Research Associate (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge is one of the world's oldest universities and leading academic centres. If you're looking for a new challenge and would like excellent benefits, extensive learning opportunities and a stimulating working environment in return for your skills and contribution, there could be a job here for you.

We are inviting applications for a talented and motivated postdoctoral scientist to contribute to a UKRI-funded project in the laboratory of Dr. Suzannah Rihn. This project will address the emerging and re-emerging threats coronaviruses pose to humans by examining the molecular determinants involved in coronavirus cross-species transmission.

In particular, the work will seek to evaluate the zoonotic potential of certain wildlife coronaviruses and will also seek to identify the specific molecular factors that govern their cross-species transmission. This will involve a range of experimental techniques, including genome-scale CRISPR knockout and other host factor screening approaches, virus pseudotyping and the use of reverse genetics for evaluation of virus tropism, along with other experimental and computational approaches. Ultimately, the project aims to utilise these findings to develop new frameworks that can more broadly evaluate virus zoonotic potential, in order to better identify viruses with epidemic or pandemic potential.

Recent publications involving our approaches and related projects include: Rihn et al., PLOS Biology 2021 (PMID: 33630831); Wickenhagen et al., Science 2021 (PMID: 34581622); Sugrue et al., PLOS Pathogens 2022 (PMID: 36399512); Shaw, et al., PLOS Biology 2021 (PMID: 34491982); Rihn et al., J Virol 2019 (PMID: 31375575).

This position is particularly well-suited to candidates with experience in molecular virology, but candidates with backgrounds in immunology and molecular biology are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants will be expected to work collaboratively with colleagues and contribute to a positive, friendly and dynamic research environment. They will be encouraged to bring their own initiative and contributions to the project.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD, or an equivalent research doctorate. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once PhD has been awarded.

Informal enquiries can be sent to Dr. Suzannah Rihn (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 November 2026 in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload a covering letter and a CV in the Upload section of the online application. The covering letter should outline how you match the criteria for the post and why you are applying for this role. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application.

Please include details of your referees, including email address and phone number, one of which must be your most recent line manager.

The closing date for applications is: 1st January 2024

The interview date for the role is: To be confirmed

Please quote reference RC39588 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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