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Thursday, 19 December 2019
Junior Research Fellowship available with the Biopharming Research Unit


The Biopharming Research Unit (BRU) in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Cape Town has been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship grant for three years. We invite applications for this fixed term three-year contract post available from 1st March 2020. 

The BRU in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is a University-based research unit that is student-centred and develops early-stage “biologics” or protein-based pharmaceuticals, mainly made in plants. The focus of the Unit is on the development of candidate vaccines and diagnostics for animal and human health. We have wide collaborations with national and international scientists and we are a feeder for industry. The Junior Research Fellow will be able to run their own research projects and is expected to apply for their own grant funding as well. 


  • A PhD degree, with a minimum of three years’ experience in molecular farming
  • Experience in routine and advanced molecular biological techniques
  • Experience in the recombinant expression of complex proteins
  • Experience in protein expression engineering strategies
  • Experience in advanced protein purification
  • Evidence of supervision and mentoring of postgraduate students
  • Good computer literacy skills and experience with DNA manipulation software
  • Record of published papers
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills


  • Experience in assessing immunogenicity of plant-made proteins
  • Experience in gradient centrifugation and affinity chromatography
  • Experience in plant and animal tissue culture and recombinant protein production in E. coli
  • Experience in obtaining ethical clearances and DAFF approval
  • Lab administrative skills
  • Experience in writing grant applications and reporting to funders


  • Planning and conducting research
  • Management of projects, including applying for research grants
  • Sending technical reports to funders
  • Supervision of BRU Scientific Officers
  • Supervision and training of postgraduate students
  • Management of laboratory, maintenance of equipment and databases
  • Contribution to the publication of peer-reviewed scientific papers

The annual cost of employment, including benefits (where applicable), is R 500 000.

To apply, please e-mail the documents below in a single pdf file to Natasha Khan at

  • UCT Application Form (download at
  • Cover/motivation letter
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV), please include in your CV techniques with which you are familiar

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.
An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Telephone: 021 650 5712
Reference number: E19530
Closing date: 17 January 2020

UCT is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity and redress in achieving its equity targets. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at For this post we seek particularly to attract South African candidates.

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.