Research Fellow I in Motor Neurone Disease Ref 21487

School/department: School of Life Sciences/ Department of Neuroscience,
Hours: Full-time hours considered up to a maximum of 1 FTE (37,5 hours). Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Contract: fixed-term until for 24 months
Reference: 21487
Salary: Research Fellow I starting at £37,099 to £44,263 per annum, pro rata if part time
Placed on: 14 August 2023.
Closing date: 11 September 2023. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: To be confirmed
Expected start date: As soon as possible.

Job description

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex is at the forefront of research in the UK. In the recent Research Excellence Framework assessment (REF 2021), 100% of our Impact cases in Biological Sciences and Chemistry were rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. The School has received substantial recent University investment and is embarking on an exciting and extensive, muti-million pound refurbishment and improvement project.

We wish to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher funded by the Motor Neurone Disease Association to identify non-coding RNAs (e.g. microRNA) in blood, which have potential as biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; motor neurone disease, MND).

This exciting project will utilize the novel RNA-seq technology approach to detect all small non-coding RNAs, including known and as yet unknown microRNAs, in a clinical trial cohort of blood plasma from people with and without ALS.

The most promising non-coding RNA biomarkers with significant sensitivity and specificity for potential use as markers of prognosis and/or progression of ALS will be used in monitoring the efficacy of low-dose interleukin 2 in the recently completed MIROCALS clinical trial.

These new RNA biomarkers may permit an indication of prognosis which may help in assisting in drug development through novel pathway discovery.

We seek a postdoctoral scientist with a strong background in RNA, molecular biology, and machine learning techniques who is capable of working as part of a small team as well as the ability to organise and direct their work within a larger collaboration.

The successful candidate will join research group of Professor Majid Hafezparast ( at the Department of Neuroscience, University of Sussex, in collaboration with Dr Andre Altmann, University College London and Professor Nigel Leigh, Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

An overview of research within Sussex Neuroscience could be found at

Please contact Professor Majid Hafezparast (; he/him) for informal enquiries.

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) at Sussex.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification 21487 [PDF 113.40KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

"This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code and meets the salary requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsorship if full time. Please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page  for further information about Visa Sponsorship."

 “Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.”

How to apply

Download our academic application form and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

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