University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant – Modelling of Biofilms

Molecular Microbiology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a mathematical modeller/ computational physicist to work within a multidisciplinary team on bacterial biofilms in conjunction with one of Europe’s strongest life sciences research environments

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 who are based in the Universities of Dundee and Edinburgh and led by Prof Stanley-Wall at Dundee, a leading expert in biofilm formation. 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 bacterial biofilm structure, function, dynamics and interactions.

The successful applicant will work day-to-day with Prof Fordyce Davidson in Mathematics, School of Science and Engineering and Prof Stanley-Wall in Microbiology, School of Life Sciences. The applicant will also work in collaboration with the other researchers in the consortium. The post is funded for 2 years in the first instance, subject to the appointment date.

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 if required.

Essential characteristics:

- A PhD in a closely aligned subject

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

- 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.

- A willingness to conduct laboratory experiments after training.

- Experience of conducting laboratory based experiments.

The University of Dundee:

• The School of Science and Engineering comprises the disciplines of: Biomedical, Civil, Electronic, and Mechanical Engineering; Computing; Mathematics; Physics; and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID). We host the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, which has been designed to disrupt positively the forensic-science ecosystem.

Mathematics at University of Dundee the top rated unit in Scotland and 8th in UK in the 2014 national Research Excellence Framework. Our research is focussed on Applied Mathematics, with main activity in: Magnetohydrodynamics, Mathematical Biology and Numerical Analysis & Scientific Computing. These groups contribute to wider Research Clusters within the School of Science and Engineering.

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

• 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.

Dundee is a vibrant city set on the east coast of Scotland and 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.