Postdoctoral / Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Mathematical modelling of the microbiome)

Salary range: £35,300 - £54,900
Post no. 1004503
Contract length: 36 Months
Department: Quince Group
Opening date: 03 June 2024
Closing date: 30 June 2024

Apply for this job

You will need to download, save and complete a copy of the application form using Microsoft Word or prepare a copy of your CV that contains all the information requested in the application form.


Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to develop mathematical models of microbial communities within Dr Quince's High-Resolution Microbiomics group at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK. 


The High-Resolution Microbiomics group uniquely focusses on both theoretical and experimental methods for microbial community analysis. Combining statistical bioinformatics with technological developments in sequencing and ‘omics data generation to resolve both the microbes present in a community and their functional roles and interactions.  

This will provide a wealth of data for the development of a new generation of microbial community models capable of integrating multiple data types at different scales.

The role:

The individual will develop mathematical models of microbial communities. These will comprise predictive mechanistic models that are designed to enable the integration of multiple sources of data, including abundances, metabolites and expression levels. 

The development of these models may incorporate aspects of dynamical systems e.g. ODEs and SDEs in addition to metabolic modelling. To fit them to data will require numerical optimisation methods such as linear programming, or methods from Bayesian statistics and machine learning including variational inference and MCMC. 

These new tools will be used to help interpret coupled metagenome-metabolome samples from both clinical samples and controlled reactor experiments that aim to understand the role of therapeutic diets in the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

The ideal candidate:

It's desirable for the successful candidate to have PhD in mathematics, physics, bioinformatics or statistics, or a related subject area with strong element of mathematical modelling. They will also have a First-class degree in any area of science.  Exceptional candidates without a PhD will be considered but, in that case, a Masters degree in a quantitative subject would be essential.

Knowledge of software programming in at least one language (e.g. R, Python, C/C++) and a basic understanding of calculus and statistics are essential requirements for this role. Command line bioinformatics is desirable. 

A proven record in scientific writing with experience of oral research presentations are also essential. 

Knowledge of Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics of metagenomics or metabolomics and a biological understanding of microbial communities and metabolism would be advantageous.

This position is available at an SC6 level but candidates with sufficient experience in mathematical modelling, a demonstrated ability to organise and lead analysis of complex data sets, and potentially supervise graduate students, could be appointed to a Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist at level SC5.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £35,300 to £43,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience for the SC6 level role, and £43,550 - £54,900 per annum depending on qualifications and experience for the SC5 level criteria. 

This is a full-time post for a contract of three years.

This role meets the criteria for a visa application, and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply. Please contact the Human Resources Team if you have any questions regarding your application or visa options.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

The closing date for applications will be 30 June 2024.