Dr Nicole Stremlau and Dr Eleanor Marchant are looking for a research assistant to work on a research project looking at genetics, law and technology.  We are developing a new research project looking at the ways in which biotechnologies are providing unprecedented opportunities to both predict, and select, the genetics of people before they are born, as well as ‘fix’ or edit genetic anomalies later in life, often with a simple blood test. Led by for-profit companies, technological innovation has been extremely rapid and governments and regulators have not kept up. Public understanding of the implications of genetic testing has also lagged.  The impact of these technologies has been further overlooked in many emerging markets where genetic counsellors and public debates on the ethics of biotechnology are rare but where emerging markets offer significant profit for companies.  Our focus during this phase of work will be on Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) tests. 


  • Prepare a literature review on the topics outlined above
  • Analyse publicly available data around non-invasive pre-natal testing (NIPT)
  • Exploring funding opportunities for the launch of a grant application and supporting the drafting of the application
  • Support the preparation articles on the topic for academic and practitioner journals
  • Manage own research and administrative activities, within guidelines provided by senior colleagues
  • Contribute to wider project planning, including ideas for the next stage of the larger research programme
  • Contribute to the design of research materials and sampling frames
  • Make arrangements for data gathering
  • Gather, analyse, and present qualitative and/or quantitative data from a variety of sources in the form of a written report
  • Responsible for the day-to-day administration of the research project
  • Represent the research group at external meetings/seminars, either with other members of the group or alone
  • Contribute to discussions and share research findings with colleagues in partner institutions, and research groups

Duration and hours

The work is to start as soon as possible and will run until 31 July 2020. The hours per week will vary, but the assistant will be expected to work up to 8 per week (and more will be possible if the successful applicant is eligible - students in the Law Faculty may not work for more than a total of eight hours per week).   


The Research Assistant will report to Dr Eleanor Marchant (acting PI during the maternity leave of the PI, Nicole Stremlau).



  • Hold a degree in the law, bioethics, genetics, or another relevant discipline together with some relevant experience
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Ability to manage own research and administrative activities
  • Effective communication skills, including the ability to write text that can be published, present data at conferences, and represent the research network at meetings
  • Experience of following and adapting methodologies


  • Working toward a research degree or a career in research
  • Experience of contributing to research publications
  • Experience of contributing ideas for new research projects
  • Ability to synthesis information from a range of sources


This role is intended for current graduate research students in the Law Faculty though recent graduates or students from other departments may be considered.

Rate of Pay

The work will be paid at the standard research assistant rate of £15.37/hour plus holiday pay per hour worked of £2.63 (total of £18.00/hour)


This project is funded by the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy.

How to Apply

A short CV and cover letter (including the name of your supervisor, if any) should be sent by email to eleanor.marchant@csls.ox.ac.uk by noon on 15th February 2020. Please explain how you meet the requirements and give details of your availability for this work.  Interviews may be held. 

Supervisors may be asked for a reference.

Informal enquiries may be emailed to eleanor.marchant@csls.ox.ac.uk

See https://pcmlp.socleg.ox.ac.uk/ for further information.