Vacancy Details: Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Natural Diversity RCUK Grow Colombia

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Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.

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Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003448
Job TitlePostdoctoral Research Assistant in Natural Diversity RCUK Grow Colombia
Closing Date2 May 2018
GradeSC6
Starting Salary£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week 37
Project Title RCUK Grow Colombia - Natural Diversity
Expected/Ideal Start Date 01 Jul 2018
Months Duration 36
Main purpose of the job The post holder will be directly involved in a large RCUK-GCRF funded project aiming to further enable the characterization of the Colombian biodiversity. The project specifically focuses on the development of resources for species identification and the study of the genetic diversity of Colombian Vertebrates

The post holder will be required to work with relevant EI staff and with outside collaborators to carry out necessary research to meet key deliverables for the project. The post holder may also serve as a key technical resource to clarify issues, participate in analysis, and apply comprehensive knowledge to contribute to the completion of assignments as part of several research projects.
Department Organisms and Ecosystems
Group Details The Haerty group uses comparative genomics and transcriptomes of model and non-model species to characterize functional sequences, study their evolution within and between species and investigate the impact of mutations within these regions on traits and disease.
Advert Text Earlham Institute is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to study genetic and genomic diversity of vertebrates species in Colombia.

About the GROW Colombia Programme:
Earlham Institute (EI) was recently awarded an RCUK-GCRF capacity building grant focused on preserving and managing biodiversity in Colombia. Colombia's biodiversity is not only important for the country's natural heritage and the preservation of unique species in the world, it is also essential for the improvement of human welfare, social equality and economic development.

The programme, led by Professor Federica Di Palma, is a multidisciplinary programme aimed at strengthening Colombian research capability in the biological sciences, computational biology, and socio-economics, and raising general awareness of the importance of biodiversity. The programme brings together an alliance of complementary skills from a wide range of partners to understand the mutual impacts of biodiverse ecosystems and sustainable agricultural productivity. Our goals are to build research capacity, partnerships and knowledge, with the longer-term goals of stimulating economic and social growth around biodiversity.

The funded programme sits alongside the BRIDGE Colombia network (www.bridgecolombia.org) which is a multidisciplinary network of research organisations in the UK and Colombia founded in March 2017, to develop robust coordinated activities under a shared vision centred on biodiversity as a means to achieve sustainability and peace. The network actively facilitates collaborative and fully integrated research programmes; promotes research excellence and the use of innovation in technologies and approaches to develop resilience in research capabilities; stimulates partnerships; and promotes exchange of knowledge.

Several new academic appointments and operational appointments (postdoctoral and fellowship level) are being made at EI under the GROW Colombia programme.

The role:
EI is seeking a highly motivated Postdoctoral Researcher to study genetic and genomic diversity of vertebrates species in Colombia. The post holder will be responsible to for conducting bioinformatics analyses associated with the project. Part of the project aims at enabling high throughput species identification from Museum and fresh samples sequenced using both traditional approaches (Illumina sequencing) or emerging technologies (Oxford Nanopore).

The post holder will also be responsible for the development of analytical pipelines and the downstream analyses. Including species and population diversity quantification, population parameters and population structuration estimation. Another section of the projects aims at sequencing the genomes of emblematic Colombian Vertebrates species. The post holder will be involved in the assembly, annotation and analysis of the genomes.

The post holder will be required to work with relevant EI staff and with outside collaborators to carry out necessary research to meet key objectives for the project. The post holder may also serve as a key technical resource to clarify issues, participate in analysis, and apply comprehensive knowledge to contribute to the completion of other research projects as part of the RCUK-GCRF funded programme.

The ideal candidate:
The successful applicant will ideally have a PhD in bioinformatics, population genomics, evolutionary biology or a related subject with experience of working on genomics and transcriptomics data and bioinformatics. Experience with NGS analysis (DNA and RNA-Seq) as well as scripting (PERL / Python) are essential. Experience with working on animal genomics or low-input samples is highly desirable.

Additional information:
Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post for a period of three years.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site http://jobs.earlham.ac.uk/ or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk quoting reference 1003448.

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

Key relationships Internal: Wilfried Haerty, Federica Di Palma, Sarah Cossey, Jose De Vega

External: Collaborators and project partners from UK and Colombia, funders
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project40
Act as a key technical resource to clarify issues, participate in analysis, and apply comprehensive knowledge to contribute to the completion of assignments as part of several research projects. 10
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media10
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications 10
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings10
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements5
Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence 5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post5

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
BSc in Biological sciences or similar subject OR equivalent experience in genomics and transcriptomics Essential
PhD in bioinformatics, population genetics or related subject with experience of working on genomics and transcriptomics data and bioinformatics. Essential

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Bioinformatics – working knowledge of programming languages including Perl, R, Linux and/or PythonEssential
Population genetics and evolutionary biology Essential
Transcriptomics, genomics analyses Essential
The ability to solve problems with numerous and complex variables Essential
Statistics Essential
Excellent record-keeping, organisational and time management skills to work on several different projects at the same time Essential

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Experience in genomics or genetics projects Essential
Experience with next generation sequencing and analysis Essential
Experience of working on externally funded projects Desirable
Working experience of population genomics Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Evidence of presenting research findings to internal and external audiences Essential
Excellent oral and written communication skills Essential
Able to communicate with an interdisciplinary group including data analysts, computer scientists, proteomics specialists, and biologists Essential
Excellent interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well with other members of a team Essential
Networking and influencing skills and the ability to build effective collaborative linksDesirable

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to travel to Colombia and stay for extended periods of timeEssential
Must be able to travel and work a non-conventional work pattern at times Essential