Research Associate (Cardiff)

Vacancy Reference Number
Closing Date
16 Feb 2024
Salary: £39347 - £44263 per annum (Grade 6). Appointments to roles at Cardiff University are usually made at bottom of scale unless in exceptional circumstances.
UK DRI at Cardiff University, Hadyn Ellis Building, Maindy Road, Cardiff, CF14 4XN
This post is full-time (35 hours per week), available from 1st January 2024 and fixed term until 31st December 2027

About the Job

Dementia is the biggest health challenge of our century.

To date there is no way to prevent it or even slow its progression, and there is an urgent need to fill the knowledge gap in our basic understanding of the diseases that cause it.

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the biggest UK initiative driving forward research to fill this gap.

Rapid advances in DNA technologies and computational biology are enabling scientists to identify more and more of the subtle DNA variations that can influence a person’s risk of developing different neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers at the UK DRI at Cardiff interrogate the host of genetic variations linked with neurodegenerative diseases to make new discoveries about disease processes. They use experimental model systems along with a variety of cutting-edge experimental methods and equipment to dissect the biology of many of these genes. Building on the team’s international reputation for complex data analyses, they develop and apply advanced computational approaches that enable them to make sense of huge datasets generated by complex experiments.

 We are seeking applications from highly motivated individuals for a post-doctoral Research Associate working with the groups of Prof Caleb Webber and Dr Beccano-Kelly at the Dementia Research Centre in Cardiff University. The role will be focussed on the use of iPSC models of dopaminergic neurons and other cell types to understand the molecular dysfunction and genetic influences towards Parkinson’s Disease. We are looking for an enthusiastic individual with clear goals, a proactive and flexible attitude to work, and an interest in learning new concepts and technologies. The Centre provides an excellent research environment in an international and interactive atmosphere.

You should have a PhD degree in neuroscience, stem cell research or equivalent experience. Experience in human pluripotent stem cell culture, neuronal differentiation techniques and cellular phenotyping would be highly advantageous, as would experience in cellular imaging techniques such as confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry and/or RNA sequencing preparation.

Job Purpose

To conduct research for a Parkinson’s UK and UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) funded project to explore cellular dysfunction regarding a novel pathway identified within neurons vulnerable in PD. The project aims to elucidate mechanisms underlying Parkinson’s disease using iPSC models and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University, carrying out high impact research resulting in high-quality publications in international journals. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • To conduct research to elucidate cellular dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease using iPSC models and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.
  • To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals.
  • To attend and or present at conferences/seminars at a local and national level as required.
  • To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of project meetings and documentation and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
  • To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate
  • To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field of Parkinson’s Disease.
  • To participate in School research activities.
  • To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions, explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects.


  • To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world

?Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

Postgraduate degree at PhD level in neuroscience, stem cell research or equivalent or relevant industrial experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within the following research fields:

  • Human pluripotent stem cell culture
  • Neuronal differentiation

A knowledge of current status of research in pluripotent stem cells, neural development and neurodegenerative diseases.

Proven ability to publish in national/international journals.

Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies.

Communication and Team Working

Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication.

Ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals.


Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work.

Proven ability to work without close supervision.

Desirable Criteria

Experience in CRISPR genome editing of mammalian cells and/or using gene expression modulating tools such as siRNA/shRNA.

Extensive experience in the use of imaging programmes such as Photoshop, image J, Cell Profiler etc.

Experience in molecular biology and knowledge/experience in ‘Omics’ technologies.

Experience in RNA handling, preparation and RNA-seq and/or drug screening analysis.

Contact Information

To apply visit here.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Caleb Webber on