Research Associate/Fellow in Plant Sciences and Engineering Biology (Fixed term)

Closing Date
Saturday, 29th January 2022
Job Type
£27924 to £31406 per annum, depending on skills and experience (£31406 with relevant PhD).

We are seeking a Research Associate/Fellow to join a project funded by UKRI-BBSRC Engineering Biology Breakthrough funding scheme. The project aim is to develop an advanced plastid engineering toolbox that would allow precise, high throughput chloroplast genome editing and construction with the potential to create fully synthetic plastid genomes. The role holder will be involved in the design, build and testing pivotal engineering biology tools, including a CRISPR-Cas9 based gene-drive system. The successful candidate will join highly motivated and multidisciplinary research teams across the Schools of Pharmacy and School of Biosciences. The work is a collaboration between Dr Katalin Kovacs and Prof Rupert Fray.

The aim of this post will be to build and assess an engineering biology toolset comprised of both nuclear and plastid transformation vectors for targeted, precision plastid engineering and for iterative insertion of large DNA fragments. We have recently designed and implemented an efficient transformation and selection system for plastid engineering and we have successfully generated transplastomic plants. Here, we aim to build on this plastid engineering success by designing, constructing, and testing pivotal engineering biology tools with the long-term aim to generate synthetic plastids.

Candidates should have or be close to completion of a PhD in a discipline relevant to plant biology and/or synthetic biology. Past experience of plant transformation and preferably biolistics is essential. A knowledge of advanced genome editing and/or metabolic pathway analysis would be desirable. The candidate will be required to undertake research and day to day management of design, construct and test aspects of this research project, requiring a high degree of competence in the plant engineering biology research area. An aptitude for critical thinking and a flexible approach to collaborative research is vital.

This full-time post (36.25 hours per week) will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 11 months. Applications for job share would be considered.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Dr Katalin Kovacs ( or Prof. Rupert Fray ( Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted.

Our University has always been a supportive, inclusive, caring and positive community. We warmly welcome those of different cultures, ethnicities and beliefs – indeed this very diversity is vital to our success, it is fundamental to our values and enriches life on campus. We welcome applications from UK, Europe and from across the globe. For more information on the support we offer our international colleagues, see our Moving to Nottingham pages.

For successful international applicants, we provide financial support for your visa and the immigration health surcharge, plus an interest-free loan to help cover the cost of immigration-related expenses for any dependants accompanying you to the UK. For more information please see the our webpage on Financial support for visas and the immigration health surcharge.