Research Associate in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine

King's College London

The Department of Global Health & Social Medicine is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate to join a Wellcome Trust funded project exploring how biotechnology is reshaping our understanding of the human, and transforming relations between humans and other animals. The project, called Biomedical Research and the Politics of the Human (

) explores the role of cell-based biotechnologies on human and animal health, such as organoids, multi-cellular living systems, animal models and new techniques in bioengineering.

The project aims to investigate the bioethical, social and political implications of emerging biotechnologies. As a Research Associate, you will be responsible for conducting an in-depth qualitative and empirical case study on the ethical and political aspects of organoid technologies in the context of global health and infectious disease research. This is an exciting opportunity for a bioethicist trained in empirical research methods, or a social science researcher, into an area of fast-paced technological change and policy concern.

Applications are welcome from candidates with backgrounds in social science approaches to science, technology and medicine, or training in empirical bioethics, including Sociology, Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology, Bioethics and Science Communication. Other disciplinary backgrounds will be considered if they align with project objectives and requirements.

The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine is located within the School of Global Affairs and the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy.

The appointed person will have a knowledge of qualitative social science research methods and some experience and familiarity with emerging biotechnologies, the relationship between science and society and bioethical analysis. The appointed person will also have excellent organisational skills, a strong ability to communicate and the aptitude to work independently.

The post will be offered on a full-time, fixed-term basis for 14 months. However, the latest possible end date is 1 Jan 2025.

  • To engage in high-quality qualitative research and publication on issues related to ethical and political analysis of stem cell-based biotechnologies
  • Complete 2 peer-reviewed publications related to project work package on organoid technologies that are co-authored with the Principal Investigator
  • To make presentations at national and international conferences and project events.
  • To plan and deliver research outputs appropriate to the project guidelines and objectives.
  • To participate in project research design and implementation, including through full participation in project planning meetings.
  • To assist the project team with administrative and organisational tasks, including updating and contributing to the project website and social media platforms.
  • To assist the PI with dissemination and communication tasks.
  • To play a leadership role in the Biotechnology and Society Research group in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine.

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.

Essential criteria  

1.       PhD in a relevant field  

2.       Experience with qualitative social science research methods  

3.       Excellent research skills in social sciences approaches to science, medicine and technology 

4.       Experience of working in a team  

5.       Ability to undertake independent research  

6.       Excellent writing and communication skills  

Desirable criteria

1.       Familiarity with cell-based biotechnologies such as organoids or multicellular living systems, preferably 

2.       Familiarity with social and ethical analysis of infectious disease research in the context of global health  

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.

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