Research Scientist (Evolutionary Gut Microbiomics)

Applications Close: 27 January 2021

Salary: £32,255 - £39,345 per year, depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: 3 years

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

The role

The purpose of this position is to develop metagenomic and population genetic bioinformatic pipelines, to investigate the genetics of microbial colonization of the human gut. The Research Scientist will focus on the following research topics:

  • Improving the quality of a) prokaryote and b) eukaryote MAGs (metagenomic assembled genomes)
  • Increasing confidence in SNP calls from metagenomes
  • Tracing microbial mutations in metagenomic timeseries data
  • Determining genes under selection or genes recently introduced to a microbial genome
  • Using advanced population genetic statistics to understand gut microbiome seeding & persistence

A focus in this position will be on the so far (largely) ignored microeukaryotes in the human gut microbiome: the applicant will develop high-resolution metagenomic methods, that will be integrated with existing metagenomic pipelines in the hosting group.

The successful applicant will further research the genomes of (polykingdom) gut microbes at different life stages of the human host, taking advantage of longitudinal sampling and strain resolved metagenomics of novel and known taxa. As part of this, the group is currently establishing novel human cohorts, to investigate colonization and microbial adaptation of the human host.

Additionally, the applicant would be expected to help with the application of grants and drafting of scientific manuscripts, representing the group at conferences, and contributing to supervision of junior group members.

The ideal candidate

Applicants should have a PhD in Bioinformatics, Population Genetics, Ecology or Microbiology, and has advanced proficiency in at least one programming language. Wet-lab experience is considered an advantage, but not required. The computational proficiency can be evidenced by links to the candidate’s public repository. Special attention will be given to candidates with expertise in molecular evolution, numerical ecology, or experience in SNP calling, 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 £32,255 to £39,345 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.

This full-time position is funded through the European Commission (ERC Starter grant) for 3 years with a possible extension after this time.

To apply, please submit a CV and a covering letter, stating your motivation.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003965.

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.