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Job id: 079125. Salary: £42,405 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.

Posted: 16 November 2023. Closing date: 16 January 2024.

Business unit: Natural, Mathematical & Engineering Sci. Department: Physics.

Contact details: Rafael Tapia-Rojo.

Location: Strand Campus. Category: Research.

Job description

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to work on single protein nanomechanics in the Department of Physics at King’s College London. This post is an ERC-awarded project funded by the UKRI Horizon Europe guarantee. 

In this role, you will develop and employ cutting-edge force spectroscopy techniques to unravel the molecular mechanisms governing key mechanotransduction processes in focal and fibrillar adhesions. Specifically, your research will focus on studying, from a single-molecule perspective, how post-translational modifications finely tune the activity of force-sensing proteins, such as talin, FAK, or tensin.  

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 24 months, with the latest end date being 1st January 2029 

This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent

Key responsibilities

  • You will conduct single-molecule experiments to measure protein dynamics under force 
  • You will contribute to the development of new instrumentation
  • You will develop and implement novel analysis methods to interpret the experimental data
  • You will identify new research avenues, create innovative research methodologies, and expand the research portfolio
  • You will become an active member of the Tapia-Rojo research group, taking part in its research programme, engaging in lab meetings, and providing support to fellow group members
  • You will participate actively in the Biophysics community at the Department and at King’s College London, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange
  • You will attend and present your work at relevant national and international conferences.
  • You will contribute to publications arising from this project
  • The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.       Hold, or be near completion of, a PhD in Physics, Biophysics, Chemistry, Biochemistry or equivalent 

2.       Demonstrate excellent quantitative skills 

3.       Have hands-on experience in protein biophysics/biochemistry 

4.       Exhibit a strong ability to collaborate effectively within a team while also displaying initiative and independent problem-solving skills 

5.       Have excellent writing and communication skills 

Desirable criteria

1.       Show experience in single molecule techniques (AFM, optical tweezers, magnetic tweezers, FRET, …) 

2.       Demonstrate programming skills 

3.       Posses experience in instrument development 

4.       Have experience in Molecular Dynamics simulations 

* Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6. 

Further information

This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 24 months, renewable.   

To apply, please include in your application your CV, cover letter, and details of your referees. 

Informal enquiries are welcome at

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion  

There are the number of areas where we are underrepresented at King’s. We particularly encourage applications from those who BAME and/or LGBTQ+ and/or have a disability. 

King’s is an inclusive and welcoming university. We embrace diversity and want everyone to be able to bring their whole selves to work and succeed. We promote flexible working as a key enabler of inclusion.