Postdoctoral / Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist (computational methods for microbiome analysis)

Salary range: £35,300 - £54,900
Post no. 1004087
Contract length: 36 Months
Department: Quince Group
Opening date: 14 November 2023
Closing date: 05 January 2024

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Novel computational methods for microbiome analysis

Applications are invited for a three-year position, with a possibility of extension, as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Dr Quince in the High-Resolution Microbiomics group at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.


The Earlham Institute is committed to an ambitious long-term program of microbiome science. 

We will be developing new computational and experimental methods for high-resolution microbiome analysis and applying those to both environmental and host-associated communities. 

The aim is to determine the processes that maintain microbial diversity and how that relates to function.

The role:

To support this research we are recruiting a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in the area of microbiome methods development. The position will be based within Dr Quince’s group at the Earlham Institute. The individual will develop novel computational and statistical methods to exploit the opportunities arising from new sequencing technologies, such as long reads and Hi-C, and their integration with metabolomics.

The individual will be given considerable freedom and, these methods can span a wide range of areas comprising statistics, computational tools or bioinformatics pipelines. Examples of potential areas of methods development include reconstruction of strain level genomes from metagenomes (Quince et al. Genome Biology 2021:, metagenomics assembly from long reads, integrating metagenome and metabolomics data, and tracking horizontal gene transfer in microbiomes (Lee et al. Nature Commun. 2023:

These new tools will be applied to a variety of microbiome data sets including coupled metagenome metabolome samples to understand the role of therapeutic diets in the treatment of Crohn’s disease, and studies of antimicrobial resistance both within individual microbiomes and at global scales.

In the High-Resolution Microbiomics Group we specialise in applying probabilistic modelling and Bayesian methods to problems in microbiome bioinformatics. We directly integrate this development of computational methods with laboratory experiments. This provides an exciting opportunity for a computationally focussed individual to gain a broad range of research experience within a uniquely inter-disciplinary research environment.

The ideal candidate:

  • The ideal candidate will have PhD in bioinformatics or statistics, or a related subject area with a strong element of statistical modelling. They will also have a first degree in any area of science. 
  • Knowledge of command line bioinformatics, software programming in at least one language (e.g. R, Python, C/C++) and a basic understanding of statistics are essential requirements for this role. 
  • A proven record in scientific writing with experience of oral research presentations are also essential. 
  • Knowledge of Bayesian statistics and probabilistic modelling, bioinformatics of metagenomics or metabolomics and a biological understanding of microbial communities and horizontal gene transfer would be advantageous.
  • This position is available at an SC6 level but candidates with sufficient experience in metagenomics bioinformatics, 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 3 years. There is a possibility of extension of the position beyond this point subject to the renewal of grant funding.

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 5 January 2024.