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Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Methods for Structural Biology

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,076 - 38,183 a year
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Role Description

Introduction /the Role

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position for up to 18 months to work with Dr Kevin Cowtan on a BBSRC-funded project on novel methods for refining macromolecular models to explain crystallographic observations. You will be based within the York Structural Biology Laboratory which is located adjacent to the Biology Department but will be part of the Department of Chemistry. The aim is to develop methods for optimising molecular models which do not depend on attaching parameters to individual atoms. You will use your computing background to develop computer software for this task building on existing methods developed by Dr Cowtan and others for release as part of the CCP-EM software suite. You will test developments against a library of problem cases, and develop new algorithms to improve the performance of the software.

Key requirements

You are expected to have a PhD level qualification in computing, mathematics, or a science subject with a strong aptitude for computer programming and knowledge of modern computing technologies and languages and proven experience in computer programming in an object-oriented language.  Experience in C++ and python programming and in working with structural biology data, including 3D atomic models is desirable. You will have highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media including the ability to write up research work publication. You will have experience of carrying out independent and collaborative research and the ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals.  You will have good attention to detail and commitment to high quality.

About York/Chemistry

The University of York is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities. The recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) confirmed the position of the University among the leading institutions in the UK for research. The proportion of research activity of world-leading, 4* status is among the highest of any UK university, and York is rated tenth out of 155 higher education institutions for the impact of its research. The Department of Chemistry is one of the largest and most successful academic departments at York. The Department was placed in the top ten UK universities for Research Power by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF).  As a Department we strive to provide a working environment which allows all staff and students to contribute fully, to flourish, and to excel. We are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award.

Informal enquiries should be made to HR Recruitment (email: or Dr Kevin Cowtan ( The Department of Chemistry values all employees for the qualities and skills they bring to the workplace and aims to be a diverse and egalitarian community in which all can thrive.

Salary will be within the range: £31,076 - £38,183 a year and the post is available on a fixed term contract from October 2017 for up to 18 months on a full-time basis (although applications for flexible or part-time working will be considered).

Closing date: 11 July 2017

For further information and to apply on-line, please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

Athena Swan Gold


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Why York?

York is one of the most successful universities in the UK.

With world-class activity across the spectrum from the physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences to the humanities, we have been recognised as one of the top 100 universities in the world, gaining outstanding results in official assessments of our research and teaching.