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Job summary

Main area
Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO) national
Fixed term: 36 months
Full time - 37.5 hours per week
Job ref
Public Health England
Employer type
Public (Non NHS)
Porton Down
£28,588 - £35,612 per annum pro rata
Salary period
30/04/2021 23:59

Employer heading

Public Health England logo

Early Stage Researcher (PhD Student)

Civil Service: Higher Executive Officer (HEO) national

Job overview

At Public Health England, Porton Down, we are looking for an Early Stage Researcher (PhD-candidate) at the following conditions:

  • 100% FTE = 37.5 hours per week
  • Limited for 36 months
  • Within the framework of the International Training Network "STIMULUS", starting earliest 1st May and latest 1st of September 2021

STIMULUS  is a European Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network working on reducing healthcare-associated infections. We train early-stage researchers (Ph.D. students) for a career in biomaterials by researching smart wound dressings that can detect and treat bacterial infections without opening the wound. STIMULUS combines the expertise of a range of scientists, government policy experts, and representatives from both SMEs and large enterprises.  For more information please visit the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks website as well as .

Potential candidates should not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Great Britain for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to appointment.

Main duties of the job

Your tasks:

  • Development of a range of single and mixed species biofilm models using consortia relevant to different infection settings, notably chronic and acute wounds
  • Standardisation of models to allow for the evaluation of smart dressings, biocides and/or other antimicrobial approaches.
  • Evaluation of approaches for real time monitoring of the fate of particular species of bacteria within a consortium using fluorescent tagging or species-specific probes.  
  • Assessment of a range of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) for their ability to disrupt and eliminate biofilms, alone or in combination with other antimicrobials
  • Exploration of suitable formulations to allow AMPs to be stably delivered to wounds.  
  • Contribution to the preparation and publication of results in relevant scientific journals
  • Involvement in a range of dissemination activities to promote the work of the research group and STIMULUS network.

Working for our organisation

Public Health England (PHE) is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care providing; strategic leadership, research, advice and support for Government, local authorities and the NHS in protecting and improving the nations health. We offer a benefits package designed to provide an excellent work/life balance, including generous annual leave entitlement, flexible working hours, possibility of working from home and membership of the excellent civil service pension scheme. We are absolutely committed to the development of our staff and offer wide-ranging opportunities for training and professional development.

Option 3 – External

Open to all external applicants (anyone) from outside the Civil Service (including by definition internal applicants).

Detailed job description and main responsibilities

Your profile:

  • Master or equivalent degree in one of the following fields: physics, materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, biotechnology, biology, biochemistry or a cognate discipline (the qualifying degree)
  • Hands-on experience in microbiology, molecular biology and/or biochemistry
  • Expertise in work with bacteria up to BSL2 and preferably biofilms
  • Knowledge of methods for the evaluation of antibacterial agents.
  • Very good command of the English language in speaking and writing


Person specification


Essential criteria
  • MSc or equivalent experience


Essential criteria
  • practical experience of microbiology up to BSL2
  • evaluation of antimicrobials
Desirable criteria
  • Biofilms


Essential criteria
  • Communication skills (including English spoken and written)
  • Ability to manage workload
  • Teamwork
Desirable criteria
  • Experience of communicating to a broad audience
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Documents to download

Apply online now

Further details / informal visits contact

Dr Charlotte Hind
Job title
Senior Project Team Leader
Email address
Apply online now