Vice Chancellor's Fellow - Biotechnology in the Built Environment

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

The Hub for Biotechnology in the Built Environment (HBBE) is a £8M initiative between Northumbria and Newcastle Universities funded by Research England’s Extending Excellence in England (E3) scheme. HBBE will develop biotechnologies to create a new generation of buildings which are responsive to their environment, grown using engineered living materials, metabolise their own waste, and modulate their microbiome to benefit human health.

The Hub is a strategic expansion including 13 new academic staff, supported by 6 PDRAs, 12 PhD students and 3 support staff. This will include 3 new research facilities that will integrate our research: the Micro Bio-Design Lab (Northumbria), the Macro Bio-Design Lab (Newcastle) and a unique Experimental ‘Living’ House, ‘The OME’.

As part of the initiative, Northumbria University is seeking 7 highly motivated Vice Chancellor’s Fellows to join a multidisciplinary team in, but not limited to, the following research areas: Biodegradation, Biofilms Engineering, Bioreactor Design and Engineering, Computational Enzyme Design, Computer Learning for Biological Systems Design, Construction Biotechnology, Microbial Ecology, Microbial Metabolic Modelling, and Synthetic Biology.

The successful Vice Chancellor’s Fellows will receive:

  • a start up package of a PhD student and associated consumables;
  • access to i) research seeds funds; ii) new, innovative and dedicated laboratories and office space and iii) state of the art multi-OMICS infrastructure and support (high resolution Thermo mass specs; and Illumina, Oxford Nanopore and PacBio sequencing platforms).

These are permanent academic posts with significant research focus during the period of the research project and will progress to a Lectureship post, subject to the successful completion of a probationary period. There will be a gradual increase in teaching responsibilities after the first 2 years and 7 months of the fellowship.

The successful fellows will join the Department of Applied Sciences in the Faculty of Health, Life Sciences at Northumbria University. The department contains, in additional to multi-OMICS infrastructure and support, recently refurbished well equipped laboratories for biochemistry, molecular biology and tissue culture, a microscopy suite (including fluorescence and laser capture microscopes), and high performance computing.

The successful candidate must hold a first degree and be qualified to doctoral level in a relevant subject; with specialist knowledge gained through research activity. A proven ability to deliver high quality research with an appropriate publication profile are essential. Applicants with an interest in collaboration across discipline boundaries are encouraged to apply.  

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof Gary Black, Dr Darren Smith and Dr Meng Zhang at

To apply for this vacancy please click 'Apply Now', and submit (a) a Covering Letter (up to 2 sides of A4) indicating how your track record and research interests fit this initiative, and (b) your CV including a full list of publications. 

Please Note: The selection dates will be from 27 September 2019 - 09 October 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN (Bronze) award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Please note this vacancy will close on 09/09/2019