Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Protagonist Research Project

The University of Queensland

  • Institute for Molecular Bioscience

  • Join a university ranked in the world’s top 50

  • Fast track your career with our early career academic development program 

  • Access state-of-the-art facilities to further your research endeavours 

  • Based at St Lucia campus

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.

At the core of our teaching remains our students, and their experience with us sets a foundation for success far beyond graduation. UQ has made a commitment to making education opportunities available for all Queenslanders, regardless of personal, financial, or geographical barriers.

As part of our commitment to excellence in research and professional practice in academic contexts, we are proud to provide our staff with access to world-class facilities and equipment, grant writing support, greater research funding opportunities, and other forms of staff support and development.

About This Opportunity 

Protagonist Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that utilizes a proprietary technology platform to discover and develop novel peptide-based therapeutics to address significant unmet medical needs and transform existing treatment paradigms for patients. Rusfertide is an injectable hepcidin mimetic in development for the treatment of Polycythemia vera and other blood disorders. PN-235 (JNJ-2113) is an orally delivered, systemic, interleukin-23 receptor specific antagonist peptide developed in collaboration with Janssen Biotech, Inc., currently in clinical studies.

This position is working on Protagonist Pty Ltd Research Projects and is based in Brisbane, Australia. Protagonist is a spin-out of University of Queensland’s Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMB) and has discovery operations in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia and Newark, California USA. For further information, visit .

Details of the research interests of the Institute may be accessed on the Institute’s website at:

Primary Purpose of Position

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Level A) will focus their efforts on developing their expertise and emerging research profile in their discipline. At this level the incumbent will be supported and guided by more senior academic staff with the expectation of an increasing degree of autonomy over time.

This position will join the Protagonist Therapeutics team and be involved in its broad discovery efforts utilising their experience in Medicinal and Peptide chemistry. The researcher will be involved in the company’s target-specific drug discovery efforts through the synthesis and biochemical analysis of compounds directed at biological targets.

 Key responsibilities include:  

1. Research

  • Synthesis of constrained peptides and peptidomimetics

  • Analysis of compounds by HPLC and Mass Spectroscopy

  • Physiochemical characterisation of peptides

  • Preparation of reports and presentation of results in project meetings

  • Bioanalytical methods (LC-MS-MS)

  • Support other project functions as directed by the company

  • Collaborate with colleagues to deliver on research project milestones

  • Follow written procedures such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

  • Produces quality research outputs consistent with discipline norms by publishing or exhibiting in high quality outlets.

  • Contribute to progressing towards transfer of knowledge, technology and practices to research end users through translation, including commercialisation of UQ intellectual property.

  • Review and draw upon best practice research methodologies.

2. Supervision and Researcher 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.

3. 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 initially for 3 month’s followed by extension. 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  

  • Completion or near completion of a PhD in the discipline area.

  • An emerging profile in research in the discipline area.

  • Evidence of publications in reputed refereed journals and presenting at conferences.

  • Evidence of contributions towards successfully obtaining external research funding.

  • Some experience in meaningful internal service roles and contributions towards external activities

In addition, the following mandatory requirements apply:

  • Work Rights: You must have unrestricted work rights in Australia for the duration of this appointment to apply. Visa sponsorship is not available for this appointment. 

  • 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. 


For more information about this opportunity, please contact Dr Greg Bourne ([email protected] ).

For application queries, please contact [email protected] 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 responding 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 [email protected]  

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 Tuesday 2 January 2024 at 11.00pm AEST (R-32824).

View or Apply
To help us track our recruitment effort, please indicate in your email – cover/motivation letter where ( you saw this job posting.