UK DRI Research Assistant

Job Description

Dementia is the greatest health challenge of our century.

To date there is no way to prevent it or even slow its progression, and there is an urgent need to fill the knowledge gap in our basic understanding of the diseases that cause it.

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is the biggest UK initiative driving forward research to fill this gap.

We are a globally leading multidisciplinary research institute of 700 staff investigating the spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders causing dementia, with laboratory-based research groups located at University College London, the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Edinburgh University, Imperial College London and King’s College London.


Centre context



Researchers at the UK DRI at King’s use innovative approaches to explore the biological mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Their goal is to defeat dementia by uncovering vital new knowledge that will lead to the design of smarter diagnostics and effective treatments. The team aim to understand the fundamental biological processes involved in dementia at a molecular level – and to use that knowledge to design new ways to diagnose and treat disease more precisely.


The group of Dr Marc-David Ruepp is seeking an organised and enthusiastic individual for a full-time research assistant position to support their research. This position will involve significant work in molecular cloning, analysis of changes in gene expression by RT-PCR and qPCR, mammalian cell culture, and splicing modulation and thus requires consistency and attention to detail, as well as a willingness for occasional weekend work in the context of cellular work. The post-holder will also provide support for general organisational and technical duties to allow the smooth and efficient running of the lab.

Dr Marc-David Ruepp’s group works on RNA metabolism in health and disease with a specific focus on the two neurodegenerative diseases frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This position will provide valuable research support and contribute to the understanding of ALS/FTD in order to find effective therapeutic strategies.

  • Maintenance of cell cell cultures

  • Perform molecular biology, biochemistry, and imaging assays

  • Maintaining accurate laboratory records

  • Manage the ordering of laboratory supplies and equipment

  • Liaising with other technical staff to service and maintain stocks and equipment

  • Undertake any other reasonable duties that may be requested by Dr Marc-David Ruepp

  • Requires flexibility for occasional weekend work



  • BSc/MSci in Neuroscience or related discipline


Essential Skills

  • Experience in mammalian cell culture

  • Experience in molecular biology

  • Experience in preparing buffers and media

  • Experience in molecular biology: Nucleic acid isolation, RT, qPCR

  • Experience in splicing modulation using modified snRNAs

  • Experience in C++, Java, R and Graph Pad Prism


We are advertising for new GTAs for our UG programme modules in the Department of Psychology.  On completing the application process, please advise which areas you are interested in from the table below (noting as many or few as you like) and any experience you have around these and the essential criteria further down.

Interviews will take place on 17th and 18th June 2024.

Any queries, please contact Jackie Sansom (GTA Administrator) –; or Devin Terhune (GTA Lead) –

a. Biological Psychology (e.g., Psychology and the Brain, Contemporary Issues in Neuroscience). Leading seminars and practicals on the brain, cognition and the biological components of behaviour; marking and giving written feedback on students work.

b. Social Psychology (e.g., Psychology and Society). Leading seminars and practicals on social psychology; marking and giving written feedback on students’ work.

c. Individual Differences & Behaviour (e.g., Psychology and the Individual, The Origin of Individual Differences). Leading seminars and practicals on the principles of learning and conditioning, and on individual differences in personality and intelligence; marking and giving written feedback to students.

d. Developmental Psychology (e.g., Psychology and Development, The Origin of Individual Differences). Leading seminars and practicals on typical and atypical development in childhood; marking and giving written feedback on students’ work.

e. Cognitive Psychology (e.g., Choices; Distorted Worlds). Leading seminars and practicals on memory, attention, perception, and decision making; marking and giving written feedback to students.

f. Statistics Practical Classes (e.g., Research Methods 1-4). Assisting during statistics practical classes (often using SPSS); providing students with feedback on their work. Strong statistical skills and understanding, and the ability to explain statistical concepts are important for this role.

g. Statistics Practical Classes and Coding using R (e.g., Research Methods and Statistics with R, 1-3). Role involves assisting during practical classes teaching statistics and coding using R, marking and feedback, running helpdesks. Strong statistical skills and understanding, the ability to explain statistical concepts, experience in R, and some experience in coding are important for this role.

h. Research Design Seminars (e.g., Research Methods 1-4). Leading seminars on quantitative research methods, study design, and the interpretation and reporting of research.

i. Neuroscience/Neurophysiology/Pharmacology (e.g., Brain Form and Function): Assisting in practicals and classroom discussions on brain function in health and disease; feedback and marking.

j. Neuroanatomy/Neurodevelopment (e.g., The Making of a Brain,): Assisting in practicals and classroom discussions on neuroanatomy, neurodevelopment and the evolution of the central nervous system; feedback and marking.

k. Electrophysiology/EEG (e.g., The Electrophysiological Brain): Leading seminars, practicals and journal clubs on electrophysiological recordings and intracranial recording in animals or on human EEG and experimental design.

l. Neural Data analysis/Computational Neuroscience (e.g., Computing for Brain/Cognitive Scientists; Computational Neuroscience; Machine Learning): Role involves assisting during practical classes teaching neural data analysis and modelling, statistics, mathematical skills and coding using Matlab or Python, marking and feedback. Strong statistical and mathematical skills as applied to neural data analysis recordings and ability to explain mathematical/statistical concepts are required for this role, as is experience in coding.

m. Lab based skills and tools for molecular research (e.g., Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience)

Facilitating students in small group work in understanding the lab-based skills needed for neuroscience research and interpreting data and research articles.

n. Functional Neuroimaging using BOLD fMRI (e.g., Imaging the Brain, Reading the Mind; Introduction to fMRI). Assisting during seminars on BOLD fMRI as applied in cognitive/clinical neuroscience and practical classes involving fMRI data analysis

o. Cognitive Science (e.g., The Cognitive Brain, Cognitive Science): Leading seminars and practicals on cognitive science or cognitive neuroscience (e.g., analysis and discussion of classic approaches and findings).

p. Integrative Project Work (Addressing Real-World Problems). Facilitating student-led group work; helping students apply knowledge from their other modules to address a practical problem. Supporting students in the preparation of poster and oral presentations are important for this role.

q. Philosophy of Psychology Leading seminars and marking work for Year 2 UG psychology students.

r. ‘Stand-alone’ marking. Marking students’ work, and providing written feedback, on a module that you are not otherwise engaged to teach.

s. Outreach and Recruitment Work. Visiting schools to present to A-level students and their teachers on the details of the IoPPN’s BSc degrees and the research and scholarship undertaken at the IoPPN (training/preparation provided by IoPPN the Marketing & Outreach Team).

Key Responsibilities

Participation in appropriate training.

Delivery of agreed package of teaching activities to a high standard, under the direct supervision of a member of academic staff. These activities may include seminars, classes, practical sessions, other small group work to develop student skills, demonstrating techniques, and managing online discussion forums.

Careful and proportionate preparation for teaching activities.

Marking and assessment (formative and summative) under supervision of module leaders or other appropriate academic staff.

Provision of timely and useful formative and summative feedback to students.

Routine administration and correspondence associated with teaching delivery (e.g., monitoring student attendance).

Liaison with senior colleagues regarding module delivery and development (e.g. provide feedback on activities to improve future delivery of the module).

{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.}


GTAs will not be expected to:

Lead lectures, though very occasionally may be offered this opportunity in their specialist field

Provide pastoral support to students or act as a personal tutor

Be involved in Open Days or admissions activities

Provide students with references

Set assessments

Be available to students at all times

Carry out unremunerated additional work on an ad hoc basis


Education / qualification and training

Excellent subject knowledge of psychology and/or neuroscience as appropriate to the specific teaching role – For example, as evidenced by excellent performance in a BPS-accredited undergraduate psychology degree, an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, and/or psychology or neuroscience masters degree and/or successful application of psychology or neuroscience content to postgraduate research in the psychological sciences or neuroscience.

Undertaking psychological or neuroscience research at King’s College London, either as a PhD student or as a postdoctoral researcher.


Knowledge / skills

Excellent written and oral communication skills, including competence in explaining psychological and/or neuroscience concepts, describing psychological and/or neuroscience research, and providing clear and constructive feedback.


Experience of presenting psychology and/or neuroscience research.

Experience of facilitating or leading group work, activities or discussion.

Personal characteristics/other requirements

Ability to self-reflect on teaching design and delivery and act on feedback for future improvements.

A commitment to delivering high quality education to psychology and/or neuroscience undergraduate students as part of a team.

Diligent in preparing for teaching sessions and assessment activities; including undertaking preparatory reading, planning, and familiarization with assessment briefs and marking criteria.

Role specific requirements

Able to attend regular weekly/fortnightly teaching sessions as appropriate to the specific teaching role.

Able to assess and provide feedback on students’ work.

Able and willing to complete initial training for the role (a) Completing an Introduction to Teaching in Health & Sciences, a course run by King’s Academy (or have already completed the course, or the similar KCL-run course titled Preparing to Teach); (b) Participate in Departmental Training for New Graduate Teaching Assistants.

Able and willing to engage in ongoing role-specific training, e.g., team meetings for seminar/practical leaders, calibration meetings for assignment marking.

This is a part-time, flexible role to undertake a specific programme of work before the end of July. There are nominally 14 hours per week over 8 weeks, but this may be undertaken at times suiting the successful candidate, according to the needs of the project, in agreement with the PI.

The role is to assist with the research and stakeholder consultation components of a co-design curriculum development initiative to improve data science education for nutrition and dietetics students at King's.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Registering the project with the minimal-risk ethics register

  • Coordinating stakeholder group (internal and external stakeholders, including students, academics, employers and subject-matter experts)

  • Assisting with the design, conduct and analysis of a mixed-methods project to evaluate stakeholder needs and student and staff openness to engage with an enhanced data science curriculum

  • Assisting with a mapping exercise for practices in other institutions/departments and professional standards

  • Supporting a rapid review of the literature in relation to statistics, data science, research methods and digital health education in nutrition & dietetics


  • An undergraduate degree in nutrition, dietetics, sports science, food science or from a statistical or healthcare background

  • Enrolled or near completion of a postgraduate research degree in a related field


  • Experience supporting ethics submissions

  • Skills to support stakeholder engagement

  • Research and analytic skills to support core research elements of the project

  • Desirable: Experience with mixed-methods research, in particular, facilitation, co-design or similar methodologies

Leading English speaking sessions with international students - using questions to help guide the conversation.

Must be available to lead sessions on Fridays (daytime). 

This is an ONLINE position. No travel required.




None - training provided.