Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolutionary Genomics

Country: United Kingdom;

Deadline: 06.07.2019

Web-Site: vacancies.ed.ac.uk

 

An 18-month position is available to join a new group led by Simon Martin at the University of Edinburgh's Institute of Evolutionary Biology, to start on or before 1st October 2019.

Our research involves genomic analyses of natural populations to study evolutionary processes such as adaptation and speciation. We are seeking a researcher to work on a collaborative project that investigates the evolution of supergenes and their role in speciation by combining genome structural analysis and population genomics in butterflies. The specific role will be tailored to you and will focus either on genome assembly, linkage mapping and analysis of structural variation or on population genomic analyses of selection, recombination and migration.

You will be joining a small group based in the stimulating and supportive environment of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, a world-renowned centre for evolution and population genetics. 
The project will involve collaboration with partners in Europe and Africa. Your research activities will be largely computational and will involve application of cutting edge techniques to analyse high-throughput sequencing data, with opportunities for methods development. A component of the job will be to coordinate sample collection/breeding, with an option to work for up to two months on site at Mpala Research Centre in Kenya.

Applicants should hold (or will shortly be awarded) a PhD, and have a proven track record of producing high quality data suitable for publication. Expertise in analysis of high-throughput sequencing data are essential, and a strong background in evolutionary or population genomics, adaptation and speciation would be advantageous.

Informal enquiries to Simon.Martin@ed.ac.uk

1. Job Details

Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

School/Support Department: School of Biological Sciences

Unit (if applicable): Institute of Evolutionary Biology

Line manager: Dr Simon Martin

2. Job Purpose

To contribute to an evolutionary genomics research project investigating structural variation in the genome and its role in adaptation and speciation. The post will encompass elements of one or both of two parallel sub-projects: (1) genome assembly, linkage mapping and analysis of structural variation using both short and long-read sequencing data; (2) population genomic analyses based on short read sequencing data, including fieldwork in East Africa.

3. Main Responsibilities

  • Planning and execution of specific elements of the research project, acting under general guidance from the PI. Specifically, conducting bioinformatic analyses of large-scale genomic data either for genome assembly, linkage mapping and comparative genomics or to study signatures of selection in wild and reared population samples. (Approx 60% of time)
  • Coordinating data collection in the field; guiding and or working alongside students and field assistants conducting this work (Approx 15% of time)
  • Performing routine laboratory protocols for DNA extraction; contributing to laboratory maintenance and ordering of supplies. (Approx 5% of time)
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records and taking a lead role in writing up findings for publication. Sharing of data and code with team members and collaborators. Presentation of findings at lab meetings and at least one conference (Approx 20 % of time)

  • 4. Planning and Organising

    The post-holder will plan and manage their own research activities to ensure that the work is conducted in accordance with the research timetable. This work will depend on field-collected and reared samples from collaborators. The post holder will be partly responsible for coordinating with and providing guidance to the collaborators to ensure that the necessary material is obtained.

    5. Problem Solving

    The project is expected to present challenges associated with genomic analyses in highly-diverse non-model organisms as well as working with imperfect field-collected data. This will necessitate development of creative solutions for bioinformatic analysis, and may result in the development of bioinformatics tools that will be shared with the broader community as open-source software.

    6. Decision Making

    The post-holder will set their own short-term time-lines, objectives, and methodologies within the longer scale time-lines, which will be agreed with the PI. Methodological approaches to address the research questions will be selected in collaboration with the PI and other collaborators. The post-holder will have freedom to shape the direction of research questions within the general objectives of the project, with the expectation of clear communication with the PI throughout.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships

    The post-holder will have regular meetings with the PI, and also interact frequently (either face-to-face or electronically) with collaborators in Kenya.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job

    Qualifications/Training

    Essential 
    • PhD (or will shortly be awarded a PhD) in computational biology, evolutionary/population genetics or a related field

    Experience

    Essential 
    • Experience in bioinformatics using high-throughput sequencing or SNP data in the unix/linux environment 
    • Ability to work independently 
    • Ability to lead and complete research projects 
    • A proven track record in producing high quality data suitable for publication

    Desirable 
    • Expertise in one or more of the following: genome assembly, linkage mapping, analysis of structural variation, population genomics 
    • Experience using high-performance computing 
    • At least one peer-reviewed publication as first author 
    • Fieldwork and or wet lab experience

    Knowledge, Skills and Competencies

    Essential 
    • Ability to code in R, Python, C++ or similar language 
    • Effective project and time management skills

    Personal Attributes

    Essential 
    • Ability to communicate research both in publication and oral presentations as evidenced by track record 
    • Ability to lead a project in collaboration with an international team 
    • An interest in evolutionary genetics and/or population genetics

    Desirable 
    • Creativity and adaptability to identify and develop new lines of enquiry

    9. Dimensions

    The post holder will work as part of a small group lead by Dr Simon Martin at the University of Edinburgh, with significant interactions with collaborators at, and possible travel to Mpala Research Centre in Kenya.

    10. Job Context and any other relevant information

    The post holder will be joining a newly-established group funded by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to Dr Simon Martin. The work will form part of a broader project to study speciation and adaptation in natural populations. The group has strong connections with several other groups in Europe, Africa and the Americas, and open sharing of knowledge and data is a strong expectation within this community.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV and Cover Letter. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application.

    You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

    The closing date is 5pm GMT on 05 July 2019.

    Eligibility to Work

    In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Immigration Act 2016 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work webpage 

    If you are from outside the EEA and not currently eligible to work in the UK, there are visa routes that may be available to you, for example:

  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent): If you are an academic in the field of sciences; humanities; engineering; medicine; digital technology; or the arts, it may be possible for you to apply for a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. This route requires you to apply to be endorsed as an internationally recognised leader or emerging leader in your particular field by a designated competent body (Arts Council England, British Academy, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, Tech City UK). However, if you are applying for a senior academic role, e.g. Professor/Reader there is an accelerated route to endorsement. Further information can be found on the UKVI website
  • Tier 2: The University is a UKVI licensed sponsor and is able to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) to successful candidates who are offered highly skilled roles and meet the eligibility criteria. The CoS enables candidates to apply for a Tier 2 (general visa).

  • Further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes can be found at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa 

    Conditions of Employment

    Pension Scheme

    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .

    Salary

    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,199 to £39609 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual. 
    var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i The Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IEB) At the Institute of Evolutionary Biology we study evolution in the broadest possible sense, from virtually every angle and using a great range of organisms and techniques.

    Our research falls under three broad themes:

    Evolutionary and Quantitative Genetics
    We study fundamental and applied aspects of genetics, from theoretical population genetics to the genetics of complex traits.

    Evolutionary Ecology and Behaviour
    We explore the evolutionary causes and consequences of ecological interactions and behaviour, using theoretical and empirical approaches.

    Biodiversity and Ecology
    We examine biodiversity and ecological complexity, from genomes to ecosystems. 

    Our interdisciplinary research and teaching benefits from strong links with members of the Institute of Immunology and Infection Research (IIIR), the Edinburgh Infectious Diseases network (EID ( http://www.eid.ed.ac.uk )), the Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution ( http://ciie.bio.ed.ac.uk ), the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine ( http://www.igmm.ed.ac.uk ), the Life Physics Group, the Roslin Institute ( http://www.roslin.ed.ac.uk ), and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh ( http://www.rbge.org.uk ). Our funders include BBSRC, NERC, charities and government bodies.
      School of Biological Sciences As the modern inheritors of our 400-year-old reputation for excellence, our staff and students contribute to a vibrant academic community whose visions are shaping tomorrow's world.

    The School of Biological Sciences is at the leading edge in teaching, research and innovation. Independent rankings such as the Times Higher Education consistently place us amongst the top 25 universities in the world for biological sciences. 

    Teaching and learning: Our undergraduate students can study a wide range of topics, providing a strong grounding in fundamental biology with the flexibility to gain experience of the most recent research developments in biological and biomedical science in the later years of their degree programme. More than 300 students per year are admitted to our taught programmes, which are managed and supported by the Biology Teaching Organisation.

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    Professional services: The School's academic success is supported by a large professional services team who deliver administrative, IT and technical services.

    Working in the School: We aim to ensure that our culture and systems support flexible and family-friendly working and to recognise and value diversity across all our staff and students. The School has an active programme offering support and professional development opportunities for all staff. We place a particular focus on development for early-career researchers (postgraduate and postdoctoral research staff and personal fellowship holders), offering mentoring and an active 'BioDocSoc' organisation that brings together researchers for networking, events and training opportunities. 

    The School of Biological Sciences holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology.

    Our website contains more information about the School.   College of Science and Engineering ( http://www.ed.ac.uk/science-engineering ) The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) is one of the largest and highest-ranked science and engineering groupings in the UK. Headed by Professor David Robertson, CSE comprises seven Schools (Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering, GeoSciences, Informatics, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy) as well as a national supercomputing centre (the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre) and the Bayes Centre for interdisciplinary data science and innovation. We extend beyond the University through many joint activities - for example we host the cross-Scotland DataLab innovation Centre, we are a founding partner in the Scottish Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, and we are a partner in UK-wide collaborations including the Alan Turing Institute and the Rosalind Franklin Institute. Most Schools are located 2 miles south of the city centre at the King's Buildings whilst Informatics, EPCC and Bayes are located in the University's Central Area near George Square. The College has over 3,000 academic and support staff, and educates some 6,000 undergraduates, over 1000 taught postgraduates and more than 2,000 research students. It is in the front rank of UK university science and engineering groupings for research quality and income, and is a key player in many European and international research consortia. 

    Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

    In the 2014 REF over 95% of our staff were submitted. Of our seven submissions, four of which were as a joint research school in combination with a strategic research university partner through pooling, 3 were ranked top in the UK and all 7 were in the top 5 in their discipline in the Times Higher Power rankings.
      The University of Edinburgh For more than four centuries, our people and their achievements have rewritten history time and again. They've explored space, revolutionised surgery, published era-defining books, paved the way for life-saving medical breakthroughs and introduced to the world many inventions, discoveries and ideas from penicillin to Dolly the sheep. We have believed that anything is possible, we still do. 
    The latest Research Excellence Framework highlighted our place at the forefront of international research. This adds to our international reputation for the quality of our teaching and our student experience excellence. The University is proud of its success with online teaching initiatives, with 2550 students currently studying its online distance learning postgraduate programmes, and a total to date of more than 2 million enrolments for Edinburgh MOOCs.

    As a member of staff, you will be part of one of the world's leading universities, with 20 Schools spread over 3 Colleges that offer more than 1600 undergraduate and 600 postgraduate programmes to over 41,000 students each year. Professional services are critical to this success as well as our world-class teaching, research and student facilities. In fact, we are one of the top employers in Edinburgh, with over 14,500 people spread across a wide range of academic and supporting roles. 

    As a world-changing, world-leading university, we offer an exciting, positive, creative, challenging and rewarding place to work. We give you support, nurture your talent, develop and reward success and integrate academic, professional and personal career goals, as well as give your career the benefit of a great and distinguished reputation. In addition, our employees benefit from a competitive reward package and a wide range of staff benefits, which include generous holiday entitlement, a defined benefits pension scheme, staff discounts and much more. Access our staff benefits page for further information and use our reward calculator to find out the total value of pay and benefits provided.

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