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Durham University

Department of Biosciences

Academic Recruitment

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Cross-disciplinary approaches to fundamental biological questions

The Department of Biosciences is consistently ranked in the top 5 UK Biological Sciences Departments in the Complete University Guide and was ranked 8th for Research Impact in REF2014. We aim to appoint outstanding new academic staff from diverse backgrounds to strengthen research in cross-disciplinary approaches to fundamental biological questions, with impact on the bioeconomy, and to provide students with an outstanding educational and training experience.

Research is focused around four key themes:

  • Animal Cells and Systems
  • Biomolecular Interactions
  • Ecology, Evolution and Environment; and
  • Molecular Plant Sciences

We offer degree programmes in BSc Biological Sciences and a 4-year MBiol, while also contributing to the Natural Sciences programme

Working at Durham University - who are we looking for?

Working at Durham University - who are we looking for?

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Our Strategic Vision
Our Research
Our opportunities
Our people


Our Strategic Vision

Appoint outstanding new academic staff to strengthen research in cross-disciplinary approaches

Priorities for the Department are to:

  1. bring in strong new academic staff, to strengthen the existing research themes;
  2. improve further the already outstanding research infrastructure; and
  3. improve further the student experience, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Research is supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure in bioimaging, genomics, metabolomics and proteomics, and we work closely with other departments of physical, mathematical, engineering and social sciences across the University, and with industry and a range of environmental and health agencies. We envisage that cross-disciplinary working will be a growing feature of our research and teaching in the coming years.

We are ranked 5th in the UK for Biological Sciences Departments and hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award

Complete University Guide 2019


Our Opportunities

Focused in the areas of 1) biochemistry, molecular biology and/or cell biology and 2) ecology, environment or evolution

We have positions available for 1) Professor (grade 10) level in Plant Molecular Sciences; 2) Assistant Professor (Grade 8) in Biochemistry or Molecular Cell Biology; and 3) Assistant Professor (Grade 8) in Ecology, Environment or Evolution. We are keen to appoint new staff from diverse backgrounds who have research and teaching interests that are complementary to current strengths in the Department of Biosciences (

We are particularly interested in receiving outstanding applications from women and from candidates of ethnic minority backgrounds, to increase our diversity. As an employer committed to promoting the very best talent, we also encourage applications from researchers who may have taken career breaks for family or other reasons, or who may need to consider flexible working.

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Title Department Salary
Assistant Professor in Ecology/Evolutionary Biology Department Of Biosciences Grade 8
Professor in Ecology or Evolutionary Biology Department Of Biosciences Grade 10
Professor in Plant Molecular Biology Department Of Biosciences Grade 10

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Our Research

Animal Cells & Systems; Biomolecular Interactions; Ecology, Evolution & Environment; and Molecular Plant Sciences

Research in the Department of Biosciences is focused around four themes - Animal Cells & Systems; Biomolecular Interactions; Ecology, Evolution & Environment; and Molecular Plant Sciences. A key feature is cross-disciplinary working, with biologists for example embedded in labs within the Department of Chemistry, and through the activity of University Research Institutes and Centres (e.g. The Biophysical Sciences Institute, The Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, The Durham Energy Institute).

The Department itself hosts two University Research Centres: The Durham Centre for Crop Improvement Technology (DCCIT) and The Durham Centre for Bioimaging Technology (DCBT). This approach to cross-disciplinary working greatly facilitates the development of new areas of research at the interface between disciplines, and both facilitates spin-out activities and attracts industrial partners.

Examples include the establishment of award-winning spin out companies such as ReInnervate Ltd, and strategic relationships with multinationals such as Procter & Gamble, from whom Durham won its 2012 Global Business Partner of the Year Award (this partnership was presented to the US Congress in February 2012 as the exemplar for industrial engagement with academia). Our work informs policy at national and international level, particularly in the environmental and conservation sciences. We were ranked 8th for Research Impact in REF2014.


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Some major highlights exemplifying the breadth and quality of our research include the following:

The role of metals in biology. Prof. Robinson leads the BBSRC NIBB 'Metals in Biology'. See e.g. Foster, al. (2017) Nature Chemical Biology 13: 409-414; Moore, S. et al. (2017). Nature 543: 78-82.

The cytoskeleton. See e.g. Wang, P. et al. (2016) Current Biology 26(15): 2060-2069; Wang, P et al. (2014). Current Biology 24(12): 1397-1405.

Antimicrobials. See e.g. Blower, T.R. et al. PNAS 113: 1706-1713; Aldred, K.J. et al. (2016) PNAS 113: E839-E846.

Plant molecular sciences. See e.g. Wang M. et al. (2017) Nature Genetics 49(4): 579-587; Orosa-Puente, B et al. (2018) Science 362,1407

Ecology and adaptation: See e.g. Dawson W. et al. (2017) Nature Ecology and Evolution 1: 0186; Stephens P. A. et al. (2016) Science 352(6281): 84-87.

Cell signalling. See e.g. Li Z. et al. (2016) Nature Communications 7: 11394; Resnik-Docampo et al. (2017) Nature Cell Biology 19: 52-59.


We are housed in modern buildings with state-of-the-art research infrastructure. These facilities are supported by dedicated experimental officer and technical staff, and provide outstanding bioimaging (SEM, TEM, confocal, spinning disc, TIRF, super-res), genomics (including Illumina 2500 NextGen sequencing), metabolomics, proteomics, protein crystallography and analytical biochemistry, laser-capture microdissection, plant and animal growth facilities and cell culture, plant pathology and transgenics, and environmental science. We also have access to High-Performance Computing for modelling work.


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Our People

In-house support for research and education activities is exceptional.

We currently have 51 Academic and Teaching Track staff, 8 Research Fellows (who are mostly independent PI researchers), 23 Experimental Officers or core research technicians (supporting research and other departmental infrastructure), and 14 teaching, research and general administrative staff. In addition, we have a variable number of research assistants and technicians on non-fixed term, externally funded research projects.

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