Research Fellow, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology

United Kingdom
Oct 17, 2016
Nov 14, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time

Almac Discovery is a biotech company that is leading an exciting industrial-academic collaborative drug discovery programme with the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). Located in new laboratories in the Centre for Precision Therapeutics on the Medicine, Health and Life Science campus of QUB, and with access to world leading basic and clinical research, we are seeking an innovative synthetic organic chemist with the drive and creativity to solve complex scientific problems and to make a real impact in biomedical research. Working on novel targets and approaches to drug discovery, from hit-generation through to candidate selection, you will design and produce new compounds to help deliver the next generation of oncology medicines.The candidate will be fully integrated with the drug discovery teams and make significant contributions to on-going programmes, including synthesis and characterisation of small-molecule hits, probes and focussed libraries for medicinal chemistry programmes.


  • Design of fit-for-purpose synthetic routes and complete the synthesis of novel small molecules/scaffolds and focused libraries.
  • Ensure that target molecules are delivered in the required quantities, quality and in a timely and efficient manner for biological testing.
  • Utilise best practice methods for the efficient synthesis and purification of molecules, including parallel methods, where appropriate.
  • Maintain a high level of modern synthetic organic chemistry knowledge, skills and best practices.
  • Ensure accurate and timely write-up of experiments and registration of new compounds.
  • Have an excellent working knowledge of modern spectroscopic methods and utilise these effectively in day to day work.
  • Work as part of a collaborative team to ensure optimal progression of projects at all times.
  • Carry out routine administrative tasks associated with the research project/s to ensure that project/s are completed on time and Present regular progress reports/data analysis to members of the research project team.
  • Contribute to patent filings as required. within budget. 1 Ensure the laboratories and other facilities are operated and maintained to a high standard of HSE compliance.

Planning and Organising:

  • Independent planning of own day-to-day research activity based upon the agreed project aims.
  • Plan short term strategy and workflow (1-3 months) based upon the agreed research programme.
  • Coordinate and liaise with other members of the research group to ensure project progress.
  • Plan in advance to meet deadlines for journal publications and to prepare presentations and papers for conferences.

Resource Management Responsibilities:

  • Take shared responsibility for the upkeep of lab equipment and replenishment of lab stocks and exercise due diligence when using equipment.
  • Maintain a database of intermediate and final compounds based on working project that will be used to underpin sample storage, registration and biological testing.

Internal and External Relationships:

  • Work collaboratively with external academic/industrial partners if required. Communicate appropriately with lab colleagues the latest research findings/results


  • Have or be about to obtain a PhD synthetic organic chemistry.
  • An Honours degree in relevant scientific area.
  • At least 3 years lab based synthetic organic experience working on small molecule design and synthesis.
  • Strong track record of the practical application of organic chemistry principles (eg experimental design, purification procedures etc).
  • Experience in organic synthesis optimization.
  • Experience of/ability to utilise standard analytical techniques (NMR MS etc) for effective monitoring of experimental work.
  • Evidence of proactive organisational capabilities.
  • Sufficient breadth and depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes.
  • Sufficient l knowledge and literature awareness of synthetic organic chemistry to be able to design and implement effective synthetic routes to target compounds.
  • Evidence of effective ownership, planning and development of own work programme within the general remit of the project including evidence of project completion. Must display clarity of thinking, organisation and attention to detail and ability to work within deadlines.
  • Evidence of communication skills. Ability to communicate complex information clearly.
  • Ability to build contacts and participate in internal and external networks and research presentations.
  • Team worker, highly motivated, supportive of junior colleagues within the group.
  • Ability to assess and organise resources.
  • Must demonstrate a true commitment to and interest in research.
  • Must be willing to work irregular hours when necessary for the progress of the research project.
  • Must be willing and able to travel to external meetings and/or conferences when required.




  • Prior pharmaceutical/biotechnology industrial experience beneficial (eg. collaborative project; previous employment).
  • Some experience of developing and interpreting SAR data in a medicinal chemistry context.
  • Knowledge/application of parallel/divergent arrays.
  • Peer reviewed publications.
  • Experience in small molecule medicinal chemistry.
  • Evidence of previous contribution to administration, collaborative links with industry or to community outreach programmes.
  • Ability to prioritise research experiments in order to meet deadlines and targets.
  • Good communication and verbal skills with an ability to explain and rationalise chemical challenges and experimental results to a non-specialist audience.
  • Good interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to professional development, as evidenced by membership of scientific societies, eg RSC, ACS etc.