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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


Job opportunities will be advertised here with a focus on jobs at the University of Cambridge and in local companies. Opportunities will be included in the SRI newsletter. If you'd like your vacancy listed here please contact the SRI Coordinator on

Job Listing

The Forrest Research Foundation attracts outstanding minds to Western Australia to undertake high quality research with the potential to change the world. Forrest Post-doctoral Fellows will reside in Forrest Hall and provide valuable mentoring to Forrest Scholars and provide leadership to the Forrest Research Foundation. They will carry out their research over a 3 year period to meet the requirements and expectations of their host university.

A postdoctoral position is available at the Wellcome Sanger Institute to advance research in human genome synthetic genomics. This position will be led by Tom Ellis and David Adams as part of the Institute’s new Synthetic Genomics Initiative working within the Institute’s Cancer section. The role will coordinate with ongoing research in cancer genomics, and new research in designing and implementing synthetic genomics methods for the human genome. This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to develop and demonstrate state-of-the-art methods for using genome engineering and genomic loci synthesis to synthetically probe the effects of mutation and rearrangement on a major cancer gene. As the goal is focused on showcasing technology development, there will be substantial freedom for the postdoc to guide the research of the project.

The Global Challenges Research Fund is supporting a pump-priming programme to take the Biomaker Challenge to centres in Africa. Biomaker is an interdisciplinary programme that brings together multiple teams to build low-cost sensor devices and instruments for biology ( The Biomaker Africa programme is co-organised by the Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative, the BBSRC-EPSRC OpenPlant, Centre for Global Equality and OpenBioeconomy Lab in Cambridge. We are looking for a Challenge Coordinator for 12 weeks during May-Jul 2019 to take responsibility for coordinating participating teams and managing online communications and social media. This includes organising and publicising events and highlighting interesting projects online through writing and multimedia presentations, coordinating training and connecting teams who might be able to share knowledge and skills.

Applications are invited for the position of Laboratory Research Technician in the research group of Prof. Jim Haseloff at the OpenPlant Laboratory at the Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University. The group focuses on the development of technologies to establish Marchantia polymorpha as the model plant in Synthetic Biology, and protocols for working with this plant, such as transformation, production of spores and CRISPR mutagenesis, are well established.

OpenCell has established biotech labs in 70 shipping containers in Shepherd’s Bush London. This is a non-conventional way of providing ultra low-cost biotech labs for startups. OpenCell is managing and building more labs and need someone to join the team who wants to rethink how the lab is designed. This is a unique way to interact with early stage business and applied biotechnology. Consisting of a small team from diverse backgrounds, the OpenCell community is always looking for unusual solutions to difficult problems.

The Schmidt-Dannert Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and the BioTechnology Institute University of Minnesota (USA) has open postdoc positions for synthetic biologists/biochemist with a background in molecular biology, genetic/protein engineering or biochemistry. Postdoctoral positions may start immediately and will be for up to three years, following the successful completion of a one-year probationary period.

Synoptics is a Cambridge-based company producing hardware and software for the life sciences sectors. We are looking for a bright and enthusiastic software developer to work on both new and existing software packages, working with various cameras and bespoke hardware. Our products are mainly written in C# (.Net 2.0 to .Net 3.5) utilising our range of .Net components (written in C++).

We are seeking a posdoctoral chemist, chemical engineer or materials scientist who wishes to gain experience in the application of their research to solve problems in the basic biological and biomedical sciences. They will develop open technologies to increase access to biological research tools for scientists in low-resource contexts. The ideal candidate will have prior experience with hydrogels and nanocomposite materials.

The PNAC Division of the MRC LMB invites applications for a tenure-track Group Leader position. We seek an outstanding colleague whose work will complement current research themes in the Division, which include molecular mechanisms of infection and immunity, signalling, DNA repair and replication, synthetic biology, and chemical biology.

Designing systems that grow human cells means creating elegant multidisciplinary solutions that interweave mechanical, electronic, and fluidic systems.

We are looking for an exceptional individual who has demonstrated an ability to design from scratch hardware solutions combining mechanical and electronic systems, while keeping in mind short-term and long-term manufacturing strategies. Someone who'd be willing to continuously learn the new knowledge needed to design hardware for non-typical use cases.

We are looking for an exceptional individual who has demonstrated an ability to bring together deep biological expertise with novel engineering solutions. Someone who'd learn the new skills needed to break down a tough problem into a solvable one.

The Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Nottingham is seeking creative and motivated metabolic engineering scientists and/or synthetic biologists to work on developing gas-fermenting microbial chassis for sustainable bioproduction of chemicals and fuels.

Are you completing your PhD or post-doc, and looking to make your first steps into industry? We’re looking for an Applied Scientist to work on multidisciplinary projects, providing expertise (both theoretical knowledge and practical lab skills) in molecular biochemistry, conjugate-fluorescence chemistry and enzymology.

A fixed term postdoctoral appointment is available within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh to work on the automatic (re)design of synthetic promoters, primarily for mammalian cells, focusing on the control Chimeric Antigen Receptors expression. As part of this project, the successful candidate will develop a microfluidics-based platform to perform high-throughput cell screening and will liaise with the Edinburgh Genome Foundry to build, and automatically model, large libraries of synthetic inducible promoters.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work under the supervision of Dr Michael Booth on a research project funded by OxSyBio for a period of 12 months in the first instance. The project involves the development of light-activated synthetic cells for drug delivery into mammalian cells.

Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK) is looking for exceptional Researcher candidates in deep learning. Microsoft AI and Research works with the world's best researchers, moving with the current of technology as it rapidly evolves. Together we share the motivation to seek innovative solutions to the world's toughest challenges and improve the lives of people everywhere.

The successful applicant would be expected to develop a program of research in deep learning methods, enabling new applications in processing of images, text or other structured data. This is an exceptional opportunity to drive ambitious research while collaborating with product teams in one of the largest software companies in the world.

The Earlham Institute (EI) is seeking a skilled Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Dr Nicola Patron to work on a collaborative project to engineer plant responses to nitrogen availability.

The CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships scheme is funded through the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBio FSP). The scheme aims to attract outstanding national and international early- to mid-career post-doctoral researchers (equivalent to Academic Levels A and B, or in exceptional circumstances, Level C) to expand Australian research capacity in synthetic biology. A key element of the SynBio FSP is establishment of a collaborative community of practice extending across CSIRO and Australia, and linking into international efforts in the field.

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scientist (Genomics) to join the Laboratory of Anthony Hall in the Designing Future Wheat Programme at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.

The Earlham Institute (EI) is looking for a highly motivated Bioinformatician or Computational Biologist to join an exciting project in conjunction with the Hall and Swarbreck groups to analyse the wheat pangenome and pantranscriptome. The candidate will work independently, with other group members and national and international collaborators to develop computational tools and pipelines to analyse these large datasets.

The Department of Sociology in the University of Cambridge is seeking to appoint a full-time Post-Doctoral Research Associate to join the European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept funded research project 'AirKit', directed by Professor Jennifer Gabrys.

The project is based within the Citizen Sense research project ( in the Cambridge Sociology Department. The Research Associate will contribute to the consolidation, testing and further development of an air quality monitoring toolkit for use by diverse communities. The Research Associate will contribute to the planning, coordination and hosting of events, and will conduct collaborative research to contribute to project publications for academic, policy and public audiences.

A position is available for a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher to develop a local manufacturing facility for molecular biology enzymes in Kumasi, Ghana. The project aims to overcome barriers in accessing these important research tools and build capacity to underpin emerging bioeconomies. The successful applicant will join the Biolab Team at Kumasi Hive, collaborating closely with the Open Bioeconomy Lab at the University of Cambridge. The project will focus on implementing and optimising protocols for affordable manufacturing and purification of DNA polymerases and other enzymes. The position will start in Feb 2019.

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR FOR GOOD SOFTWARE PRACTICE IN YOUR RESEARCH DOMAIN. Our Fellowship Programme funds researchers in exchange for their expertise and advice. Each Fellow is allocated £3,000 to spend over fifteen months. The funding is flexible to support activities that are beneficial to both the Fellows’ and the Institute’s aims: for instance, to fund travel to conferences, to setup and run workshops, to organise software sustainability sessions at domain conferences, or to host, organise or teach training events.

Colorifix is a startup bringing novel, sustainable and environmentally friendly processes to the textile dyeing industry to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals, and also give large savings in water and energy use. Colorifix has been recognised by winning awards in both synthetic biology and fashion with our technology on public display in the Victoria and Albert museum’s Future of Fashion section of the Fashioned from Nature exhibition.

Colorifix is a startup bringing novel, sustainable and environmentally friendly processes to the textile dyeing industry to eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals, while saving on water and energy. Colorifix has been recognised by winning awards in both synthetic biology and fashion with our technology on public display in the Victoria and Albert museum’s Future of Fashion section of the Fashioned from Nature exhibition.

Are you a highly motivated post-doctoral researcher who wants to increase global access to research and teaching using molecular biology techniques? Join the Open Bioeconomy Lab at the University of Cambridge to create an open source toolkit for local manufacturing of enzymes for molecular biology research in low-resourced contexts, including low and middle income countries and community labs. The project aims to overcome barriers in accessing these important research tools and build capacity to underpin emerging bioeconomies. You'll join an exciting interdisciplinary community with scope to travel for knowledge exchange activities in Africa and Latin America.

The Pardee ( and Sinton Labs ( at the University of Toronto are seeking a postdoctoral fellow with expertise in engineering devices for biological applications. The proposed project aims to develop a novel fluid-handling device to manipulate synthetic biology reactions, control temperature and perform optical monitoring. This position is unique as it emphasizes the confluence of engineering design principles with an understanding of biological systems in order to develop accurate, automated, and commercialization-ready units. This exciting position provides the opportunity to engage with both the design and development stages of the device, as well as with its practical implementation for scaling clinically relevant gene circuit-based reactions.

The Pardee Lab ( at the University of Toronto is seeking a postdoctoral fellow with research experience with molecular biology, biochemistry and microbiology. Our lab specializes in cell-free synthetic biology, which uses freeze-dried biochemical reactions to operate genetically encoded tools outside of the lab in a biosafe format. Our efforts have led to the development of synthetic gene network-based diagnostics (e.g. Ebola and Zika viruses) and a portable platform for the on-site manufacture of protein-based drugs (e.g. vaccines, antibodies). We are now advancing these technologies in new directions and are looking for a postdoctoral fellow that shares our passion for innovation, practical applications and ultimately commercialization of new biotechnologies. The selected candidate will develop synthetic biology applications for human health as part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers.

Eligo Bioscience is a VC_backed biotech startup, cofounded by professors and scientists from MIT and Rockefeller. The company is developing next-gen therapeutics for precision microbiome engineering and bacteria-associated diseases. Our technology is based on the delivery of genetic circuits to the microbiome via engineers phase particles.

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 ( )

Applications are invited from talented and passionate scientists for a position leading Cambridge Glycoscience’s synthetic biology R&D programme. Cambridge Glycoscience is a food technology start-up. Our mission is to tackle the greatest public health crisis of modern times - excessive sugar consumption. We do this by creating functional, nutritional, and economic substitutes for sugar that function across the food industry, using cutting edge synthetic biology approaches. We operate across the value chain from lab bench and industrial production all the way to the kitchen and consumers. We have strong connections to the University of Cambridge’s Biochemistry Department.