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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Novel Antibiotics for Cystic Fibrosis (Fixed Term)

Reference: MA12941
Salary: £30,175 - £38,183
Location: Department of Chemistry
Closes: 03 September 2017

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

Applications are invited from post-doctoral chemists to work with Professor Chris Abell and Dr Anthony Coyne in the Department of Chemistry in a multidisciplinary project funded by the Fondation Botnar, to develop novel antibiotics using fragment-based approaches that target cystic fibrosis. The project will focus on developing inhibitors of a key enzyme. It is a collaboration between the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Professor Andres Floto), the Departments of Chemistry (Professor Chris Abell) and Biochemistry (Professor Sir Tom Blundell) and the Wellcome Trust Sangar Institute (Professor Julian Parkhill).

Applicants must have, or be about to obtain, a PhD in synthetic organic or medicinal chemistry. They should have a proven track record exemplified by academic publications. Knowledge of medicinal, biological and biophysical chemistry with relevant post-doctoral experience would be advantageous. Applicants will be expected to work closely and interactively with colleagues in different disciplines, to have excellent communication skills and the ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Earliest possible start date 4 September 2017.

This is a modified re-advertisement of a PDRA position in the Abell research group in the Department of Chemistry. Previous applicants need not apply.

To apply online for this vacancy and to view further information about the role, please visit: This will take you to the role on the University's Job Opportunities pages. There you will need to click on the 'Apply online' button and register an account with the University's Web Recruitment System (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter and publications list in the upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents that have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

For queries regarding the post, please contact Dr Katherine Abell, e-mail:

Please quote reference MA12941 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The Department holds an Athena SWAN bronze award for women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
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.


The Abell Group is always keen to hear from talented and enthusiastic scientists who are interested in contributing to our research. Researchers within the fragment group cover a broad spectrum of techniques including biological, medicinal and synthetic chemistry, protein biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, and computational chemistry. In the microdroplets group researchers may have experience across a broad spectrum of techniques including: biological chemistry, nano fabrication, assay development, laser spectroscopy etc.

We are interested to hear from individuals, who are looking at applying for their own funding from other sources. Some examples of the funding bodies that might be appropriate are listed below:


Leverhulme Trust

Marie Skłodowska-Curie

Medical Research Council

Ramsey Memorial Fellowships Trust

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

Royal Society


PhD Studentships

We welcome applications from prospective postgraduate students with strong academic backgrounds in organic, biological or medicinal chemistry looking to embark on a course of PhD study. Positions usually start at the beginning of October. There is much information for prospective students at the Graduate Admissions website and also from the Department of Chemistry.

As part of your online application, please upload a completed Chemistry Department application form, which may be downloaded from this link.

Professor Chris Abell is in the Biological Research Interest Group (RIG).

To apply to the University of Cambridge for a PhD (or an MPhil) in Chemistry, please apply via the online Applicant Portal by the deadline date.

Information on funding opportunities on the Graduate Admissions Funding webpage. A number of different organisations grant scholarships to study at the University of Cambridge. These scholarship are highly competitive. Full or part-cost awards may be granted. If an award is fully funded, it is typically for 3 years only. Please bear this in mind as it is common for PhD to take longer than 3 years, although the requirement to pay fees stops after 3 years.

You should have secured funds to pay for University fees and for your own maintenance before you come to Cambridge. A PhD programme is a minimum of 3 years but typically may be up to 4 years to complete, depending on how a project develops. After 3 years, you no longer need to pay fees, but you continue to need funds for your maintenance. For an estimate of the funds needed for a PhD course in Chemistry, please follow this link and select the tab that is relevant to you:

For those seeking scholarships, applicants are strongly advised to apply for all sources of funding for which they might be eligible, both internal and external to the University, and from their home countries for International students if this is appropriate.

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