Research Assistant/Associate - School of Mathematics & Statistics University of Glasgow, School of Mathematics & Statistics United Kingdom

Research Assistant/Associate

Reference Number 023261

Location Gilmorehill Campus / Main Building



Job Family Research And Teaching

Position Type Full Time

Salary Range £28,660 - £32,236 / £35,210 - £39,610

Job Purpose

You will contribute to a Wellcome Tust funded project investigating trypanosome antigenic variation paradigms using natural systems. This interdisciplinary project is a collaboration between Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Liverpool. The postholder will be working with Dr Christina Cobbold within the School of Mathematics and Statistics. Specifically, the job requires expert knowledge in mathematical modelling of biological systems. The postholder will develop novel mathematical models and tools to uncover the dynamics of antigenic variation from sequence data and other parasite and immune data sampled over time.. The successful candidate will also be expected to contribute to the formulation and submission of research publications and research proposals as well as help manage and direct this complex and challenging project as opportunities allow.


Main Duties and Responsibilities

Perform the following activities in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal/Co Investigator:


1. Plan and conduct assigned research individually or jointly in accordance with the project deliverables and project/group/School/College research strategy.

2. Contribute to the setting up and analysis of theoretical models of antigenic variation

3. Document research output including analysis and interpretation of all data, maintaining records and databases, drafting technical/progress reports and papers as appropriate.

4. Develop and enhance your research profile and reputation and that of The University of Glasgow/School/Research Group, including contributing to publications of international quality in high profile/quality refereed journals, enhancing the research impact in terms of economic/societal benefit, and gathering indicators of esteem.

5. Contribute to the presentation of work at international and national conferences, at internal and external seminars, colloquia and workshops to develop and enhance our research profile.

6. Contribute to the identification of potential funding sources and to assist in the development of proposals to secure funding from internal and external bodies to support future research.

7. Collaborate with colleagues and participate in team/group meetings/seminars/workshops across the research Group/School/College/University and wider community (e.g Academic and Industrial Partners).

8. Contribute to the organisation, supervision, mentoring and training of undergraduate and/or postgraduate students and less experienced members of the project team to ensure their effective development.

9. Perform administrative tasks related to the activities of the research group and School, including Budgets/Expenditure

10. Contribute to outreach and recruitment activities of The University of Glasgow.

11. Carry out modest Teaching activities (e.g demonstrating etc) and associated admin as assigned by the Head of School and in consultation with Principal Investigator.

12. Be responsible for safety management related to the organisation and running of Laboratory and/or Experimental techniques, equipment and processes as appropriate.

13. Keep up to date with current knowledge and recent advances in the field/discipline.

14. Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory.

15. Undertake any other duties of equivalent standing as assigned by the Head of School and/or PI.


These key tasks are not intended to be exhaustive but simply highlight a number of major tasks which the staff member may be reasonably expected to perform.


For appointment at grade 7:

16. Perform the above duties with a higher degree of independence, leadership and responsibility, particularly in relation to planning, funding, collaborating and publishing research, and mentoring colleagues.

17. Establish and sustain a track record of independent and joint published research to establish and maintain your expert reputation in the subject area.

18. Survey the research literature and environment, understand the research challenges associated with the project & subject area, & develop/implement a suitable research strategy.

Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience

A1 SCQF Level 10 (Honours degree) in a relevant subject or a cognate discipline, or equivalent.
Qualifications should be in a relevant discipline, such as mathematics, statistics, physics, computer science, iinfectious disease epidemiology with a strong quantitative component, or similar discipline.
A2 Specialist theoretical and practical knowledge of some of the following dynamical systems, stochastic processes, modelling, statistical inference, infectious disease modelling
A3 A comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the wider subject area or subject specialism
A4 Knowledge of specialist IT software (eg. Matlab, R) as appropriate
A5 Knowledge of project-specific technical models, equipment or techniques


B1 An awarded (or recently submitted or near completion) PhD in subject specialism or equivalent


For appointment at grade 7:

A6 Normally Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework level 12 (PhD) or alternatively possess the equivalent in professional qualifications and experience, with experience of personal development in a similar or related role(s) in Mathematical Biology or other relevant subject
A7 Extensive and up-to-date theoretical knowledge in areas related to the field of research


C1 Skilled in one or more common programming languages such as Matlab, R, Fortran, C++ or similar
C2 Research creativity and cross-discipline collaborative ability as appropriate.
C3 Excellent communication skills (oral and written), including public presentations and ability to communicate complex data/concepts clearly and concisely
C4 Excellent interpersonal skills including team working and a collegiate approach
C5 Appropriate workload/time/project/budget/people management skills
C6 Extensive IT and data analysis/interpretation skills as appropriate.
C7 Self motivation, initiative and independent thought/working
C8 Problem solving skills including a flexible and pragmatic approach


For appointment at grade 7:
C9 Good Team Leadership skills
C10 Ability to foster existing strategic relationships between the project partners and the University


D1 Ability to work within a multidisciplinary environment


E1 Sufficient relevant research experience (or equivalent) appropriate to an early career researcher
E2 Experience of developing and analysing mathematical models of biological systems
E3 Experience of scientific writing
E4 Proven ability to deliver quality outputs in a timely and efficient manner
E5 Evidence of an emerging track record of publications in a relevant field


For appointment at grade 7:
E6 Sufficient depth of relevant research experience, normally including sufficient postdoctoral experience in a related field, appropriate to an early career researcher
E7 A track record of presentation and publication of research results in quality journals/conferences
E8 Experience of making a leading contribution in academic activities
E9 Ability to demonstrate a degree of independence as illustrated by identification of project objectives from assessment of the literature, design & analysis of experiments & drafting of papers.
E10 Experience in undertaking independent research


E11 An emerging national or international reputation
E12 Experience of working in a multidisciplinary environment, and a demonstrable experience of collaboration with biologists

Job Features
The aspects described below will be performed in conjunction with and under the guidance of the Principal/Co Investigator.


To carry out a range of research activities and functions within academic environments of the highest national or international quality
Publish as appropriate to subject specialism within agreed timescales
Informal supervision and support of less experienced members of the project team e.g. postgraduate and project students
Undertake teaching or other duties in accordance with school policy
Engage in personal, professional and career development to enhance both specialist and transferable skills in accordance with desired career trajectory


Planning and Organising
Management of time and prioritisation of research, teaching and administrative duties
Planning, organisation and implementation of research project on a weekly/monthly basis
Plan research directions that are within the available budget
React to varying project needs and deadlines


Decision Making
Undertake decision making on all aspects of research project/activities
Prioritise own, and where appropriate delegate to junior team members’, workload
Decide on research directions and goals within remit of original project proposal
Adjust research approaches to meet project outcomes
Identify best journals for publication and meetings/conferences to attend
Purchase of equipment and materials


Internal/External Relationships
University colleagues: to exchange information to ensure efficient working and to facilitate cross disciplinary working
External bodies/collaborators: proactively maintain co-operation and links at all levels to enhance profile and reputation
Dissemination: Preparation and presentation of reports/results and participation in meetings and conference calls


Problem Solving
Research including technical and theoretical aspects/problem solving and development of novel ideas
Be aware of project and budgetary issues, equipment lead times
Assistance of undergraduate/postgraduate students and junior team members with problems relating to research project


Representation of the University/College/School through presentation at national and international events
Attendance at training events to learn and implement new research technologies
Prepared to travel to meetings in the UK/Europe and elsewhere as required by the University
Standard Terms & Conditions
Salary will be on the University’s Research and Teaching Grade 6, £28,660- £32,236 or Grade 7 £35,210 - £39,610 Per Annum.


Funding is available on a full time basis (35 hours) until 31 March 2022.


New entrants to the University will be required to serve a probationary period of 6 months.


The successful applicant will be eligible to join the Universities' Superannuation Scheme. Further information regarding the scheme is available from the Superannuation Officer, who is also prepared to advise on questions relating to the transfer of Superannuation benefits.


All research and related activities, including grants, donations, clinical trials, contract research, consultancy and commercialisation are required to be managed through the University’s relevant processes (e.g. contractual and financial), in accordance with the University Court’s policies.


It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.


We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.


The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401.

Vacancy Reference: 023261 Closing Date: 1 April 2019

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