Research Vacancies

Research Assistant

Job Posted: 27 Jan 2017
Closing Date for Applications: 17 Feb 2017
School: APC Microbiome Institute & School of Microbiology
College: College of Medicine and Health & College of School of Science, Engineering and Food Science
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: €20,459-€32,930 (IUA Scale)

Position Summary

We are currently recruiting for the following Research Assistant position in the School of Microbiology/APC for a two year appointment.

We are seeking a Research Assistant to work on an exciting European collaborative study called DINAMIC. The aim of the project is to understand the role of the microbiome in modulating risk for metabolic disease particularly Type 2 diabetes. The project is funded by Science Foundation Ireland under the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) to encourage European networks. The UCC lab will thus work in close collaboration with leading microbiome labs in Amsterdam, Clermont-Ferrand, Naples, Munich and Paris. The appointed Research Assistant will apply culture-independent microbiome analysis techniques to establish the effect of faecal microbiota transplantation and dietary intervention on the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome in patients with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes. Prof. O’Toole’s lab in the APC Microbiome Institute, ( is one of the leading global centres in gut microbiota research. It is widely recognised that the gut microbiota plays an important role in human health, and this field has become one of the most dynamic, complex and exciting areas of research in both molecular microbiology, which impacts on both the food and pharmaceutical arenas. The APC has made several landmark discoveries in this area, and has published over 1000 research articles in peer-reviewed journals. Prof. O’Toole’s lab has conducted major investigations of gut health in the elderly and IBS (Pubmed IDs: 22180058, 22797518, 26090993), and maintains international collaborations examining gut microbes and cardiovascular disease risk and colon cancer (24247281, 26992426). DINAMIC takes advantage of current APC research on diet-microbiota interactions, with the main aim of the recruited scientist being to identify microbiota changes associated with beneficial clinical outcomes human subjects enrolled in clinical trials in the Netherlands and Italy. The appointee will be based in the School of Microbiology/APC, UCC.

Research Assistant (Unique position DINOT2)

Required Qualifications/Experience: At least a BSc in genetics, microbiology, biochemistry or another relevant molecular science. Experience in 16S rRNA amplification, purification and sequencing for microbiome compositional analysis, with a verifiable track record of contamination-free amplicon analysis, is essential. Experience of DNA extraction from clinical samples is essential.

Description of role: This appointee will perform microbiota analysis of human samples. They will extract DNA from human tissue including faeces and blood, and will require Hepatitis vaccination. They will amplify and purify bacteria DNA for culture-independent microbiota composition analysis. They will liaise with project staff in the clinic and in collaborating partners to advance project goals.

Salary: €20,459 - €32,930 (IAU Scale) 

Post duration: 2 years

Project Title: DINAMIC (Unique id: DINOT2)


This title will apply to a person of appropriate qualifications e.g., BSc or an MSc, employed on a contract for the purpose of assisting in the performance of research in the University. A Research Assistant will usually work under the direction of one or more Principal Investigator’s/Senior Researchers within a dedicated laboratory on one or more research projects.


  • To work under the direction of the Principal Investigator/Project Leader.
  • To provide assistance in conducting research activities, including planning, organizing, conducting, and communicating research studies within the overall scope of a research project.
  • To coordinate and perform a variety of independent and team activities involved in the collection, analysis, documentation and some interpretation of information/results.
  • To undertake tasks which may include recording results and preparing technical reports including conclusions and recommendations. To coordinate the development of forms, questionnaires and the application of qualitative and quantitative research techniques; write procedures manuals for data collection and coding.
  • To present information on research progress and outcomes to others responsible for the research project.
  • To provide guidance as required to any support staff and/or research students assisting with the research project, as agreed with the Principal Investigator/Grant holder.
  • Ideally to contribute to the publication of findings.
  • To confer with the Principal Investigator in developing plans for research projects and to discuss the interpretation of results and the preparation of manuscripts for publication.
  • To perform other related duties incidental to the work described herein.
  • To perform experiments in molecular microbiology and culture-independent microbiota analysis


  • A graduate qualification in a field of discipline relevant to the area of investigation i.e. BSc or MSc. A BSc in genetics microbiology, biochemistry or relevant biological science.
  • Some research experience is desirable.
  • Good report writing and presentation skills
  • Previous laboratory experience and practices are desired.
  • Good analytical skills and computer skills.
  • An ability to work independently to a tight schedule.
  • Capability of working effectively within a team to achieve results.
  • Evidence of excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • High levels of initiative are encouraged.
  • Vaccination appropriate for handling biological samples of human origin
  • Experience in 16S rRNA amplification, purification and sequencing for microbiome compositional analysis, with a verifiable track record of contamination-free amplicon analysis, is essential.
  • Please note that Garda vetting and international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: Paul O’Toole

Title: Professor

Email Address:

Telephone: 021-4903997

To Apply:

Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. and quote unique position id: DINOT2 for the post you are applying for to Ms. Gráinne Heelan, Research Support Officer, APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork.

Applications must be received before the closing date February 17th 2017.

Email: , telephone.: 021-4901430.

Supplementary Information on the Department/Research Centre and the post is available at the following URL:

University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer
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