University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate x 2 (Fixed Term)

The Bartlett lab is relocating to the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University, and is searching for research assistants or associates to join our team.

The Bartlett lab studies the developmental and evolutionary processes underpinning plant diversity. We work to identify the genes that regulate plant development, describe the evolutionary histories of these genes, and connect molecular evolution to the evolution of plant form. Traits we focus on include the evolution of sex determination (Gallagher et al, 2023; Klein et al, 2022, and Subramaniam and Bartlett, 2024), and the evolution of floral organ elaborations called awns ( Schrager-Lavelle et al, 2017; Patterson et al, 2023, 2024). Floral sexuality and awns can be important in crop productivity. Thus, our work dissecting the mechanisms underpinning morphological diversification can have translational applications.

You will explore the molecular development and evolution of sex determination, or the development and evolution of awns. The precise direction of the project will depend on your expertise and interests. Whichever direction the project takes, you will explore morphological and molecular evolution using a range of techniques, including molecular biology, comparative anatomy and morphology, evolutionary genomics, phylogenetic comparative methods, quantitative phenotyping, and microscopy. You will have expertise in one or more of the experimental systems or techniques we use, with a willingness to gain expertise or collaborate in other areas. Foundations in molecular biology and plant developmental biology are required. We particularly welcome candidates with expertise in grass transformation. Proficiency in molecular cloning, genomics and bioinformatics, comparative anatomy and morphology, phylogenetic comparative methods, molecular evolution, or image analysis would also be valuable.

You will be an excellent team player, and excited about collaborating. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required. You will have a track record of science communication, and have published in plant biology. You shall be fully involved in the research, including deciding the direction of your project with Dr Bartlett, leading publications, and presenting your work at conferences and seminars. You may also assist in supervising students.

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

You must include a motivational letter with your application, stating which research direction you'd prefer to focus on (sex determination or awns), your research interests and expertise, and how they align with the lab's work. For more information, please consult the lab website (, or contact Madelaine Bartlett via email at

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 October 2024.

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 Bartlett at

For questions regarding the application process, please email

Please quote reference PT42364 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