Research Scientist (Infection Metagenomics)

Applications Close: 28 January 2021

Salary: £32,255 - £49,750 depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: 18 months

Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Dr Justin O’Grady at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

The role

The O’Grady group wishes to recruit an enthusiastic Research Scientist to work on an exciting prestigious Innovate UK UK-China AMR grant titled “Development of key technologies for real-time diagnosis, surveillance and intervention of resistant-bacterial infections based on nanopore sequencing”.

The application of sequencing for tracking and monitoring infections has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by COG-UK (O’Grady site PI – The successful candidate will join a world leading group at the cutting edge of sequencing technology and its clinical implementation for the diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases (see recent paper

The successful candidate will further develop and implement clinical metagenomics technology developed in the O’Grady group ( for the rapid diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection. The post holder will work closely with a UK SME (Oppilotech), a Chinese diagnostics company (Simcere) and hospitals in Beijing.

The job will involve metagenomics method optimisation, technology transfer, analytical and clinical validation and the co-ordination of a diagnostics trial. Candidates with substantial experience will be considered for a Senior Research Scientist post, at grade SC5. Candidates at an earlier stage in their career will be considered for the Research Scientist post, at grade SC6. Additional duties for an SC5 appointment include developing bioinformatic methods, project management activities and protocol writing.

There will be the opportunity for travel to China (Beijing/Nanjing/Shanghai) 2-3 times per year for up to two weeks (candidates who speak Mandarin are very welcome to apply). There will also be the opportunity for the Research Scientist to develop their own relevant research interests and we actively encourage staff to apply for fellowships and grants to further their career.

The ideal candidate

Candidates should have a PhD in biological sciences or equivalent. They will have a background in genomics, metagenomics or molecular biology and will have an interest in infectious diseases. Relevant skills in data analysis, diagnostics and running research projects are an advantage. The ideal candidate will also have a publication track record appropriate for their career stage, and experience of scientific collaboration and supervision.

Applicants wishing to be considered for the senior SC5 appointment should also have excellent bioinformatics and project management skills.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £32,255 to £49,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a fulltime post for a period of 18 months.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here, or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003990.

Interviews are expected to be held on 5th February 2021.

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 dedicated to understanding how food and microbes interact to promote health and prevent disease. Its mission is to deliver healthier lives through innovation in gut health, microbiology and food. 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 state-of-the-art building on the Norwich Research Park. This is one of Europe’s largest centres of life sciences and home of the John Innes Centre and The Earlham Institute.