University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Plant Sciences
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Grade 7 (£33,309 - £40,927)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 40 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant within Gordon Simpson’s group, to understand the role of RNA methylation in controlling plant gene expression.

We pioneered the use of nanopore direct RNA sequencing to map the complexity of RNA processing and modification in Arabidopsis (eLife 2020;9:e49658) and recently used this approach to discover widespread premature transcription termination of plant immune response genes (eLife 2021;10:e65537). Here, we plan to combine high throughput sequencing with in vitro RNA biochemistry to explain the mechanisms by which the RNA modification m6A affects gene regulation.

You will join a team funded on the same BBSRC grant which, in addition, comprises a lab-based technician dedicated to this project and another Post-Doctoral Research Assistant focused on computational analyses. All three positions are funded for the entire 3-year duration of the award. This project is a collaboration between Gordon Simpson’s RNA lab and Geoff Barton’s computational biology group

The research involves:

  • Nanopore Direct RNA Sequencing
  • Ribosome profiling
  • In vivo cross-linking proteomics
  • iCLIP
  • In vitro RNA binding analyses

Who we’re looking for:

  • A PhD graduate (Post-Doc)
  • Able to work well in a team
  • Fascinated by RNA methylation and plant gene expression
  • Expertise in molecular biology, especially working with RNA
  • Experience of Arabidopsis molecular genetics
  • Excellent communication skills

This position is full time and is funded by the BBSRC for 3 years.

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 would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale.

Additional Information:

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Prof Gordon Simpson at To find out more about Gordon Simpson’s group please visit

As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee one of the top universities in the UK. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT staff, membership of Athena Swan and Stonewall, as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

The Closing Date is 20th October 2021

For further information or to apply for this position please click here