Research Assistant/Associate in Biology

University of Cambridge

Applications are invited for Post-doctoral Research Assistant/Associate position in the group of Dr. Francois Nedelec at the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU). This call is open to carry out fundamental research in the field of physical biology, specifically studying mitotic spindle assembly and chromosome segregation. This post is funded by a prestigious ERC Synergy project BioMecaNet in collaboration with the experimental groups of Andrea Musacchio (MPI of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, DE) and Thomas Surrey (CRG, Barcelona, SP).

The project's primary focus is the comprehensive analysis of the fundamental mechanisms underlying chromosome segregation, employing advanced mathematical models and computer simulations. The research will concentrate on two key areas: first, the exploration of the cell cycle as a dynamic reaction-diffusion system governing critical division events, and second, a thorough investigation into the mechanics of the cytoskeleton, particularly in relation to the formation of a functional bipolar mitotic spindle.

A central goal of the project is to integrate intricate microtubule mechanics and cellular chemistry into the modeling process, with a specific aim to develop physically accurate simulations of chromosome bi-orientation and segregation. This position is designed to facilitate a profound synergy between experimental data and modeling approaches, offering numerous exciting collaborative opportunities aimed at fostering the development of pioneering models.

Applicants should have or be close to obtaining a Ph.D. in computational biology, physics, applied mathematics, computer science or related field and have a proven track record of scientific publication. Prior experience in modelling of biological systems, or expertise in systems biology and/or theoretical biophysics, in general, would be advantageous. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to develop skills in mathematical modelling, advanced numerical simulations and machine learning.

Fully involved in the basic research in these areas whilst also writing up their research work for presentation and publication, the post holder will have the opportunity to assist in the supervision of student projects, and to engage in teaching if desired. Good and effective communication skills are essential (e.g. presentations, outreach activities).

The Laboratory provides a welcoming and collaborative environment with a wide-range of family-friendly benefits and development opportunities. More about the Sainsbury Laboratory and details of what the University offers to employees, can be found at: Where a PhD has yet to be awarded the appointment will initially be made at Research Assistant level and amended to Research Associate upon the award of PhD.

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

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Scientific enquiries apart from the formal application should be directed to Dr Francois Nedelec -

For questions regarding the application process, please email

Please quote reference PT39155 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online