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Head of Department
Professor Antony Galione

Postdoctoral Research Assistant - Neurochemist (Ref: BW/10/001)
Fixed term post (12 months) on grade 7: Salary £28,983 – £35,646

The University of Oxford is organised into about 140 different departments, each of which recruits its own staff.
This job is in the Department of Pharmacology which is based in the University‟s science area in the centre of
Oxford. The Department houses around 180 researchers, postgraduate students and support staff, and has
excellent facilities.The members of the Department, associated staff and visiting scientists are all engaged in the
investigation of basic questions concerning the interaction of chemical substances with biological systems.

Key Research Aims
Areas that have been given priority in the Department include neuropharmacology, molecular pharmacology, cell
signalling, cardiac pharmacology, and pharmacogenetics. In many of these areas the Department plays a
leading role in the international pharmacological community. The research of the Department has consistently
been given a very high ranking in the Government‟s assessments of research in Universities and was rated first
in the UK for Pre-Clinical Sciences in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

For more information, please visit our web-site at

Postdoctoral Research Vacancy
There is a vacancy for an ambitious, self-motivated, dedicated and enthusiastic scientist to work on the following
project: “Neural Mechanisms involved in Nuerodegeneration” for the Institute for the Future of the Mind, based
within the Department of Pharmacology. This Institute forms part of Oxford University‟s James Martin 21
Century School which funds the project.

The research group is lead by Prof. Susan Greenfield. This project focuses on the role of acetylcholinesterase
C-terminal peptides responsible for non-hydrolytic actions of AChE, in mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

Related publications
Greenfield, S. & Vaux, D. J. 2002. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and motor neurone disease:
identifying a common mechanism. Neuroscience, 113, 485-92.
Greenfield, S. A., Zimmermann, M. & Bond, C. E. 2008. Non-hydrolytic functions of acetylcholinesterase. The
significance of C-terminal peptides. FEBS J, 275, 604-11.

Details of the group‟s research, and other publications, may be found at:

Background to the project
At the Institute for the Future of the Mind, our novel theory for neurodegeneration is unique in that it would
account for previously unexplained and puzzling facts such as co-pathologies and selectivity for certain brain
regions. This theory is that peptides, cleaved from AChE could exert trophic action in the developing brain that
becomes toxic when aberrantly activated in maturity.

The project has the following main objectives:
   1. To investigate the use of these peptides as a potential diagnostic i.e. to detect naturally occurring
        peptide in human blood and brain tissue from neurodegenerative patients and compare levels with that
        of controls.
    2. To characterise the interactions of these peptides with a target receptor that has already been identified
       and in doing so identify potential drug targets.

Main duties and responsibilities

    Practical work
     Techniques involved with purification of peptides including HPLC and immunoaffinity purification.
     Tissue culture of immortalised and primary cell lines.
     Immunohistochemistry and various microscopy techniques.
     General molecular biology techniques including radio-ligand binding and enzyme assays.
     Familiarity with pharmacology and medicinal chemistry.

    Additional responsibilities may also include:
     Supervision of project students.
     Up to 2 hours per week contributing to the Departments teaching load.
     Preparation of manuscripts in conjunction with collaborators and submission to peer-reviewed journals.
     Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the group or
       alone. Present papers and posters at national and international conferences.
     Participating in James Martin 21 Century School activities.

     Carrying out any appropriate administrative duties associated with the work.
     Contributing to the general running of the laboratory.

Selection criteria
The successful applicant will be expected to satisfy the following criteria:

     PhD degree in biochemistry, pharmacology, neuroscience or a related biological discipline.
     Experience in the following techniques: HPLC, tissue culture (including primary cell lines), and
     Experience of data management and statistical analysis using SPPS and S-plus.
     Excellent writing and presentation skills.
     Excellent computer skills, including word-processing, spreadsheet and scientific graphic and statistical
       software packages.
     An ability to effectively communicate with others, particularly with regard to co-ordination of work with
       various collaborators in the project, locally and internationally.
     An ability to contribute significant intellectual input to the progress and direction of the research projects.
     Ability to learn new skills and to modify duties to fit a changing research environment.
     Must be strongly motivated with the ability to work both independently and as part of a research team.
     Evidence that highlights previous duties (either in study or work environment) that require: accuracy and
       attention to detail; methodical work; reliability.
     A publication record particularly in the field of developmental neurobiology and/or neurodegenation.

     A knowledge and understanding of the scientific background relating to the research project, with a
       familiarity of various theories of neurodegeneration.
     Familiarity with mass spectrometry.
     An interest in the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic drug development.

Informal enquiries may be made to Prof. Susan Greenfield (

Terms and Conditions of Employment

Pay and benefits

The salary of the post holder will be at an appropriate point on the first five points of grade 7 of the University
scale (£28,983 – £32,620), depending on qualifications and experience. There is an annual „cost-of-living‟ salary
review, and an incremental increase next October.

The annual holiday entitlement is 38 days (including 6 days to be taken on fixed dates at Christmas and Easter,
and 8 public holidays). The actual distribution of annual holidays, excluding the public holidays, will be taken by
arrangement with your supervisor. The hours of work are not defined and academic-related staff are not eligible
for paid overtime.
This post is offered for a period of up to 12 months. A start date by the 1 September 2010 is required.

The University‟s normal retirement age is 30 September preceding the 66th birthday. Staff under the age of 60
are eligible to join the University Superannuation Scheme (or the National Health Service Superannuation
Scheme conditional upon previous membership), both of which are contributory schemes. The successful
candidate will be deemed to be in membership of the above University Superannuation Scheme until such time
as he or she 'opts out' of the scheme.

The University has a generous maternity leave scheme and also offers paternity leave to expectant fathers and
partners, and adoption leave. It offers subsidised nursery places, and tax and National savings schemes.
However, please note that there is a long waiting list for nursery places. It is particularly important to refer to the
website for further information including up to date information about the
length of the waiting list and alternative sources of information about childcare in the Oxford area.

Equal opportunities at the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford's policy and practice require that entry into employment with the University and
progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are
related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. Subject to statutory provisions, no
applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her sex, marital
status, racial group, or disability. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration. The
appointment will be subject to the satisfactory completion of a medical questionnaire. The University also
reserves the right to screen individuals for employment. Any such screening would be discussed with an
individual in advance of its taking place.

As an Equal Opportunity employer, we positively encourage applications from people of different backgrounds.
All our jobs are filled in line with our equal opportunities code of practice, which helps us make sure that men
and women, people of different races, and those with disabilities are all treated fairly.

POLICY STATEMENT The policy and practice of the University of Oxford require that all staff are afforded
equal opportunities within employment. Entry into employment with the University and progression within
employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to
the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job
will be the primary consideration. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be
treated less favourably than another because of his or her gender, marital or civil partnership status,
sexual orientation, religion or belief, racial group, age, or disability.

If you have any questions about equal opportunities at the University of Oxford, please visit our web-site at

How to apply

We are delighted that you wish to apply for a post with the University of Oxford. Please read this information
carefully before submitting your application.

Applications for this post must include all of the following:

         your curriculum vitae (CV)

         a letter explaining how you meet the requirements of this post (these are described in the further

         completed personal details and equal opportunities monitoring forms (attached).

You should ensure that your CV describes 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 dependent, travel, or for any other reason. Your application will be judged solely on the basis of
how your skills and experience match the requirements of the post, and we are happy to consider transferable
skills or experience which you may have gained outside the context of paid employment or education.

Please send your CV, covering letter and the completed forms to:

The Departmental Administrator, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford,
OX1 3QT.

The closing date for applications is noon on 1st May. Please quote reference BW/10/001 on all correspondence.

Where can I download the forms?

The forms can be found at the end of this information

How will the information on the forms be used?

The information collected on the equal opportunities recruitment monitoring form does not form part of the
selection process and will not be circulated to the selection panel. It will be used solely to monitor the
effectiveness of the University‟s equal opportunities policy.
Your CV, covering letter, and personal details form will be circulated to the selection panel. They will use this
information to assess your suitability for the post against the selection criteria. If appointed, your application will
be retained on your confidential staff file. If you are unsuccessful, your application will be retained for six months
and then disposed of securely.
At all times the information will be held securely in accordance with the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Am I eligible to apply to work for the University?

All appointments are made in accordance with the University of Oxford Equal Opportunities Policy and Code of
Practice and applications are welcomed from a wide range of candidates. The University undertakes not to
discriminate unlawfully against any applicant on the basis of any information revealed.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 makes it a criminal offence for employers to employ someone
who is not entitled to work in the UK. We therefore ask applicants to provide proof of their right to work in the UK
before employment can commence.

Applicants who would need a work visa if appointed to the post are asked to note that under the UK‟s new
points-based migration system they will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient points, and in particular

(i) they have sufficient English language skills (evidenced by having passed a test in basic English, or coming
from a majority English-speaking country, or having taken a degree taught in English)

(ii) that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and any dependants until they receive their first salary

Further information is available at:

Will I be asked to provide any other information?

Employment with the University is conditional upon satisfying the following requirements:

   proof of identity - in the form of a passport, birth certificate, or other acceptable document;
   proof of address - in the form of a recent utility bill or bank statement;
   proof that you are entitled to work in the UK;
   proof of any qualifications required for this post - in the form of certificates or transcripts.

Please note that you will need to provide original documents and where any documents are not in English a
certified translation will be required. Do not include these documents with your application. You will be sent
a request for the relevant information at the appropriate point in the selection process.

In addition, if you are selected for this post:
   your medical fitness to undertake the duties of the post will be assessed by the University‟s Occupational
    Health Service;
   we will take up references to ensure your suitability for appointment.

Employment with the University is also subject to satisfactory completion of a probationary period.


Please give the details of two people who have agreed to provide a reference for you. If you have previously
been employed, your referees should be people who have direct experience of your work through working
closely with you for a considerable period, and at least one of them should be your formal line manager in your
most recent job. Otherwise they may be people who know you from recent college, school, or voluntary
experience. It is helpful if you can tell us briefly how each referee knows you (e.g. „line manager‟, „work
colleague‟, „college tutor‟). Your referees should not be related to you.

Your referees will be asked to comment on your suitability for the post and to provide details of the dates of your
employment; your attendance during the last 12 months; and of any disciplinary processes which are still
considered live. We will assume that we may approach them at any stage unless you tell us otherwise. If you
wish us to ask for your permission before approaching a particular referee, or to contact them only under certain
circumstances (for example, if you are called to interview) you must state this explicitly alongside the details of
the relevant referee(s).


Please note that there are no relocation allowances available for this post.

Please complete this form and attach a full curriculum vitae and application letter explaining why you are applying
for this position and how you meet the selection criteria outlined in the further particulars.

Post applied for: Postdoctoral Research Assistant                         Ref. No. BW/10/001

Personal Details
Title                                  Family name

Other names

Current address

Daytime                                                         Mobile


Currently Salary (you may be required to justify this)

Membership of professional bodies

Previous university service
Have you ever worked for the University of Oxford?                                                   YES/NO

If YES, please give dates and reasons for leaving (including OMIS)

Fair recruitment
To ensure a fair recruitment process, please state whether you know, or are related to, any          YES/NO
member of the University who could be involved in selection decision for this post or who is other
wise closely associated with this post
If YES, please give details

Encouraging access
Please indicate if you need any particular arrangements to be made, or support provided, if invited for interview

Working in the UK
Do you have the right to work in the UK?                                                                               YES/NO

If YES, please note any conditions attached, for example time limitations

Previous employment matters
Has your current or previous employer instigated disciplinary proceedings against you which have           YES/NO
resulted in a warning or other disciplinary action which is still „live‟?
If YES, please give details, including any pending proceedings.

Criminal records checks
Declaring an unspent criminal conviction. The University will not necessarily bar an applicant from employment because of
an unspent criminal conviction; the nature of the conviction and its relevance to the post will be considered.
Do you have any unspent criminal convictions, bind-overs, cautions, warnings or reprimands?                 YES/NO

Are there any criminal proceedings currently pending against you?                                               YES/NO

If YES, please supply the following details in a sealed envelope marked „strictly confidential‟ to The Deputy Administrator
(Personnel): nature of offence(s), date of conviction(s), penalty. This information will be held on a strictly confidential basis, in
compliance with the Data Protection Act and only discussed with the selection panel where it is relevant to the post for which
you have applied.

To help us with future recruitment please indicate how you found out about this vacancy?
University web site           Other (please specify)

      If you would like information about declaring a disability please see guidance at
     Disciplinary action which is still „live‟ includes warnings which have not expired or disciplinary processes which are still in
progress. You should include any courts-martial outcomes.

References (Please see “Notes for Candidates”)
Referee 1

Job title


Daytime                                                      Mobile

In what capacity has this person known you and for how long?

May we contact this referee at any time?                                                                YES/NO

Is this referee able to provide details about your last employment?                                     YES/NO

Referee 2


Daytime                                                      Mobile

In what capacity has this person known you and for how long?

May we contact this referee at any time?                                                                YES/NO

Is this referee able to provide details about your last employment?                                     YES/NO


Declaration: The information provided in this application form and any supporting documentation is true and complete. I
understand that any offer of employment may be conditional upon satisfactory screening. I agree that any deliberate
omission, falsification, or misrepresentation in the application form or supporting documentation will be grounds for rejecting
this application or subsequent dismissal if employed by the University. This also applies to any medical questionnaire/forms I
may complete.

I agree to the above declaration.

I consent to the information given in this application form and accompanying supplements being stored and processed in
accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Signed:………………………………………………………………………. Date …………………………….

Form M1                                                                         For office use          B W 1            0    0        0    1
                                                                                Reference :

                                    UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD RECRUITMENT MONITORING
The policy and practice of the University of Oxford require that entry into employment with the University and progression within
employment will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular
post. Subject to statutory provisions, no applicant or member of staff will be treated less favourably than another because of his or her
gender, marital or civil partnership status, sexual orientation, religion or belief, racial group, age or disability. In all cases, ability to
perform the job will be the primary consideration.
Any information given on this monitoring form will be used only to support the diversity and equal opportunities policy and in
accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998, and to provide annual statutory returns to the Higher Education Statistics
Agency. The information will be entered on a computer in the University Offices and will be kept strictly confidential and separate from
your name. It is not part of the selection process and will not be seen by any member of the selection panel. The information you
give will be retained only for statistical purposes and will not be linked to your name.
Please complete this form if you are applying for a post, or have agreed to be considered for a post. Completion is
voluntary. Please answer the questions by ticking the appropriate box.
1.   Are you:                         Female                        Male
2.   Do you have a disability? (If yes, please answer question 3.)                           Yes            No               Decline to specify
3.   Please tick one or more boxes to describe your disability:
     1:           Dyslexia/specific learning difficulty               5:        Asperger’s syndrome
     2:           Blind/visual impairment                             6:        Mental Health difficulties
     3:           Deaf/hearing impairment                             7:        Unseen disability (e.g. diabetes)
     4:           Wheelchair/mobility impairment                      8:        Other (please describe) ...............................................................

4.   Nationality:            1:          UK         2:          Other EC            3:       Other
                                                                                    Please specify:……………………………...

5.  How long have you lived in the UK? (Please tick one box only)
     1:      I do not currently live in the UK
     2:      I have always lived in the UK
     3:      < 1 year       4       1-4 years     5     5-10 years  6:                             11-20 years               7:            21+ years
                            :                     :
 6. Age: (please tick appropriate box)
    1:     18-25     2:      26-30 3:        31-35 4:      36-40 5:                            41-45       6:        46-50        7:         51-55     8:       56+

 7. Please describe your ethnic origin: (please tick one box only)
    (Ethnic origin questions are not about nationality, place of birth, or citizenship. They are about colour and ethnic group.
    Citizens of any country may belong to any of the groups indicated. The ethnic origin categories used here are based on the
    2001 census of the population and are those required by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.)

     White                                                  Black or Black British                                     Chinese
     101:      British                                      201:      Caribbean                                        401:    Chinese
     102:      Irish                                        202:      African
     103:      Any other White background                   203:      Any other Black background
     Please specify                                         Please specify
     ____________________                                   _____________________
     Mixed                                                  Asian or Asian British                                     Other ethnic group
     501:      White and Black Caribbean                    301:      Indian                                           402:     Any other
     502:      White and Black African                      302:      Pakistani                                        Please specify
     503:      White and Asian                              303:      Bangladeshi                                      _________________
     504:      Any other mixed background                   304:      Any other Asian background                       601:      Decline to specify
      Please specify                                        Please specify

Thank you for completing this form. Please return it with your application. It will not be seen by any member of the
                                                 selection panel.


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