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[Apply by 8 Oct 2018] Research Assistant/Associate to investigate rapid coliform identification using low-cost optical microscopy

Applications are invited for a research assistant/associate working at the University of Cambridge together with a University spinout, to develop low-cost solutions to identifying contaminated water for refugee camps in the developing world. The post holder will work between the groups of Dr Mark Holmes and Professor Jeremy Baumberg at the Departments of Veterinary Medicine and Physics and with WaterScope ( )

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The successful applicant will develop and optimise rapid coliform colony identification methods using optical microscopy. The research builds off work done at the Department of Physics which is being commercialised by WaterScope in the form of a water testing device. Specifically, the post involves optimising selective media formulations, enzyme mechanics, and nutrient delivery methods, on growing bacterial colonies to increase detection times.

The candidate must be competent in standard microbiology lab practices, including aseptic technique, media preparation and inoculation. Further expertise in biochemistry, particularly around the X-gal/LacZ reporter system is relevant and desired. The candidate must also be competent in statistical analysis and data analysis. The researcher will have a prominent role in experimental design and project direction, and interest in delivering solutions for improving societies around the world. Experience in optical and light microscopy techniques, and CAD design and 3D-printing is not required but desirable.

Appointment at research associate is dependent on having a PhD (or equivalent experience), including those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD (in which case appointment will initially be made at research assistant and amended to research associate when the PhD is awarded). The research assistant salary (grade 5) falls within the range £25,728 - £29,799. The research associate (grade 7) salary falls within the range £31,604 - £38,833.

For further info see: Dr Mark Holmes: Professor Jeremy Baumberg:

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Informal enquiries can be addressed via email to Dr Alex Patto at


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