University of Calgary
UofC Navigation
Share this Job:

Research Associate, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science

Job ID: 17072

Updated: December 5, 2018

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Biology in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Associate. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Research Associate will report to the PI. The research is part of an industry-sponsored contract requiring the timely completion of specific experimental objectives. The industry sponsor, Epimeron Inc. (, is a leader in the discovery, deployment, and optimization of genes underlying key plant biochemical processes. In partnership with its synthetic biology partners, Epimeron has demonstrated capabilities in the debottlenecking and enhancement of metabolic pathways for the commercial production of high-value bioproducts. The Research Associate will be expected to work full-time hours (35 hours per week). Flexibility in working hours is desired as evening and weekend work may be required depending on the nature of the research underway.

The primary purpose of this position is to work on projects aimed at optimizing the production of high-value plant metabolites in microorganisms through a combination of (i) novel gene discovery, (ii) substitution with empirically superior gene variants, (iii) semi-rational evolution of recalcitrant enzymes, and (iv) protein fusions to mimic native pathway architecture. The Research Associate will be responsible for (i) the establishment of new genomics resources, (ii) the isolation and characterization of novel biosynthetic genes, and (iii) the optimization of biosynthetic enzymes and pathways in microorganisms, in support of overall objectives of each project.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):


  • Prepare and utilize transcriptome, proteome and metabolome databases.
  • Identify gene candidates from omics data.
  • Conduct enzymological assays and experiments.
  • Design and construct microbial expression vectors.
  • Design and construct plant gene-silencing vectors.
  • Perform plant gene-silencing experiments.
  • Work both collaboratively and independently, as defined by the Principal Investigator, on laboratory experiments, data analysis and data interpretation as needed.
  • Conduct on-line literature searches as necessary to support scientific research activities.
  • Interact with other members of the team and provide technical support and offer advice on technical lab issues as needed.

Reporting & Publications

  • Maintain lab notebook by tracking results and findings in accurate and timely manner.
  • Provide up-to-date information on past, present and future laboratory experiments as required by the sponsor of the contracted research.
  • Participate in lab meetings on an as required basis reporting on progress made, issues arising and results obtained

Safety and Environment

  • Ensure the safe and reliable operation, and proper use of all laboratory equipment.
  • Ensures that supervisor is kept informed of activities, findings, and progress of work.
  • Perform other duties, as assigned by Research Supervisor.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Ph.D. in molecular biology and/or biochemistry required.
  • Postdoctoral research experience in molecular biology and/or biochemistry preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in accurate record keeping and reporting of research findings.
  • Strong analytical, organizational, time-management and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong communication skills (written and oral) and team work capabilities, while at the same time being able to work independently as may be required.
  • Willingness to perform any administrative and other duties associated with the research project, of an occasional nature, which may be assigned by Research Supervisor.
  • Experience in using the suite of Microsoft Office programs (or equivalent).
  • Experience in literature searching, including libraries, web sites and other media.

Application Deadline:  December 19, 2018

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


Need help?

View our Application FAQs for answers to common questions regarding the application and selection process.