University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Cellular Hormone Dynamics

Applications are invited for a Research Assistant/Research Associate position in the group of Dr Alexander Jones at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University.

The cellular dynamics of the plant hormones underpin all aspects of plant development and environmental responses. The Jones group at SLCU has recently engineered a series of high affinity FRET biosensors to track such dynamics for gibberellin, abscisic acid, auxin and salicylic acid in high resolution.

This post will involve targeted deployment of these FRET biosensors to illuminate previously undetectable cellular and subcellular hormone patterns in vivo. The project's eventual aim will be aimed at gaining a mechanistic understanding of how and why hormone accumulations or depletions are modulated in space and time. The Jones group combines imaging of FRET biosensors with high-resolution genetic and biochemical perturbations to allow us to link signal integration upstream and program activation downstream of phytohormone cellular dynamics. We also collaborate with mathematicians to build multi-scale understanding of these complex and important signaling pathways.

For more information, please see a recent talk by Dr Jones on YouTube (from 1hr30min to 2hrs of the video, and consult the Jones team website (

Applicants must have or be close to obtaining a PhD in Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Systems Biology, Genetics, or related field. Where a PhD has yet to be awarded the appointment will initially be made at Research Assistant level (Grade 5) and amended to Research Associate (Grade 7) upon the award of PhD.

Foundations in molecular biology and confocal microscopy are also required, alongside a willingness and ability to learn and work with new methodologies. We particularly welcome candidates with advanced knowledge of, and a proven track record in, hormone biology. Proficiency in plant developmental biology, molecular cloning, synthetic biology, systems biology, computational modelling, and image analysis would also be valuable to the role.

The successful applicant will be an excellent team player, highly solution orientated and self-motivated. Excellent interpersonal skills are essential, alongside the ability to work independently and with others, with a high degree of accuracy including outstanding record keeping. The Jones group is looking for a person keen to work in a highly collaborative set-up and enthusiastic to join our diverse and interdisciplinary team. Solid communication skills are required to interact with group members and other researchers at SLCU with different scientific backgrounds. Candidates should also demonstrate a history of science communication (e.g. presentations, outreach activities, teaching).

The Laboratory provides a welcoming and collaborative environment with a wide-range of family-friendly benefits and development opportunities. More about the Sainsbury Laboratory and details of what the University offers to employees, can be found at:

The post is available from September 2024.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Scientific enquiries apart from the formal application should be directed to Dr Jones at

For questions regarding the application process, please email

Please quote reference PT41972 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online