NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Vacancy information

Postdoctoral Researcher/Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in Applied Bioinformatics and Comparative Genomics (Fixed Term until 30 September 2022)

Reference number: T/347
Closing date: 30/11/2018
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Job details

NIAB provides an exceptional research environment at both its Cambridge and Kent sites in which to undertake basic and strategic research on crops. We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher, to play a key role in the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding department (GGB) based at NIAB EMR, East Malling carrying out comparative genomics research for the Bill & Melinda Gates funded ENSA project, working closely with the Oldroyd group at the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University (SLCU) and international partners.

You should have strong bioinformatics skills to work primarily on the analysis of genome evolution in the Rosaceae. Activities will be focused on the comparative genomic analysis of rosaceous crops alongside de novo genome assembly of crop wild relatives for the identification of genomic gains and losses.

The postholder will be expected to make significant research contributions in the area of comparative and population genomics of plants. You must have a BSc in a relevant discipline and/or a PhD in bioinformatics and/or comparative or population genomics and display evidence of high quality research through your publications. Membership of professional bodies, evidence of recognition within research field through awards and committee membership is desirable. Prior experience in population genetics and/or phylogenetics of plants would be highly desirable. A track record in horticultural crops is not required, but a keenness to learn about and work on genomes from the nitrogen fixing clade within the Rosids is key. You will work with a high level of personal initiative, utilising your strong analytical skills and expertise in funded research and also potentially to win competitive grant funding.

Key areas of the job include:

Assembly and annotation of genomes using single molecule sequencing dataUse of python, R and other scripting languagesUse of version control software (e.g. github)Use of orthology comparison toolsUse of tools to detect cis-regulatory variation (e.g. meme)Analysis of RNA seq datasetsPhylogenetics approaches to understanding trait evolutionA sound understanding of statistics is required (ideally both maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches).

You will work within and across departments and organisations in an interdisciplinary setting, so you will need excellent communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships. You will also need to communicate your research through reports, publications and presentations both to academic and industry audiences.

You must demonstrate an established track record of high quality research output, with publications in high-impact factor journals and also demonstrate excellent writing and communication skills evidenced through a substantial number of peer reviewed and other publications.

You will be highly IT literate with specific experience in comparative genomics- in particular characterisation of complex gene families (and orthology comparison approaches) and have experience in population genomics/genetics. You will have significant experience in High Performance Computing, version control and high level computer languages (e.g. python). Experience with lower level languages and GPU computing would also be desirable.

Management and leadership experience is desirable, as is experience preparing successful and/or large bids for UK and EU funding bodies (e.g. BBSRC) You will require a creative research vision for development, implementation and delivery of successful research projects, an ability to communicate complex conceptual ideas to widely divergent audiences. You will make a positive contribution to Institute activities and funded initiatives including open days, workshops etc and expectation to undertake administrative activities. You must demonstrate evidence of working in an open and transparent way, providing information and communicating effectively with colleagues. Evidence of continuous Professional Development is required along with the ability to respond quickly to externally imposed deadlines, ability to travel at short notice and to work antisocial hours. A full UK driving licence (required for commuting to Cambridge site) or access to independent means of transport is highly desirable.

Salary will be in the range of £30,042 to £39,640 per annum, depending on qualifications and experience. Further details and an application form are available on our website: or from the HR Office, East Malling, Kent ME19 6BJ, Tel: 01732 523791, Email:, quoting Ref No. T/347

The closing date for applications is: 30 November 2018

Please contact Richard Harrison for informal enquiries.

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