Postdoctoral Research Scientist / Research Associate

Salary range: £35,300 - £54,900
Post no. 1004684
Contract length: 36 Months
Department: Garrido-Oter Group
Opening date: 04 June 2024
Closing date: 25 June 2024

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Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the newly established Garrido-Oter group, at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.


The Garrido-Oter group is a multi-disciplinary team that includes a newly established group at the Earlham Institute, as well as an ERC-funded laboratory at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany. 

The successful applicant will be based at EI and have close interactions with the rest of the team, as well as with key collaborators who are engaged in complimentary research.

The role:

This position provide an exciting opportunity to develop and apply novel experimental and computational approaches to uncover fundamental principles in the assembly, functions, and dynamic behaviour of microbial communities associated with plants, algae and other photosynthetic organisms.

Recent work from our group has pioneered the development of a highly tractable experimental system that can be used to reconstruct synthetic phototrophic microcosms in the laboratory (Durán et al., 2022, Nature Communications). Using bacterial isolates from associated with plants and algae, we are able to design and build synthetic microbial ecosystems of reduced complexity, that can be subjected to controlled perturbation and monitored using sequencing and other high-throughput approaches. This experimental system has the potential to reveal novel ecological and molecular mechanisms driving microbiota behaviour and evolution.

The successful candidate will spear-head the development of this line of research at the Earlham Institute, and be part of an international, multi-disciplinary team of scientists. They will use established microbial culture collections to design and reconstitute synthetic communities in gnotobiotic systems. Using amplicon, shotgun and transcriptome sequencing, they will be able to track the behaviour of these microcosms and study its mechanistic basis by means of genetics and controlled perturbation of environmental parameters. Depending on experience and qualification, the successful candidate will also be involved in laboratory management, supervision of students, and long-term project development.

The post is available at an SC6 level, however candidates with demonstrable ability to lead research projects in the area of host-microbiota interactions and co-supervise students will be considered at an SC5.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate will have a PhD in microbiology, molecular biology, plant science, microbial ecology or a related discipline. You will have a broad understanding of molecular biology techniques and an interest in the development and optimisation of laboratory protocols. You will have experience with DNA/RNA extraction, sequencing library preparation as well as experience in microbiology and interest in working with microalgae and/or bacterial communities. Candidates interested in the SC5 role should also have experience of overseeing day-to-day management of the lab and supervising students.

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 to £54,900 per annum for candidates who meet the SC5 level criteria.  This is a full-time post for a contract of 3 years.  

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 25 June 2024