University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, June 19, 2022
£33,309 - £40,927
Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties

We invite applications to join the newly established laboratory of Dr Kirby Swatek. The goal of the Swatek lab is to understand the antiviral roles of a ubiquitin-like modifier called Interferon-Stimulated Gene 15 (ISG15). As its name suggests, ISG15 is highly upregulated in interferon-treated and virus-infected cells and marks thousands of proteins to regulate the host immune response. Surprisingly, however, our mechanistic understanding of ISG15’s contributions to antiviral signalling is largely unknown. The goal of the position is to characterise the cellular machinery that writes, reads, and erases these modifications. The project merges several disciplines, complements ongoing lab efforts, and expands upon our recent discoveries in this area. The postdoc will have access to several exciting new tools in the lab, as well as state-of-the-art equipment conveniently located in the School of Life Sciences. While the successful applicant will work independently, there will be plenty of opportunities to collaborate with researchers within and outside the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit.

For informal enquiries or discussions, please contact Dr Kirby Swatek (
Candidate Requirements:
  • PhD (or will complete your PhD studies within six months of the application deadline).
  • A track record of academic success.
  • A keen interest in ubiquitin biology and cell signalling.
  • A strong background in one or more of the following areas: mass spectrometry, cell biology, purification of multiprotein complexes, and structural biology.
  • The ability to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team of enthusiastic scientists.
  • Excellent communication skills (both verbal and written).
This is a 2-year MRC-funded position with a possibility of extension. The appointment will be on the University of Dundee Grade 7 salary scale.

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.
Commitment to DORA
The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.
MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit

The Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU, is a top-tier research institute conveniently located in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, a leading university in life science research. Research Groups within the MRC PPU focus on understanding how protein phosphorylation and ubiquitylation control fundamental aspects of human health and how disruption of these cellular signals results in disease.

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