Vacancy Information

AI Data Scientist/Postdoctoral Computational Biologist for phenotypic analysis


Location: Cambridgeshire
Closing date: 02 Jun 2023
Reference number: T418

Job details

Location: Cambridge, CB3 0LE
Salary: £32,500 to 35,000 per annum, depending on qualifications and experience
Contract: 12-month fixed term contract in the first instance
Working hours: 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday. Hybrid working possible

Use your informatics, AI and image analysis skills to help develop more sustainable crops 


Using beyond the state-of-the-art machine learning, computer vision and sensing technologies, you will be immersed in an exceptional research environment enabling you to develop your career in basic and applied research on dynamic crop characterisation, climate-resilient crops, and multi-scale crop phenotyping and biological informatics.

We are seeking an AI Data Scientist or a Post-doctoral Computational Biologist to work on advanced algorithmic development and software implementation in automated image analysis, vision-based artificial intelligence (AI) modelling and omics analytics. The aim is to mine meaningful information from big biological data to help UK and developing counties in Africa develop resistant crops.

You will work with world leading breeding companies and prestigious research institutes such as the Crop Science Centre (the University of Cambridge) and One CGIAR. Together we lead the development of novel AI-powered solutions to characterise crop varieties in wheat and potato to develop future crops under climate changes. Your duties will be focused on novel object detection, object tracking, and AI-powered 2D/3D trait analysis.

You shall be enthusiastic about bridging the gap between research outcomes and practical applications in crop breeding and agricultural production sectors. Your communication skills will be employed in promoting research work through scientific presentations and high-impact publications, and helping develop cross-country collaborations with our partners around the world. This role will be reviewed, and the contract may be extended, depending on future funding.

The role is based at NIAB Headquarters, Cambridge CB3 0LE with occasional travel to Kent and possibly to partner countries in Africa. HQ has free on-site parking and is 2 miles from Cambridge city centre, linked by extensive cycle ways and regular buses.

Informal enquiries are welcome, please contact Prof. Ji Zhou, Head of the Data Sciences Department NIAB on [email protected].

Benefits include 25 days holiday plus public holidays and 3 paid days off over Christmas, flexible working, generous sick pay, attractive pension scheme, income protection, life assurance, employee discount scheme, free on-site parking and great colleagues.


Essential Requirements
Ideally you have:
• BSc or MSc in computational biology, computing sciences, aricial intelligence or equivalent
• Good understanding of image analysis and computer vision
• Experience in vision-based trait analysis 
• Software development skills, e.g. Python programming
• Deep learning and machine learning knowledge
• Good interpersonal and communication skills
• Strong organisational skills

Desirable Requirements
Ideally you also have:
• PhD in computer vision, machine learning or computing sciences
• Experience in computer vision and phenotypic analysis
• Algorithmic design in deep learning and software implementation experience
• Database development, GUI- and cloud-based computing knowledge
• Skills in C/C++, Java programming, plant and crop phenotyping

Training will be provided. No relocation expenses payable.

See full Job Description on our website for more details.


As the UK’s leading crop science organisation, NIAB has research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data sciences, and strong multi-scale phenotyping research links with industry, Government and academia. NIAB has acclaimed multi-scale plant phenotyping and AI-powered trait analysis capabilities, as well as a UK-leading high-performance computing (HPC) and GPU clusters infrastructure, jointly established with James Hutton Institute and other partner institutes.

With headquarters in Cambridge, and regional offices across the country, employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB advances the role of plant genetic resources through research services and training. NIAB’s position at the interface of academic research and commercial breeding offers opportunities for strong collaborations across the plant sciences sector.

NIAB actively promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. As a Disability Confident Employer, we have a positive approach to employing people living with a disability.


Click the ‘Apply’ button for further details and to apply directly. Any questions? Email [email protected] or call Human Resources on 01223 342282.