Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Metagenomics

Salary range: £33,050 - £40,750
Post no. 1004217
Contract length: 36 Months
Department: Hildebrand Group
Opening date: 25 January 2023
Closing date: 27 February 2023

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We’re looking for a well-rounded Bioinformatician to join a collaborative research group investigating the evolution and dynamics of microbial communities.

The ideal candidate will have experience in metagenomics, population genetics, or comparative genomics (eukaryotic or prokaryotic). You’ll work alongside multidisciplinary researchers and have access to cutting-edge infrastructure to develop and apply novel genomics approaches.

This post is offered as a strategic 3+2 years BBSRC-funded core position.

While the successful applicant will work on independent research projects - ranging from analysing 3rd gen metagenomic sequencing data and understanding microbial communities to evaluating single cell sequencing data, work will be carried out in a collaborative team context.

The Project:

What is a bacterial species in an ecosystem context?

In complex microbiomes, such as the human gut or soils, thousands of pro- and eukaryote species enable a diverse and robust ecosystem. The majority of these microbes interact by competing for similar resources, exchanging metabolites, or predating each other. This is partly enabled by adaptive processes that microbial genomes undergo in a matter of years or even weeks.

To understand these evolutionary processes better, we will explore microbial genome plasticity by combining classical bioinformatics (assembly, genome binning, gene predictions) and population genetics with recent advances in sequencing technology and deep learning.

This work will contribute to developing the next generation of metagenomic analysis at unprecedented resolution, resolving ecoevolutionary processes, and determining the processes leading to resilience and functional plasticity in microbial communities.

Requirements and position details:

The applicant needs to hold a PhD (or equivalent) in biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology or a related discipline at time of start date with a background and/or interest in at least one of the following subjects:

  • Ecology, Evolution, Microbiomes
  • Third/next-generation sequencing
  • Machine Learning
  • Genomics and biodiversity

Some exposure to statistics and programming languages (either R, python, Perl, C++, or equivalent) is expected. Specialized skills will be taught and developed through mentorship and collaborations.

The Hildebrand group:

The group uses metagenomics to research the diversity, community interactions, and evolution of microbes in communities. We develop our own bioinformatic software to tackle microbiome questions from unique & novel research angles.

The group has a joint appointment between the Earlham Institute and Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich, UK.

Both Institutes are part of the Norwich Research Park (NRP), hosting ~30,000 talented people, including 17,000 students, 3,000 researchers and clinicians, and over 115 companies. The outstanding reputation of our researchers is internationally recognised, with 10 of the Park's scientists in the top 1% of the "most highly cited" in the world.

Norwich ranked in the top 10 for UK cities with a beautiful, historical city centre and an active gastropub & coffee aficionado scene.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full-time post for a contract of 36 months with a possible extension for an additional 24 months.

Interviews will be held early March 2023.

The anticipated start date is summer semester 2023 (1.4.2023), though the exact start date is negotiable. The position is open to UK National and International applicants (EU and worldwide).

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 27 February 2023.