Research Fellow (AIMed Marie Curie Early Stage 3) - School of Metallurgy and Materials

7 days left

Location
United Kingdom
Salary
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Posted
Aug 28, 2020
Closes
Sep 27, 2020
Ref
143687
Organization Type
University and College
Hours
Full Time
Research Fellow (AIMed Marie Curie Early Stage 3) - 96114

Position Details

Area: School of Metallurgy and Materials in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Salary: Fixed salary of £40,920, additional allowances may be applicable depending on circumstances

Grade/Band: Grade 7

Hours: Full-time

Duration: Fixed-term for up to 3 years

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Closing Date: 27 September 2020

Job Summary

Special Conditions for Marie Curie ITN posts

Applicants may be of any nationality and the ESR will receive support on the condition that at times he or she moves from one country to another to broaden or deepen his or her competences. The successful candidate shall at the time of recruitment by the host organisation be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of his or her research careers and have not been previously awarded a doctoral degree. Candidates with pending Master's (and in some cases Bachelor) degrees will be considered. When recruited the ESR shall not have resided or carried out his or her main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.

The University of Birmingham is looking for an Early Stage Researcher within the School of Metallurgy and Materials for the collaborative research project AIMed in the frame of the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks H2020-MSCA-ITN-2019 "AIMed: Antimicrobial Integrated Methodologies for orthopaedic applications" European Training Network (ETN).

AIMed is an innovative ETN that aims to develop a range of materials with antibacterial properties that are suitable for use on the surfaces of orthopaedic implants. This is in response to the increasing problem of post-operative infection by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By combining several approaches to disrupt surface biofilm formation, the materials developed by the AIMed network will eventually result in fewer surgical infections, faster recovery of patients, and greatly reduced post-operative healthcare costs. The network will develop novel peptide sequences and ways of binding them to the surfaces of polymers, ceramics and metals. A complementary approach will be the development of metal ion substituted calcium phosphate coatings which can be applied to implants by additive manufacturing techniques. The efficacy of these anti-bacterial surfaces will be further enhanced by laser processing of the material to make it unattractive to biofilms (by altering the roughness and wetting characteristics). The network will carry out a thorough investigation of the properties of the new materials to ensure that they are feasible for use in future implants. This work will include the evaluation of antibacterial action and biocompatibility using appropriate models. Training of the 15 ESRs appointed to the network will be multi-disciplinary and intersectoral, with an emphasis on the need for technology transfer from academic institutions to commercial users.

This position involves development of antimicrobial Ti and Ti6Al4V metal surface functionalised with antimicrobial peptides for orthopaedic applications. The objectives of the project are to develop and optimise the functionalisation of titanium surfaces with antimicrobial peptides using titanium peptide binders, understand the effect of binders on the antibacterial efficiency of the peptides, understand the effect of surface treatment on the binders efficiency and optimise electrostatic interactions and study their stability in physiological conditions. The successful candidate will be trained on surface treatments that include chemical and physical methods such as acid etching and laser treatment. He/ she will conduct antimicrobial and cell culture/cytotoxicity studies.

Specific to AIMed, in addition to their individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes secondments. In this project, secondments will include 4 months at the University Polytechnic Hauts-de-France (France) to characterise peptides (stability in different environments, morphology and purity) and 3 months at the University of Trieste (Italy) to study antimicrobial properties of peptides in solution and in free form.

Specific to AIMed, in addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education through a dedicated training program in the various fields of expertise of the consortium members, which includes secondments, summer-schools, workshops, transferable skills courses and active participation in conferences and outreach activities. As part of the position, the successful candidates will be enrolled as staff candidates for a doctoral programme at the University of Birmingham and are envisioned to finish with a PhD defence.

Conditions of eligibility of researchers- successful candidates:
  • MUST not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting university or company for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date. This time is measured from the date of signing the employment contract. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.
  • MUST at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. 'Date of Recruitment' means the first day of the employment of the researcher (i.e. contract starting date). 'Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience' is measured from the date when the researcher obtained the degree entitling him/her to embark on a doctoral degree programme.
  • MUST have a Master's degree or equivalent in Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Biomaterials, Materials Science, Biomedical and Tissue Engineering or a related field. (minimum classification 2:1).

English language: All courses are delivered in English. Successful candidates must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training and to embark on a doctorate at a UK University. IELTS/TOEFL/PTE are examples of English Language test certificates that are acceptable. The test certificates should be no more than two years old on the start date of the project (i.e. 01/10/ 2020). The minimum English Language requirement for the University of Birmingham is B2 or IELTS 6.

Applications are encouraged from all sectors of the community, reflecting the consortium's commitment to equality and diversity. Employment procedures and contracts will conform to the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.

Main Duties
  • Undertake research, e.g. by planning, preparing, setting up, conducting and recording the outcome of experiments, performing data analysis, desktop research etc.
  • Participate in maintaining laboratory facilities, and assist other members of the group by sharing knowledge and expertise. Collaborate with others in an interdisciplinary environment and in close collaboration with experts from biology and medicine.
  • Actively participate within the research group, communicating and presenting research at meetings, through publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate, ensuring information is communicated to internal and external partners.
  • Contribute to research publications and presentations as required.
  • Analyse and communicate complex ideas, concepts and data using appropriate methods and packages.
  • Resolve issues and support senior colleagues in devising procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
  • Generate research output and contribute to the development of independent and original ideas as appropriate.
  • Maintain and update the area of specialist knowledge, researching and critically appraising relevant literature within the area.
  • Undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • Report and present results at scientific meetings and conferences
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods in fields related to the project
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding


Person Specification
  • Hold or be close to completion of a Masters degree in Materials Science, Materials Chemistry, Materials Engineering or relevant discipline, or equivalent relevant research experience.
  • Some hands-on experience in working with organic molecules, conjugations and coupling.
  • Hands-on experience in the synthesis of organic molecules.
  • Knowledge of research methods and techniques within specialist field.
  • Proven ability to analyse complex information appropriately.
  • Proven communication skills, including presentation to various audiences.
  • Excellent organisational and team-working skills.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and accuracy within work
  • Familiarity with peptide structures
  • Hands-on experience in working with organic molecules, conjugations and coupling reactions.
  • Knowledge of surface properties and characterisation techniques
  • Successful candidates must demonstrate that their ability to understand and express themselves in both written and spoken English is sufficiently high for them to derive the full benefit from the network training and to embark on a doctorate at a UK University as laid out in the terms above.
  • Candidates must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date, as laid out in the terms above.
  • Candidates must, at the date of recruitment, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree, as laid out in the terms above.
  • Ability to travel to workshops and for research collaboration in other EU countries with notice is essential.
  • High level of analytical capability
  • Ability to communicate complex information clearly
  • Highly organised and able to actively contribute to the planning and organising of the research project
  • Excellent time management skills and the ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort
  • Willingness to work flexibly in order to achieve project demands and targets as agreed with Supervisor(s) is essential.


Informal enquiries to Dr Artemis Stamboulis a.stamboulis@bham.ac.uk

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community

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