University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Biophysics/Developmental Biology Interface

Cell and Developmental Biology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Monday, May 23, 2022
£33,309 - £40,927
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research associate to participate in a highly interdisciplinary research project aiming to advance our understanding of gastrulation, an essential stage of embryonic development. Specific goals are to characterise and understand the interplay between cell and tissue-scale mechanical forces, cell differentiation, and cell behaviours during gastrulation, using the chick model system. The project is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration between the Universities of Dundee, Oxford and University College London, at the life science-physics interface and involves a combination of in-vitro and in-vivo experiments and cell and tissue-scale modelling.
Your priorities will include:
  • Optimise and apply advanced live imaging methods to characterise and quantify critical in-vivo cell behaviours that drive tissue flows and deformations during gastrulation in early chick embryos.
  • Develop methods to perform physical perturbations of early embryonic development and measure stresses. while analysing effects on cell and tissue behaviours.
  • Optimise and apply large scale image data analysis using computational data analysis methods
  • Communicate in-vivo results and exchange ideas and insights with project partners working on with in-vitro biophysical experiments on chick tissue isolates (Guillaume Charras, UCL), cell based biophysical modelling (Rastko Sknepnek, Dundee) and tissue scale modelling (Julia Yeomans, Oxford).
Who we’re looking for:
Skills, knowledge and experience:
  • Either for a highly motivated Physicist with experience in theory and methods of biophysics and a keen interest in development and morphogenesis.
  • Or alternatively a Biologist of with experience in theory and methods molecular cell and developmental biology and a keen interest in biophysics.
  • An excellent ability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary research environment at the life science physics interface.
  • High levels of creativity, dedication and excellent trouble shooting abilities.

Candidate Requirements:

From a Physicist/Biophysicist we expect strong mathematical and computational skills, (good coding ability in preferentially in Matlab/Python and C/C++), while an interest experience in optics/ imaging (Lightsheet microscopy, multiphoton microscopy), instrument development and basic biology lab experience will be advantageous.

From a Biologist we expect strong in theory and practical skills in molecular cell and developmental biology and live imaging (preferentially lightsheet microscopy, single and multiphoton microscopy), while experience in computational image data analysis and coding skills in Matlab/Python will be advantageous.

The position is available for an immediate start, on a full time, fixed term basis until 31 March 2025.

Appointment will be on the University's Grade 7 salary scale.
The postdoctoral research position requires a recently successful completed 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.

For further information about this position please contact Prof. Cornelis J Weijer at
Additional Information:

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, 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.

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.

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 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.