Monday, June 21, 2021


Research Assistant

Job role:                           Research Assistant

Hours:                              Full time (37 hours per week)

Contract type:                 Fixed term (10 months)

Salary:                               £20,675 - £26,715 depending on experience

Job purpose:                    Work as a member of the MBA Darwin Tree of Life team to conduct fieldwork, deliver research and provide processed samples to the Sanger Institute as part of the Darwin Tree of Life Project.


The Marine Biological Association ( is an independent research institute carrying out leading-edge research in fundamental and strategic areas of marine biology.  As one of the world’s longest running Learned Societies (founded in 1884), the MBA is dedicated to promoting research into our oceans and the life that they support. Many eminent scientists, including twelve Nobel Prize winners, have conducted their research at the MBA’s Citadel Hill laboratory.  With our Royal Charter and over 1,900 members in 40+ countries worldwide, we have the mandate to provide an authoritative and independent voice for the international marine biological community.

The role

A new opportunity has arisen for a Research Assistant who will work alongside Drs. Nova Mieszkowska, Michael Cunliffe, John Bishop and Prof. Willie Wilson to deliver research in the context of the Darwin Tree of Life Project  The project aims to sequence the genomes of 60,000 species of eukaryotic organisms in the British Isles.  It is a collaboration between biodiversity, genomics and analysis partners that hopes to transform the way we do biology, conservation and biotechnology.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for sample collection in the field, preparation of tissue samples for DNA/RNA sequencing, and data entry as part of the DToL project.  They will work with the Research Assistant and Technicians in their preparation of samples for genome sequencing, barcode cataloguing and shipment of samples to the Sanger Institute and the Natural History Museum, and contribute to data entry for metadata, images, samples and barcode cataloguing in conjunction with the other team members.

They will also be involved in collaborating across a multi-disciplinary network, coordinating tasks within the research group and contributing to the wider research environment.  They will participate in consortium meetings via webinar and in person when required.

Salary and benefits

  • Salary will be based on experience
  • The MBA will contribute 10% of your basic salary into a defined benefits pension scheme.  You are required to make a 3% minimum contribution.  You can contribute over the 3% minimum and the MBA will match up to a maximum of 5%
  • Annual Leave allowance is 30 days plus bank holidays/privilege days (pro-rata if part time)

Key Responsibilities include:

 Essential skills/qualifications –

  •  A BSc in biological sciences, marine biology, microbiology or molecular ecology or a related discipline
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • An ability to work both independently and as part of a team (including supervising Research Assistants and Postgraduate students)
  • Taxonomic identification skills of marine organisms

Desirable skills/qualifications –

  • Microscopy skills
  • Experience in DNA barcoding

The Research Assistant will be based at the Marine Biological Association of the UK in Plymouth, but will be expected to travel to meetings, workshops and field locations as needed. 

For further information, please contact Dr. Nova Mieszkowska  (

Full details including job description can be found here  

Equal Opportunities

  • We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships

How to Apply:

To apply please send a covering letter and CV with details of 2 referees to, (Reference Research Assistant DToL) one of which must be your current employer.

The covering letter should:

  • outline your previous and most relevant experience
  • explain why you are right for the role

Please confirm where you saw the vacancy advertised

Closing date:                                                          21 June 2021

Interviews will take place the week of                 19 July 2021

Applicants must be eligible to live and work in the UK