Microbiology Job for EVAL-FARMS grant

The first job advert for our EVAL-FARMS grant has gone live. If you are interested, or know anyone who is interested, please apply or encourage them to do so.

Research Assistant/Associate/Fellow in Microbiology

Closing Date
Monday, 17th October 2016
Job Type
£25769 to £37768 per annum, depending on skills and experience (minimum £28982 with relevant PhD). Salary progression beyond this scale is subject to performance

We are seeking an excellent postdoctoral microbiologist. The post-holder will  analyse the diversity of antibiotic resistance genes, bacteria, plasmids and bacteriophage in a farm slurry system, slurry amended soil and experimental slurry tanks, to which various interventions have been applied. This work will involve preparation of samples for metagenomics and sequencing studies, isolation and characterisation of multidrug resistant E. coli strains, data analysis and presentation.

The post is funded by the NERC EVAL-FARMS project (Evaluating the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance in Agricultural Manures and Slurries). This is a highly multidisciplinary project that includes microbiology, pharmaceutical analysis, cultural research and mathematical modelling. Therefore the post-holder must be able to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

Applicants must have or be close to completing a PhD in in molecular microbiology or a related discipline, or have equivalent skills experience and knowledge and must have experimental microbiology experience at ACDP CL2.

Excellent oral and written English language skills are essential. Applicants must be highly motivated, ambitious and have a proven track record of timely research publications (from PhD or beyond).

This full-time post is available for a fixed-term period of 2 years.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Jon Hobman tel: 0115 951 6166 Or email jon.hobman@nottingham.ac.uk. Please note that applications sent directly to this email address will not be accepted.

The University of Nottingham is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

Welcome to Laurence Shaw

We are delighted to have Lauence Shaw in our laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher from the end of August until the end of December. Laurence will be working on an EPSRC ODA project analyzing AMR data in collaboration with Yongguan Zhu at the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen. Laurence writes:

I am a statistician and my role here is to perform a statistical analysis on soil data from China with the aim of understanding the development of Anti-Microbial Resistance.  As an undergraduate I studied mathematics at Homerton College, Cambridge before coming to the University of Nottingham to undertake a masters in statistics. This led to a PhD in the School of Mathematical Sciences In Nottingham in which I used probability theory to model the spread of epidemics.

During my PhD I got involved in teaching statistics, both to mathematics undergraduates and to PhD students outside of mathematics who had data but did not necessarily know what to do with it. This sparked an interest in using my statistical background to collaborate with other departments and I have undertaken small data analysis projects with Crop Sciences (where I first worked with Dov), Medicine & Health and Engineering at Nottingham. This had brought me to my current position in Biosciences.

In my spare time I run a local pool team, and am one of a group of quizmasters who set the Monday pub quiz at the Malt Cross in Nottingham.  

Sharing Blog post from Alice Foxall, one of my tutorial students, on her summer placement

Hello my fellow nerds (my sisters suggestion, not mine). Hope you are all having a fantastic summer. For 8 weeks this summer I carried out a research placement at the University of Nottingham. Summer research placements usually last from 6-12 weeks and are usually carried about between second year and final year. I thought it […]

via Summer research placement chat — Alice Rose

Research Fellowships at University of Nottingham – be in touch

The University of Nottingham has advertised for its internally funded Research Fellowships (all applicants) and Anne McLaren Fellowships (women only). If you are interested in a fellowship in computational biology, biostatistics or related area, please be in touch. These are three year fellowships that could lead to a permanent academic post.

The competition is highly competitive – I know this as I have once sat on our School panel – so it is only worth applying if you have an excellent doctoral and post-doctoral track record: you will need excellent first-author papers in top journals to be succesful. You would also need the support of the school, so it is very important to be in touch if you are interested.

So, if you think you could be interested, please be in touch, and include links/pdfs of your two best first author papers.





Modelling the Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment in China

We are delighted to have been awarded a small grant of £25k from an internal distribution of EPSRC Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) to the University of Nottingham. We will be working with Professor Yong-guan Zhu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, to build statistical models for the spread of AMR genes and organisms in the Chinese environment. The money will find a talented post-doc, Laurence Shaw, to join our lab for 6 months from later this year. Young-guan and colleagues have carried out extensive and impressive AMR surveillance work so this is a very exciting opportunity. We are very much looking forward to working with Yong-guan and Laurence on this project.

Brilliant assurances to our European staff, students and collaborators from our Pro-VC Research

The University of Nottingham’s Pro-VC for research – Jessica Corner – has just issued this wonderful assurance to our European staff, students and collaborators. I am posting it in full:

EU Referendum and research
Dear colleagues,

We know you may be anxious about the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU). I’m writing to reassure you that we value your contribution to The University of Nottingham. I’d also like to update you on some of the steps we are already taking to safeguard that contribution – and on our commitments for the future.

The University is committed to being a global institution and we recognise the value and significance of all of our EU and international researchers – whether they are research academics, post-docs or M.Phil/PhD students. As the UK’s Global University, we will do all that we are able to ensure that you have a productive and worthwhile experience, that our engagement with you continues into the future, and that your research develops to be world-leading, enhancing your opportunities for career development and contributing to the University’s reputation for high-quality research.

We value the contributions our international research community and international research links make towards achieving our goals for the University to be a world-class institution. While the UK Government advises that it may take at least two years for anything to change following on from the referendum, our University is being proactive now to ensure that our international and European engagement is maintained and enhanced.

We want you to benefit from this and will welcome your contributions and input for suggestions which can help pump-prime and cement long-term research relationships between our University and you as individuals and like-minded European and global universities that we want as our partners to address global research challenges.

Today, we make the following commitments:

  • To support all our international and European research students, researchers and academic staff within the University to be productive members of our global research community.
  • In particular, to support European research students by providing assurance that previously agreed tuition fees will not change, and will indeed continue for the remainder of the programme of study. This applies to current students, and those due to commence study in the 2016/17 academic year.
  • To be proactive in competing for international funding  from all sources including Horizon 2020 ERC and Marie Sklodowska-Curie programmes and Erasmus+ (with nothing changing until Article 50 is invoked and for a further two years as the UK’s disengagement from the EU – but not Europe – is negotiated).
  • To demonstrate the University’s commitment we will invest strategic funds in key European partnerships, including funds for PhD studentships, to pump-prime grants, to enable travel for European networking, and to fund visiting positions at Nottingham.
  • To put our full commitment into delivering current contracted EU projects to deliver the products of international research collaboration in terms of quality and impact.
    To be proactive in developing international and European links and collaborations with individuals and global institutions.
  • To work with the Russell Group, UUK and other representatives of the UK research community to lobby for the UK to continue to play a leading role in EU and international research. We will work tirelessly to make the case to the UK Government for the benefits of all forms of international research collaboration, mobility and exchange and to retain access to Horizon 2020 and other EU programmes to underpin these activities.

Nothing changes until Article 50 is invoked and the terms of the UK’s disengagement from the EU have been determined, which will take at least two years and maybe much longer.

However, in these uncertain times, the University will underwrite its commitments by drawing on its significant budgeted resources for international research collaboration to strengthen our long-established links with EU partners, fund postgraduate scholarships for EU citizens, and to address immediate challenges that arise as a result of the referendum. The University will redouble its commitment to build long-term and sustainable European research partnerships through research collaboration, through mobility and through doctoral training.

Our Professional Services can provide advice and guidance on dealing with specific referendum issues that may arise:

  • Postgraduate students should contact the Graduate School [contact details removed]
  • Academic and research staff should contact Research Enterprise and Graduate Services (REGS) [contact details removed] for issues related to current awards and planned and future proposals

FAQs for staff and students addressing immigration status, undergraduate funding and a range of other issues are also available (and being updated continually) at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/go/euref

Professor Dame Jessica Corner

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange

The University of Nottingham

Research projects gain value from external advisory boards

On Monday we had our first External Advisory Board meeting for our EVAL-FARMS AMR project. We have a good number of external advisors, representing industrial, policy and academic stake-holders. It is also the first time I have led a project with an external board. My reactions are:

  1. We had a very successful and enjoyable event. Our external advisors are, of course, lovely, interesting, intelligent and successful people from a wide range of backgrounds, so it was a pleasure to spend time with them.
  2. We now have a broad perspective of input into our project. We are no longer a group of academics talking to each other – we are now a group of academics also in conversation with the broader outside world – giving real context for our work and its impact to other sectors – and helping us to ensure appropriate outputs, messages and impact into their sectors.
  3. We have a group of people who will hold us to account. We need to stay on track and stay relevant!
  4. When I look back on previously held research funding, especially the Lux and Biolog projects, I can see now how much an external board would have helped us to run the projects better. I wish we had had them!
  5. In future, I will look towards having external boards for all research projects. EVAL-FARMS is especially applied and outward facing, so it makes sense to have many non-academic partners. But even a project which is entirely fundamental science would benefit from an external board of academic and other beneficiaries.
  6. We look forward to our next advisory board meeting in September 2017, as well as interactions with members of our board before then.