Bioinformatician (Ecological Networks)

Applications Close: 10 September 2019

Salary: £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: 3 years

Applications are invited for a Bioinformatician to join the Laboratory of Dr Falk Hildebrand in the Gut Microbes and Health Programme at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.


The Hildebrand group is developing novel algorithms to interpret metagenomic data from gastrointestinal and environmental microbial communities. The aim of the group is to bridge the gap between experimental results and informatic predictions using big data approaches (machine learning, numerical ecology, evolutionary theory), with the ultimate goal of understanding host ailments and reacting to these. For further group information see

The role:

This 3-year funded position has the aim to computationally analyse thousands of metagenomic samples derived from the PEARL and MOTION longitudinal studies. The PEARL Study follows mothers and infants, researching pathogen invasion and the processes leading to an establishment of a healthy microbiome. The MOTION Study is focused on elder patients and researches age-related decline in cognitive function and its association with changes in the intestinal microbiome.

The successful applicant will research the dependencies between microbes of the gut microbiota at different life stages, taking advantage of longitudinal sampling and strain resolved metagenomics of novel and known taxa. To analyse this metagenomic data, the Hildebrand group has a unique set of lab-internal software pipelines, that the candidate will help in running, as well as further extending these to research evolutionary and community-interaction centric questions. The aim is to understand microbes central to a healthy microbiome, their role within the microbiome and adaptations necessary for their establishment and use as e.g. probiotics.

Further, the applicant will have an active role in building and managing a growing research group, by contributing to both supervising PhD students and grant / manuscript writing. The post offers opportunities for personal development, work flexibility, traveling to international conferences / collaborators and scientific responsibility.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal applicant will hold a PhD in Bioinformatics, Ecology or Microbiology, proficiency in Unix and workflow management systems, and the ability to program in at least one programming language to an advanced level. The computational proficiency can be evidenced by links to the candidate’s public repository. We would particularly welcome candidates with expertise in molecular evolution, numerical ecology, mathematical modelling of microbial community dynamics, as well as familiarity with genomic data, associative statistics, and pipeline development. The applicant is expected to work independently and have good interdisciplinary communication skills, as the post will involve working with staff across the Institute.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a period of 3 years with a possibility of further extension.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003757. For informal enquiries please contact Dr Falk Hildebrand by email at .

Click here to find out more about working at Quadram Institute Bioscience.

Interviews will be held on 19 September 2019. Expected start date is late 2019.

We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society.  The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values.  To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

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

About the Quadram Institute:

The Quadram Institute is a new interdisciplinary research institute at the forefront of a new era in food and health research. Its mission is to understand how food and the gut microbiota are linked to the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. A partnership between Quadram Institute Bioscience, the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and BBSRC, it brings together scientists and clinicians in a new state-of-the-art building. The Quadram Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park, one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.

The closing date for applications will be 10 September 2019.

The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.