintenance including the troubleshooting and upkeep of nanoLCs, centrifugal evaporators, liquid handlers, and various MS equipment.

You will also

• Collaborate with appropriate academic and industrial partners.

• Work with other themes and researchers to develop the burgeoning Franklin environment to be as suitable as possible for such work.

• Work together with the surrounding facilities to ensure efficient methods at the Franklin and Harwell environment.

• Publish research articles in leading academic journals.

• Present findings at national and international meetings/conferences.

• Take a formal or informal role (as required) in the supervision of research students, including recruitment, mentorship and career development.

• Raise research funds through grant applications, and manage own area of a larger research budget

• Participate in and support the public engagement and widening access activities of the Franklin. 

• Any other duties that come up in the normal running of the facility and that can be reasonably requested of the post-holder.

Selection criteria


• A PhD (or close to completion) or equivalent in a relevant field.

• Practical experience with several peptide fragmentation approaches

• Practical experience with several types of mass spectrometer including orbitraps.

• Practical experience with (up to) type 4 lasers.

• Practical experience with software packages utilised in mass spectrometry-based proteomics.

• Ability to co-ordinate multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines.

• Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

• Ability to solve problems using innovative and flexible thinking.

• Excellent organisational and communication skills.

• Experience with developing routinely usable methods.

• Experience with devising research questions and to develop strategies to address them.

• Ability to travel occasionally for training or dissemination of your work.

• Experience with project management and demonstrated ability to deliver agreed milestones in a timely manner, adapt to changing priorities.

• Ability to discuss and coordinate experiments with a variety of colleagues from different disciplines/


• Practical experience with proteomics sample preparation.

• Experience with biological samples of relevance to such samples, such as cell lines, cell culture, tissue samples and use of organoids.

• Proficiency in handling large datasets including bioinformatics and biostatistics.

• Knowledge of complementary structural and biophysical methods.

• Knowledge of biological chemistry.


In return we offer:

• 25 days holidays

• Generous pension scheme (employer’s contribution currently up to 18%)

• Training and development opportunities for staff at all levels

• Bus pass discount scheme

• Access to employee discount platform

• Subsidised canteen

• Free on-site parking

• Campus location in beautiful countryside with social and sports clubs open to staff

Closing date: 16th October 2020; 9:00am

Applicants should refer to our Candidate Privacy Policy


Area Scientific

Location Harwell and Oxford

Type of Post Full Time

Period of appointment 3 years' fixed term contract (with potential to be extended)

Salary £33,000 - £39,000 per annum

Closing Date 16/10/2020

Ref No 10080


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