Research Scientist (Metagenomics)

Applications Close: 25 April 2023

Salary: £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience

Contract Length: Full time, 2 years

We’re looking for a Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Dr Hildebrand in our Gut Microbes and Health programme.

Join an ERC funded research project investigating the inheritance and evolution of human associated microbes. The project will be conducted in a multidisciplinary team at the Quadram & Earlham Institutes, UK, and combine newly established patient cohorts, concomitantly developed wetlab and bioinformatics protocols that enable a unique perspectives into the human gut microbiome (low abundant bacteria, microeukaryotes).

The role

How do gut bacteria colonize their human hosts? How do they then persist for decades in the same host? And how many of the hundreds of gut bacterial species are inherited in families?

To answer these and follow up questions, the group received an ERC Starter grant.  The aim for this post is to dissect the microbial genetics enabling human long-term colonization on a novel family centric cohort established in Norwich.

For this, high-resolution metagenomics will be used to track microbes – eukaryotic and prokaryotic –  across individuals and in families, and determine genes under selection. This will include closely working with metagenomic bioinformatics (assembly, genome binning, gene predictions) and combining this with population genetics and/or network inference algorithms. Thus, exploring microbiomes at unprecedented resolution can resolve ecoevolutionary processes determining resilience and functional plasticity of our gut microbiomes. Long-term, this work will contribute to enabling personalized & data driven medicine and developing the next generation of human gut microbiome treatments.

The environment

The Hildebrand group uses metagenomics to research the diversity, community interactions, and evolution of microbes in communities using custom software solutions.

The group has a joint appointment between the Quadram Institute Bioscience and Earlham Institute to bridge data and life science, developing software such as LotuS2 and MATAFILER and pushing the limits of high-resolution metagenomics.

The Norwich Research Park (NRP) UK, hosts 3,000 researchers and clinicians, 17,000 students, and over 115 companies. Norwich ranked in the top 10 for UK cities with a beautiful, historical town center and an active gastropub & coffee aficionado scene.

The ideal candidate

The applicant needs to hold a PhD (or equivalent) in biology, bioinformatics, molecular biology or a related discipline with a background and/or interest in at least one of the following subjects:

  • Microbiomes & biodiversity
  • Metagenomics & patient cohorts
  • Ecology & evolution

The ideal candidate will have experience in either metagenomics, population genetics, human patient cohorts or comparative genomics (eukaryotic or prokaryotic).

Some exposure to statistics and programming languages (either R, python, Perl, C++, or equivalent) is expected. Specialized skills will be taught and developed through mentorship and collaborations.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 24 months, potentially extensible for a further 12 months.

For further information and details of how to apply, visit the HR website or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450814 or quoting reference 1004440.

Interviews will be held in early May 2023.

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.

The closing date for applications will be 25 April 2023

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