University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a Bowel and Cancer Research funded research associate position in the laboratory of Dr Ewan St. John Smith at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Cambridge. More information about the laboratory is available at

We are looking for a motivated and innovative scientist to carry out a research project examining the function of 5-HT3 receptors in colonic sensory neurones. Drugs that inhibit 5-HT3 receptors can be clinically useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, but commonly cause constipation and this project aims to determine why that occurs. A variety of techniques will be employed, including: dorsal root ganglion neurone culture, single-cell qRT-PCR, imunohistochemistry, Ca2+ -imaging, behavioural work, retrograde tracing and ex vivo pelvic nerve recordings.

The role holder will be based in central Cambridge. The key duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: developing research objectives and conducting the research project, writing up research work for presentation and publication, continually updating knowledge and understanding in the research field, translating knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity, managing own research and administrative activities, assisting in the preparation of proposals and applications to external bodies (e.g. for funding and contractual purposes), communicating material of a specialist or highly technical nature.

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain shortly, a PhD in neuroscience or a related discipline. Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£25,728-£29,799). Upon the award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate, Grade 7 (£31,604-£38,833). Successful candidates will be expected to have demonstrable experience in one or more of the following areas: electrophysiology, animal surgery, behavioural work and Ca2+ -imaging; holding a valid Home Office Personal Licence is also desirable. You must be a careful and methodical worker, paying attention to accuracy and ready to take responsibility as part of a team. You should be self-motivated and able to organise, perform and analyse experiments with minimal instruction.

The funds for this post are available for 1 year with effect from 1st October 2018 (a later start date is negotiable).

The salary range if appointed as a Research Assistant is £25,728 - £29,799 per annum and Research Associate is £31,604-38,833 per annum

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.

Applications from agencies will not be considered.

Informal enquiries about the position can be made to Dr Ewan St. John Smith (

The online application is to include your personal details, names and addresses of referees, as well as your CV, research publications list and cover letter. For enquiries about the online application process please contact Miss Amparo Saez at

The Department holds an Athena SWAN bronze award, demonstrating a commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in science subjects. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender but, as women are currently under-represented at this level in our department, we strongly encourage applications from female candidates. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

Please quote reference PL15960 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.

Further information

Apply online