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Enterprise Fellow – Nucleic Acid Chemistry - Molecular Tools and Diagnostics Development Unit

Molecular Diagnostics and Therapeutics

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £27,578 to £33,884
Full Time Fixed Term
Closing Date:  Friday 07 September 2012
Interview Date:   Tuesday 02 October 2012
Reference:  146312EB

The University of Southampton has recently established a Molecular Tools and Diagnostics Development Unit and is seeking to appoint an Enterprise Fellow to drive the commercialisation of discoveries emerging from the research base. This is a unique opportunity for a research chemist with academic or industrial experience to work at the interface of academic discovery and real world application.

The development unit is based in the Nucleic Acids Research Group led by Professor Tom Brown, but will also draw upon the wider expertise across the University. The group conducts highly interdisciplinary research, focusing on nucleic acid chemistry and its applications in fields including DNA diagnostics, forensic science and nanotechnology. Professor Brown has a current research portfolio of £7.6 million, is the founder of three companies and has played a key role in the development of several new technologies in collaboration with industrial partners.

The most recent discovery, which has attracted significant commercial interest, is a novel click chemistry technique to join oligonucleotides together and is the first time that an artificial linker can be read through by a polymerase. This technology also featured on, a new open innovation website, and has attracted interest from the IP Group, a leading UK intellectual property commercialisation company.

The Enterprise Fellow will be a key interface for the research group with the commercial world, working closely with the University’s Research & Innovation Services department to support the building of industrial collaborations and the commercialisation of discoveries.

Key responsibilities will include:

  • Conducting lab based development of discoveries for commercial applications
  • Optimising processes for specific applications and providing reagents to potential licensees
  • Building relationships with companies through conference attendance, company visits and telephone approaches
  • Providing timely follow up with companies and maintaining the momentum of discussions
  • Identifying commercially valuable discoveries
  • Interrogating the scientific literature and patent landscape to identify opportunities
  • Building a knowledge of company products and strategic interests
  • Building a knowledge of relevant research at the University

You will be educated to PhD level or equivalent, have significant experience in nucleic acid chemistry as a research scientist in academia or industry. You will have excellent communication skills, be well-organised with the ability to multi-task. You must be confident interacting with research scientists and business development professionals. Most importantly, you will be a self-starter and enjoy the challenge of making things happen. 

Two years of funding has been awarded for this post, however, this contract will be for 12 months, with the possibility of extension at 9 months for a further year, or more, if the commercial case is strong enough.

If you would like to discuss this position in more detail then please contact Adam Irvine, Collaboration Manager, Research and Innovation Services – email: or call 023 8059 8582.

For more information on the Nucleic Acid Research Group please visit: http://www.

The closing date for applications is 7 September 2012. Please apply through or telephone 023 8059 2750 for an application form. Please quote reference number 146312EB in all correspondence.

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position

Further details:

We aim to be an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Please note that applications from agencies will not be accepted unless indicated in the job advert.

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