Research Associate (Fixed Term) in MRC Cancer Unit University of Cambridge, MRC Cancer Unit United Kingdom

Research Associate (Fixed Term)


The MRC Cancer Unit (MRC CU) is a Cambridge University Department within the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre in Cambridge and situated on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. It provides an outstanding environment for cancer research, supporting some 10 research groups and ~100 experimental and computational scientists.


We are seeking to recruit a research associate to join the System Microscopy initiative lead by Dr Alessandro Esposito ( and Professor Ashok Venkitaraman at the Hutchison/MRC Research Centre in Cambridge (


The successful candidate will work on the development of fluorescence microscopy techniques to study early oncogenesis and for tumor imaging applications within a uniquely collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.


The applicant is expected to be capable to prototype optical systems (e.g., light-sheet microscopes, super-resolution, multi-color FLIM, optogenetics), to utilize microscopy tools to address biomedical questions and to contribute to the development of data analysis pipelines, independently.


Applicants should have or about to be awarded a PhD in Physics, Biophysics, Engineering or a relevant subject and with practical experience in engineering optical detection systems and handling biological samples. A demonstrated track record of peer-reviewed publications about fluorescence microscopy and applications is desirable. Candidates should be able to demonstrate their capability for abstract thinking, handling theory, developing algorithms and programming in Matlab to a high standard. Team working and effective communication with colleagues using multidisciplinary methods is essential.


Appointment at research associate is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience is recognised), including those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded appointment will initially be made at research assistant and amended to research associate when the PhD is awarded.


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.


Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a security check.


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.


Closing date: 13th June 2018


Interviews are likely to be held week commencing 25 June 2018.


Applicants should include a letter outlining suitability for the role, a CV including a list of publications and the contact details for 3 academic referees.


We advise the applicants to submit, together with their cover letter, two brief proposals each with a maximum of 500 words. In the first, they should describe how they would propose to image tumor cells growing in a three-dimensional environment, competing or cooperating with each other as a function of genetic mutations. In the second, they should describe which technique they would develop to maximize the capability to detect cancer early with imaging technologies. This is not a mandatory requirement and we invite all suitable candidates to submit their applications even if they do not have the experience to provide these proposals.


Please quote reference SK15596 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.


The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.


The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.


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