Research Associate/Fellow in Synthetic Biology (Fixed-term)
University of Nottingham, Biological Sciences – Microbiology, Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology
United Kingdom

Research Associate/Fellow in Synthetic Biology (Fixed-term)


Closing Date
Monday, 9th September 2019

Job Type

Biological Sciences – Microbiology, Synthetic Biology, Molecular Biology

£27025 to £39609 per annum (pro-rata if applicable) depending on skills and experience (minimum £30,395 with relevant PhD). Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance

Applications are invited to complete the synthetic biology element of a 2-year Innovate UK-funded position which runs to 30 June 2020, forming part of a £1.6M Innovate UK project, in collaboration with Lucite International and Ingenza. The aim is to develop a bio-manufacturing process for methyl methacrylate, the monomer used to manufacture Perspex and a wide range of other materials, using metabolically engineered microorganisms. The project builds on our successful development of metabolically engineered biocatalysts of methyl methacrylate precursors and seeks to develop and implement an innovative bioprocess with simplified product recovery. The project provides exciting career opportunities, to be amongst the first to move synthetic biology from the lab to the manufacturing plant.


The role will be to develop production strains, together with lab-scale fed-batch and continuous fermentations to produce methyl methacrylate precursors, building on established fermentation processes. You will use synthetic biology to develop genetically stable production strains. Towards the end of your project, you will work with biochemical engineers at Nottingham and Lucite, assisting them to design pilot scale manufacturing processes.


Candidates should have a PhD (or be near completion) in Microbiology, Synthetic Biology or Biotechnology, or a related discipline, preferably in the area of industrial biotechnology/industrial bio-catalysis. You must have a strong understanding of microbial biochemistry and experience in molecular/synthetic biology. You should also have skills in bioreactor technology, preferably with experience of continuous or fed-batch culture, and you must be competent in analysis of microbial cultures, using techniques such as HPLC and GC. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential and you must be able to work collaboratively in a multi-disciplinary team.


This position is available on a full-time basis (36.25 hours per week) until 30 June 2020. Job share arrangements may be considered.


Applications should be made online, and further enquiries may be addressed to Professor Alex Conradie (; tel: 0115 748 6451). Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted.


Our University has always been a supportive, inclusive, caring and positive community. We warmly welcome those of different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs – indeed this very diversity is vital to our success, it is fundamental to our values and enriches life on campus. We welcome applications from UK, Europe and from across the globe. For more information on the support we offer our international colleagues, visit;


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