Department of Oncology
Job description and selection criteria
Job title Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Division Medical Sciences
Location Old Road Campus Research Building, Oxford
Grade 7: £29,249 - £35,938 with a discretionary range to £39,257
Grade and salary
Contract type Fixed-term until 2nd September 2014 in the first instance
Dr Ester Hammond, Group Head
Vacancy reference 103483
The University of Oxford is a complex and stimulating organisation, which enjoys an
international reputation as a world-class centre of excellence in research and teaching. It
employs over 10,000 staff and has a student population of over 21,000.
Most staff are directly appointed and managed by one of the University’s 130 departments or
other units within a highly devolved operational structure - this includes 5,900 ‘academic-
related’ staff (postgraduate research, computing, senior library, and administrative staff) and
2,820 ‘support’ staff (including clerical, library, technical, and manual staff). There are also
over 1,600 academic staff (professors, readers, lecturers), whose appointments are in the
main overseen by a combination of broader divisional and local faculty board/departmental
structures. Academics are generally all also employed by one of the 38 constituent colleges
of the University as well as by the central University itself.
Our annual income in 2009/10 was £879.8m. Oxford is one of Europe's most innovative and
entrepreneurial universities: income from external research contracts exceeds £367m p.a.,
and more than 60 spin-off companies have been created.
For more information please visit www.ox.ac.uk
Medical Sciences Division
The Medical Sciences Division is an internationally recognized centre of excellence for
biomedical and clinical research and teaching. We are the largest academic division in the
University of Oxford.
World-leading programmes, housed in state-of-the-art facilities, cover the full range of
scientific endeavour from the molecule to the population. With our NHS partners we also
foster the highest possible standards in patient care.
For more information please visit: http://www.ox.ac.uk/divisions/medical_sciences.html
The Department of Oncology within the Medical Sciences Division was created in October
2010, under the headship of Professor Gillies McKenna, to enhance the coordination of
clinical and basic cancer research in Oxford. The Department incorporates the Cancer
Research UK-MRC Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology & Biology, the Department of
Medical Oncology, the Department of Clinical Pharmacology and the Surgical Oncology
Group of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences.
The Department is the second largest in the University’s Medical Sciences Division. Its
activities currently cover four sites: the Old Road Campus Research Building, science
facilities in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the
Radiobiology Research Institute on the Churchill Hospital site, and clinical service and
facilities at the Cancer Hospital.
The creation of the new Department marks an exciting step towards truly multidisciplinary
and collaborative oncology research in Oxford and positions us to take this discipline to new
heights. Working closely with colleagues in the new state-of-the-art NHS Oxford Cancer and
Haematology Centre, research can be rapidly and efficiently translated into cutting-edge
clinical treatment for cancer patients.
The aim of the Group is to understand the normal molecular function of key tumour
suppressor proteins that are lost during tumour evolution. We aim to understand why
inactivation of these key steps also lead to therapeutic resistance with the overall aim to
improve treatment outcomes by appropriately defining patient cohorts and rational drug
combinations based on molecular evidence.
For more information please visit: http://www.oncology.ox.ac.uk
To investigate the hypoxia-induced DNA damage response and identify new targets for
cancer therapy. It is expected that with time the post holder will also develop their own
project in line with the emerging interests and assist with future funding applications. The
successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate initiative, both in experimental design
and interpretation of data, and in disseminating research findings.
The post holder will be required to assist with the supervision of students and visitors to the
lab on a day-today basis.
Take the lead in the preparation of manuscripts for peer-review and publication in scientific
Generate high quality data and reports suitable for publication and for submission in the
context of grant proposals.
Participate and contribute to group discussions and meetings including the presentation of
own or published data.
Present results in oral and written form, and discuss scientific findings at national and
To inform the Group Head and team members about progress or difficulties in research
projects or services.
Maintain confidentiality regarding research data when interacting with non-collaborating
Education and Training
Keep up to date with developments in the DNA damage response literature and in particular
those that impact the tumour microenvironment.
Assistance in the education and training of other staff in laboratory procedures.
To attend relevant courses/conferences.
Visit other groups/departments to learn techniques if required.
Act at all times in the interests of the Institute to ensure good laboratory practice.
To be accountable for their own professional conduct within the Group.
Ensure that work in the laboratory is conducted safely and, in particular, persons undertaking
the work do so using appropriate safety procedures and in the dedicated areas.
Participate in tasks that ensure the smooth running of the laboratory.
Undertake duties as may be required from time to time that are commensurate with the
grade and responsibilities of the post.
To conduct him or herself with due regard to the University Equal Opportunities and Data
The successful applicant will be expected to meet the following criteria:
A PhD/DPhil in Biology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or related Biomedical
Experience of successfully preparing and submitting scientific data for publication.
Experience of working in a cancer related field.
Demonstrated ability to independently design, evaluate and interpret experiments.
A high level of technical competence and substantial experience in appropriate
molecular biological, biochemical and tissue culture techniques.
Skills and confidence to communicate effectively in English to a broad range of
audiences, both orally and in writing.
An enthusiastic and organised self-starter with the ability to work under own initiative
to drive the project forward.
Experience of working unsupervised under own initiative on a day-to-day basis.
Ability, skills and experience to deal effectively with conflicting priorities, meet tight
deadlines and remain calm under pressure.
The ability to work flexibly and supportively as part of a team.
An understanding of the DNA damage response, tumour microenvironment and p53
Working at the University of Oxford
For further information about working at Oxford, please see:
How to apply
If you consider that you meet the selection criteria, click on the Apply Now button on the
‘Job Details’ page and follow the on-screen instructions to register as a user. You will then be
required to complete a number of screens with your application details, relating to your skills
and experience. When prompted, please provide details of two referees and indicate whether
we can contact them at this stage.
You will also be required to complete a short application, upload a CV and supporting
statement. The supporting statement should describe what you have been doing over at
least the last 10 years. This may have been employment, education, or you may have taken
time away from these activities in order to raise a family, care for a dependant, or travel for
example. Your application will be judged solely on the basis of how you demonstrate that
that you meet the selection criteria outlined above and we are happy to consider evidence of
transferable skills or experience which you may have gained outside the context of paid
employment or education.
Please save all uploaded documents to show your name and the document type.
All applications must be received by midday on the closing date stated in the online
Information for Priority Candidates
A priority candidate is a University employee who is seeking redeployment owing to the fact
that he or she has been advised that they are at risk of redundancy, or on grounds of ill-
health/disability. Priority candidates are issued with a redeployment letter by their employing
departments and this letter must be attached to any application they submit.
Full details of the priority application process are available at:
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