Postdoctoral Training Fellow

In the Crick's Debenedictis E |Research Group.

Postdoctoral Training Fellows are expected to lead their own projects and collaborate within the lab and externally. The ability to work in a team is essential.
Deadline for applications has passed.

Key information

Job reference
From £40,125 per annum with benefits, subject to skills and experience
Applications closed
30 September 2022, 23:59 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 01 September 2022

Postdoctoral Training Fellow – DeBenedictis Lab

Contact term: This is a full-time, fixed term (4 year) position on Crick terms and conditions of employment. 

The Research Group 

The Biodesign Laboratory works at the interface between high-throughput experimental biology and big-data computation. Our goal is to make bioengineering as robust, quantitative, and predictable as physical engineering. By using modern techniques in automation, machine learning, and molecular approaches, we can surface and interpret large datasets about biological systems to improve engineering outcomes. 

The Project

The lab will launch with projects focused on allosteric protein engineering and chassis organism engineering.

Allosteric protein engineering: Our computational protein engineering capabilities today are largely limited to designing rigid proteins. We will use modern structure prediction methods (Alphafold II, Rosetta) and robotics-accelerated evolution (PRANCE) to design and evolve allosteric proteins that adopt multiple conformations, such as a CRISPR-for-the-epigenome.

Chassis organism engineering: The organisms we see on Earth occupy a tiny fraction of possible chemical space, and can inhabit only a small fraction of possible environments. We aim to engineer organisms with novel genetic codes that can be safely used in extreme environments, i.e. biocontained microbes that are adapted for use on Mars.

The postholder will be responsible for:

  • Conducting evolution experiments, including equipment setup, maintenance for bioreactors, and management of laboratory automation

  • Working with laboratory automation to characterise evolved proteins and organisms at scale

  • Assisting in writing grants and research papers, and in preparing presentations

Postdoctoral Training Fellows will lead their own projects, contribute to other projects on a collaborative basis (both in the lab and with external collaborators) and may guide PhD students in their research. The ability to work in a team is essential.

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • PhD in bioengineering, molecular biology or similar, or in the final stages of PhD submission 

  • Experience in molecular biology (cloning, recombinant protein production)

  • Track record of writing papers as evidenced by publications or submitted manuscripts in referred journals

  • Evidence of data presentation at scientific meetings

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a willingness to learn new skills and teach these to others


Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • Experience with laboratory automation

  • Experience with microbiology

  • Experience with directed evolution and protein engineering

  • Experience with protein production and purification

  • Experience with non-model organisms

About Us

At the Crick, we conduct research at the forefront of biomedical research. We combine rigour with an open and collaborative culture, and are outward-looking, reflecting our status as a partnership of six organisations aiming to pool knowledge, ideas and resources.

We have a wide research portfolio with no divisions or departments, bringing biomedical researchers together with clinicians, physical scientists and applied scientists from our pharmaceutical partners.

We aim to attract the most talented researchers and support them to tackle innovative research questions. Our science technology platforms provide our researchers with access to state-of-the-art technology and expertise.

We provide an excellent learning environment with dedicated education programmes in public engagement with science, education and personal development, and a postdoc training programme that prepares scientists for leadership roles in science.

  • If you are interested in applying for this role, please apply via our website.

  • All offers of employment are subject to successful security screening and continuous eligibility to work in the United Kingdom. 

  • If you require a visa to work in the UK we will help support your application should you be successful

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

We welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, or civil partnership, marital or family status. We particularly welcome applications from people who are Minority Ethnic as they are currently underrepresented in the Crick at this level.

Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour. It increases breadth and perspective, leading to more innovation and creativity. We want the Crick to be a place where everyone feels valued and where diversity is celebrated and seen as part of the foundation for our Institute’s success.

The Crick is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. We all share in the responsibility to actively promote dignity, respect, inclusivity and equal treatment and it is our aim to ensure that these principles are reflected and implemented in all strategies, policies and practices.

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