University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant – Modelling of Biofilms

Molecular Microbiology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

An exciting opportunity for a mathematical modeller/ computational physicist to work in a multidisciplinary team on bacterial biofilms in one of Europe’s strongest life sciences research environments. The post is funded for 2 years

Bacterial biofilms have a profound significance both in infections and in biotechnological applications.

A major award has been made by the UK science agency BBSRC (the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council) to a team led by Professor Nicola Stanley-Wall. The team has been carefully assembled to combine skills in molecular microbiology and biofilm formation rheology, optical imaging, protein self-assembly, biopolymers, mathematical modelling, and carbohydrate chemistry. The aim of this multidisciplinary group is to provide a complete quantitative description of a bacterial biofilm.

The successful applicant will work with Prof Stanley-Wall and Prof Fordyce Davidson (renowned for his work in modelling microbial systems). The applicant will work in collaboration with the other researchers in the consortium developing a quantitative view of biofilm interactions, structure, function and dynamics.

Candidates with experience in modelling microbial populations at different scales would be particularly well-suited, as would candidates who have worked in multidisciplinary teams. Relevant training in laboratory practice will be provided as required.

Essential characteristics:

   - A PhD in a closely aligned subject

   - A background in mathematical modelling of biological systems using a range of computational techniques.

   - A willingness to conduct laboratory experiments after training.

   - Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

   - Evidence of ability and willingness to work collaboratively with others

   - Evidence of effective team membership

   - Ability to prioritise and balance competing demands

   - At least one research publication in an internationally recognised peer-reviewed journal


   - Experience in public engagement with research.

   - Experience of conducting laboratory based experiments.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,866).

Additional Information

More information about the Divisions of Molecular Microbiology (Prof Stanley-Wall) and Mathematics (Prof Davidson) and University of Dundee can be found in the following websites:

• Division of Molecular Microbiology (

• School of Life Sciences (

• School of Science and Engineering (

• Division of Mathematics (

• University of Dundee (


A few facts about The University of Dundee:

• The School of Life Sciences was the top-rated university biology department in the UK in the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework.

• The School of Life Sciences has over 900 research and support staff from 59 countries and external funding in excess of £40 million per year

Dundee has twice been named ‘the best place to work in Europe’ in a poll of scientists conducted by The Scientist magazine

• The School of Life Sciences has outstanding laboratory and technological infrastructure.

• Mathematics at University of Dundee the top rated unit in Scotland and 8th in UK in the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework.

• Mathematics has a long-established internationally leading reputation in mathematical biology and has well-established links with the School of Life Sciences

Dundee, set on the east coast of Scotland, lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty, including large sandy beaches and challenging hills. It has a high-standard, but relatively low-cost, of living.


Applications should include a full CV and list of publications, the names and contact details of 3 academic referees, and a brief summary of future research plans. 

Apply Here

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.