Research Fellow in microbial pathogenicity Ref 0498

School: School of Life Sciences
Hours: full time or part time hours considered up to a maximum of FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Contract: fixed term until end Jan 2022
Salary: starting at £33,199 and rising to £ 39,609 per annum
Placed on: 3 December 2018
Closing date:  20 December 2018.  Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected start date: 1 February 2019

Job description

The School of Life Sciences is at the forefront of research in the biological sciences in the UK, coming in the top 10 in the REF 2014.

We wish to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to join a BBSRC funded collaborative project between the Universities of Sussex and Exeter and Corteva Agriscience.

Based at the University of Sussex the post holder will use molecular genetic and biochemical techniques to understand the basis of improved virulence of strains of the bacterial insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis that have undergone in vivo evolution.

The screen used to derive the improved strains relies on social evolution theory and is designed to increase the killing powers of insect pathogens against recalcitrant pests. The primary target insect will be the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) a major pest of maize and other staple crops and a recent invasive pest in Africa.

The project will include the use of directed evolution to derive variants of protein virulence factors that will be fed into the evolution screen. It will also involve the characterisation of strains emerging from the screen. Such strains will be subject to genomic, biochemical and proteomic analyses and potentially also genome editing.

The post holder will be expected to have practical experience of molecular biology and protein biochemistry techniques. Knowledge of proteomic techniques such as 2D-DIGE, TMT labelling and LC-MS/MS would be advantageous.

This protect involves collaborative work with the University of Exeter (Dr Ben Raymond plus a dedicated PDRF), bioinformaticians from the University of Liverpool (Dr Alistair Darby) as well as with our industry partner Corteva Agriscience. The post-holder will be expected to fully engage with these collaborators and will be given the opportunity to develop their own research ideas and to present at international conferences.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Neil Crickmore ( by email.

The School is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and currently holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award. 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 School of Life Sciences welcomes applications to academic posts from candidates who wish to work part-time or as job-sharers.

The University offers various schemes to provide real benefits to parents, these can be found at Family Friendly Policies

Download job description and person specification Ref 0498 [PDF 125.63KB]

How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] 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 (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) 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.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Research Faculty Terms and Conditions [DOC 36.00KB]

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