University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Plant Sciences
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Thursday, August 12, 2021
Grade 7 Training (£29,176 - £31,866)

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 60 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 in a post-doctoral position to investigate the secretion pathway of RXLR effectors delivered into host plant cells.

The Research: Filamentous plant pathogens (fungi and oomycetes) cause devastating crop diseases and thus significantly threaten global food security. Essential components of their virulence arsenal are proteins called cytoplasmic effectors that are delivered inside plant cells to suppress immunity. A major scientific challenge is understanding how effectors are secreted and translocated into host cells. Exciting unpublished data in our laboratory reveals that cytoplasmic RXLR effectors from Phytophthora infestans are delivered by a non-conventional secretion pathway. This project will employ proteomics to reveal the P. infestans secretome in the presence of inhibitors that suppress different secretion pathways. Modified, fluorescently labelled P. infestans strains will be used to observe and study the secretion pathways of effectors during infection.

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. In this case, the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 28, £31,866).

Who we’re looking for:

Applicants must have:

• A PhD in molecular or cell biological studies of host-pathogen interactions and should have published research in a high-ranking scientific journal as first author.

• Strong experience in molecular cell biology, including confocal and/or electron microscopy.

• Proteomics expertise is an advantage.

• Experience in transformation of Phytophthora is desirable but not essential.

• Should have excellent written and spoken English communication skills and should be able to work both independently and as part of a team.

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 Professor Paul Birch (

Applications: Candidates should submit a single document containing a cover letter, brief description of relevant research experience and a CV with publication list.

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 as a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

The Closing Date is midnight on 12th August 2021.

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