Research Associate

Research Associate

Job summary

Job summary

Applications are invited for the post of Research Associate to join the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London.

We have recently developed and piloted a novel poliovirus rapid detection assay based on nanopore sequencing that has the potential to accelerate poliovirus detection and outbreak response ( Development and expansion of ‘direct detection’ methods for poliovirus to replace laborious cell culture-based approaches is a major goal of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for 2021. Following initial successful use in Pakistan, we now plan to further develop, innovate and expand access to this method for routine poliovirus surveillance. This involves a 2-year program of work to test the method in poliovirus labs globally, to validate the method for both stool and environmental surveillance samples and to investigate further innovations in poliovirus detection such as LamPORE and UMI tagging. This work is in collaboration with partners in the UK and Pakistan who are members of our poliovirus sequencing consortium. It presents an exciting opportunity for a motivated postdoctoral scientist to join our team and develop novel molecular detection assays and next-generation sequencing approaches to poliovirus detection.

We are seeking an excellent scientist to join our research on direct detection and next-generation sequencing of poliovirus.

Duties and responsibilities

You will work closely with Dr Alex Shaw & Prof Nick Grassly who are leading the development of these techniques within the VERG, in addition to the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (co-investigator Javier Martin), University of Edinburgh (co-investigator Andrew Rambaut), NIH Pakistan (co-investigator Salmaan Sharif and Masroor Alam) and with other members of the research group and the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology (see our website for further details).

You will plan and implement molecular assays in the lab such as sample processing, RT-PCR, sequencing library preparation and investigate novel approaches to poliovirus detection in different sample types.

Essential requirements

You should have a PhD or equivalent in a scientific, quantitative and/or laboratory-based biomedical subject. You should have experience in standard laboratory methods for molecular biology as well as a keen interest in molecular biology and/or sequencing technologies. Experience in command line coding and using ONT nanopore sequencing platforms would be beneficial but not essential.

Further information

This post is full time and fixed term until 31 December 2022 and will be based at the St Mary’s Campus, Paddington. Imperial College is supportive of flexible working. The College is happy to discuss the possibility of implementing such arrangements for this post, with suitably qualified people, subject to operational requirements.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 - £39,183 per annum.

Should you have any queries please contact: Professor Nick Grassly (n.grassly [at]   

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment [at]

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.