Research Scientist- Carbohydrate structure and fermentation


Contract length: 2 years
Salary: £30,750 to £37,750 per annum
Applications Close: 17 April 2017

An enthusiastic and dedicated Research Scientist with experience in carbohydrate fermentation and an interest in food structure and health is sought to join a research program investigating the behaviour of defined carbohydrates during colonic fermentation at the Institute of Food Research (IFR). IFR, along with its sister BBSRC-supported institutes, the John Innes Centre (JIC) and the Earlham Institute, are co-located with the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on the Norwich Research Park (NRP), and the project will involve collaborations across NRP.

The research will form part of the Food and Health Institute Strategic Programme (FH ISP) at IFR. The Institute has a distinguished track record in research into the structure-function relationships underpinning the nutritional benefits of carbohydrates in the diet, through multidisciplinary studies on dietary fibre, resistant starch and bioactive plant polysaccharides. The role will be within the Food Structure Group, working with Dr. Fred Warren and Prof. Pete Wilde.

One of the major focusses of my research group is the role of carbohydrate supramolecular structure in behaviour in the GI tract, in particular how different physical forms of carbohydrate influence microbial community composition and metabolite production ion the colon. The main project this post holder will be involved in will be an on-going study of starch fermentation in ex-vivo model colon systems comparing the fermentation behaviour of various forms of fermentable starch when fermented by healthy and IBS patient faecal samples. Gas production is monitored, as are a wide range of microbial metabolites using NMR based metabolomics platforms. Microbial community composition will be assessed using 16S and WGS approaches. In addition to this project, there will be the opportunity for the post-holder to take part in a range of other projects on-going in the research group focussed around carbohydrate structuring and behaviour in the digestive tract. There will be the opportunity to learn a range of other techniques, including advanced in vitro models of the upper GI tract, and physical methods for determining carbohydrate structure (DSC, SEC, solid state NMR).

The successful candidate will have a background in biochemistry or microbiology, will have experience in conducting experiments using in vitro fermentation systems or models of the human colon, and writing up the results for publication in internationally recognised journals. Experience in working with carbohydrates and in carbohydrate structure would also be beneficial.

In 2018, research teams from IFR, the University of East Anglia’s Faculty of Science and Norwich Medical School and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals’ gastrointestinal endoscopy facility will integrate into the Quadram Institute, a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research at the heart of the Norwich Research Park. (

Salary on appointment will be within the range £30,750 to £37,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This post is for a contract of 2 years.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site or contact Human Resources, Norwich BioScience Institutes Partnership, Norwich Bioscience Institutes, Norwich, NR4 7UA, UK, 01603 450149 quoting reference 1003211.  

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society.  The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values.  To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. 

The closing date for applications will be 17th April 2017.  

The Institute of Food Research is a registered charity (No 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.


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