Research Fellow in Microbiology

University of Queensland



About UQ

As part of the UQ community, you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside the brightest minds, who have joined us from all over the world, and within an environment where interdisciplinary collaborations are encouraged.


As part of our commitment to research excellence, we are proud to provide our staff with access to world-class facilities and equipment, grant writing support, greater research funding opportunities, and post-fellowship contracts via our UQ Amplify initiative.


At the core of our teaching remains our students, and their experience with us sets a foundation for success far beyond graduation. Not only do we have one of the largest PhD enrolments in Australia, but we have also made a commitment to making education opportunities available for all Queenslanders, regardless of personal, financial, or geographical barriers.


About This Opportunity 

To undertake research in the area of microbiology and natural product chemistry, to find new animal health antiparasitics from Australian soil microbes, as part of a Marine Bioproducts Cooperative research centre (MBCRC) Project between The University of Queensland and the industry partner Boehringer Ingelheim.


 Key responsibilities include:  

1. Research

  • Undertake the cultivation, isolation, taxonomic characterisation and cryopreservation of marine microbes (i.e. bacteria and fungi).

  • Undertake the analytical scale cultivation of microbes in a microbioreactor (i.e. MATRIX), and subsequent chemical (i.e. UPLC-DAD-MS and UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS-GNPS) and biological (i.e. antibiotic and cytotoxicity) profiling of microbial solvent extracts, fractions and pure natural products.

  • Work closely with the industry partner Boehringer Ingelheim to undertake antiparasitic profiling of microbial solvent extracts, fractions and pure natural products.

  • Undertake large scale microbial cultivation to produce, and use semi-preparative and preparative scale chromatography (HPLC, SPE, GEL) to isolate pure bioactive microbial natural products.

  • Use spectroscopic (NMR, MS, UV-vis and polarimeter) and chemical analysis to elucidate the structures of microbial natural products.

  • Support and contribute to the safe and efficient operations of research group equipment, infrastructure, methodologies and protocols.

  • Accurately document all research activities in lab books and specialist databases.

  • Prepare regular high quality written research reports and oral presentations.

  • Prepare and publish research manuscripts in leading peer-reviewed journals.

  • Provide supervisory support for research students.


2. Administration

  • Contribute to general laboratory administrative support, including ordering consumables, waste disposal, and instrument and equipment maintenance.

  • Actively participate in research group meetings.


3. Supervision and Researcher Development

  • Contribute to the effective supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students (as appropriate).

  • Demonstrates personal effectiveness in supervision and the management of researcher development.

  • Effective lead and develop supervisee performance and conduct by providing feedback, coaching, and professional development.

  • As appropriate, manage research support staff effectively throughout the employee lifecycle in accordance with University policy and procedures.

  • Working to promptly resolve conflict and grievances when they arise in accordance with University policy and procedures.


4. Citizenship and Service

  • Demonstrate citizenship behaviours that align to the UQ values.

  • Shows leadership of self through collaboration and active participation in priority activities for the unit

  • Provide support to other academic positions and unit operations as needed during other team members absences.

  • Contribute to internal service roles and administrative processes as required, including participation in decision-making and service on relevant committees.

  • Collaborate in service activities external to the immediate organisation unit.

  • Begin to develop external links and partnerships by cultivating relationships with industry, government departments, professional bodies and the wider community.


This is a research focused position. Further information can be found by viewing UQ’s Criteria for Academic Performance.


This is a full-time (100%), fixed-term position for up to 31 December 2025. At Academic level A. The full-time equivalent base salary will be in the range $74,308.68 - $99,426.59, plus a generous super allowance of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be up to $86,941.16 - $116,329.11 annually. As this role is covered by an Enterprise Agreement, you will also receive regular remuneration increases – at least once a year.


The greater benefits of joining the UQ community are broad:  from being part of a Group of Eight university, to recognition of prior service with other Australian universities, up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave, 17.5% annual leave loading, and genuine career progression opportunities via the academic promotions process.


About You


  • A PhD in organic/natural product chemistry with a sound knowledge of microbiology.


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Excellent practical skills and experience in the theory, technologies and techniques of organic chemistry, in particular those associated with natural products chemistry.

  • Excellent practical skills and experience in microbiology (i.e. sterile technique, the cultivation and isolation of bacteria and fungi from environmental samples, cryo-preservation and taxonomic analysis).

  • Experience in analytical scale miniaturized 24-well plate format (i.e. MATRIX) cultivation profiling of bacteria and fungi.

  • Experience in operating and troubleshooting chromatographic (i.e. UPLC, HPLC, LCMS and UPLC-QTOF) and spectroscopic (i.e. NMR, MS, UV-vis, polarimeter) instruments.

  • Experience in Global Natural Product Social (GNPS) molecular networking and online databases (i.e. SciFinder, Web of Science) as a dereplication and prioritization tool to advance the discovery of novel natural products.

  • Experience in bioassay guided microbial biodiscovery to advance the discovery of novel natural products.

  • Experience in using semi-preparative and preparative High Performance Liquid Chromatography (i.e. Agilent UPLC and HPLC) for the purification of structurally diverse natural products.

  • Experience in using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (i.e. Bruker 600 MHz) and Mass Spectrometry (i.e. Agilent UPLC-QTOF and Bruker HPLC-micrOTOF) for the structure elucidation of novel natural products.

  • Experience in using chemical analysis (i.e. Marfey’s and Mosher analysis, and chemical derivatization, degradation and synthesis) for the structure elucidation and biological assessment (i.e. structure activity relationship analysis) of novel natural products.

  • Experience in laboratory best practice OH&S.

  • Track record of publishing original research in leading peer reviewed scientific journals.

  • Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues.

  • Ability to work independently on multiple projects.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Well-organised, methodical and self-motivated.

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.



  • Experience in running antimicrobial and cytotoxicity assays.

  • Evidence of student supervision.


In addition, the following mandatory requirements apply:

  • Work Rights: Visa sponsorship may be available for this appointment. 

  • Mandatory Immunisations: It is a condition of employment for this role that you will be required to provide evidence of immunisation against certain vaccine preventable diseases.

  • Background Checks: All final applicants for this position may be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically barred from applying for this position. Each application will be considered on its merits. 


Relocating from interstate or overseas? We’ll support you with the visa sponsorship process and a relocation support package. You can find out more about life in Australia’s Sunshine State here.



For more information about this opportunity, please contact Dr Zeinab Khalil, or Prof. Rob Capon,    


For application queries, please contact stating the job reference number (below) in the subject line. 

Want to Apply? 

All applicants must upload the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

  • Resume

  • Cover letter

  • Responses to the ‘About You’ section


Other Information 

At UQ we know that our greatest strengths come from our diverse mix of colleagues, this is reflected in our ongoing commitment to creating an environment focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.  We ensure that we are always attracting, retaining and promoting colleagues who are representative of the diversity in the broader community, whether that be gender identityLGBTQIA+cultural and/or linguisticAboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, or people with a disability. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to 


If you are a current employee (including casual staff and HDR scholars) or hold an unpaid/affiliate appointment, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.


Applications close Thursday 9 November 2023 at 11.00pm AEST (R-30773).

In your application, please refer to


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