Postdoctoral Researcher

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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.

Post Details

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003463
Closing Date
27 May 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
DNA methylation and the evolution of pesticide-resistance genes in aphids
Expected/Ideal Start Date
02 Jul 2018
Months Duration
30

Main Purpose of the Job

Be part of a collaborative project examining DNA methylation and the evolution of pesticide-resistance genes in aphids. Perform genome analyses of Bisulfite sequencing (BS-Seq) to explore the role of DNA methylation in responding to host change. Analyse RNA-Seq data to identify genes that are differentially expressed / spliced and perform evolutionary analyses of these genes among insect species.

Department

Digital Biology

Group Details

The Core Bioinformatics Group led by David Swarbreck provides high quality computational analyses of a range of sequence data types and develops software and analysis pipelines that support the Institute's Core Strategic Programmes and National Capability in Genomics and Single Cell Analysis (NCGS). The National Capability provides access to state of the art genomics technologies for research groups throughout the UK as well as delivering sequencing and genomics services to the associated Science Faculty groups and commercial customers. The group is involved in the analysis of sequence data from a wide variety of sequencing platforms and work alongside Earlham research groups to establish new software tools and analysis methods.

Advert Text

Postdoctoral Researcher

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the group of David Swarbreck (Earlham Institute) in a collaborative project with Saskia Hogenhout (John Innes Centre) and Cock van Oosterhout (School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia) to conduct research on a BBSRC funded project examining processes involved in aphid host plasticity and evolution of pesticide-resistance genes in aphids.

The role:

The Postdoctoral Researcher will undertake innovative research utilising next generation sequencing and functional genomics tools to understand how the green peach aphid Myzus persicae is able to colonize multiple plant species and evolved resistance to a large range of pesticides.

The Researcher will be based in the group of David Swarbreck (EI) and interact closely with the groups of Hogenhout (JIC) and van Oosterhout (UEA) on the Norwich Research Park. They will perform genome analysis and annotation, identify genes that are differentially expressed and spliced, correlate this with DNA methylation data and conduct evolutionary analyses of genes among insect species.

The ideal candidate:

The successful applicant will be highly motivated with an interest in insect genomics, various aspects of RNA biology such as (small) RNA sequencing and annotation, be familiar with the analysis of next generation sequencing data and have experience of bioinformatics software, unix and scripting languages. They will work within a larger team and hence good interpersonal communication skills and an excellent track record for reporting, organising and sharing data is required.

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 30 months.

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 1003463.

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

Reporting to David Swarbreck (Head of Core Bioinformatics) and interacting on a daily basis with members of the Swarbreck group.
This is a collaborative project co-supervised by Saskia Hogenhout (Project Leader in Plant-Biotic Interactions, Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich) and Cock van Oosterhout (Reader in Evolutionary Genetics, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich). The postholder will work closely with members of the Hogenhout and van Oosterhout groups including a postdoctoral researcher based at the John Innes Centre who will conduct all laboratory experiments.
Will liaise with the EI Genomics Pipelines and project management teams regarding sequencing.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Analysis of insect genomes including the Green Peach Aphid genome. Perform high-quality annotation of genomic and transcriptomic datasets using annotation pipelines/tools and related bioinformatic techniques.
30
Run and interpret the results of analysis pipelines for the study of gene expression and epigenetics and apply annotation approaches to improve gene structure and function calls.
30
Conduct evolutionary genomic analyses
20
Communicate progress and data, including reporting progress to the group
5
Give presentations, attend conferences, write reports and scientific publications.
5
The job holder will be expected to inform themselves about technological and research developments relevant to the project and wider research of the groups involved.
5
Assist with supervising of PhD students and visiting scientists
5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology or related subject
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Significant knowledge and understanding of transcriptomics, genomics or epigenomics analyses
Essential
Familiarity with methods for evolutionary analysis
Essential
Familiarity with programming languages including Perl, R, Linux and/or Python
Essential
Experience with Unix.
Essential
Excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to solve problems with numerous and complex variables
Essential
Familiarity with Statistics
Essential
Experience in RNA biology, including small RNA library construction, RNA degradome analyses and annotation of non-coding RNAs
Essential
Excellent record-keeping and time management skills to work on several different projects at the same time
Essential
Knowledge of large-scale comparative genome analyses approaches
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Experience of working on genomics and transcriptomics data and bioinformatics.
Essential
Experience with next generation sequencing (RNA-Seq, DNA-Seq) and large-scale data analysis
Essential

Management and Leadership

Requirement
Importance
Experience of supervising PhD students and visiting scientists
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Essential
Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well as part of a team
Essential
Able to communicate with an interdisciplinary group including data analysts, computer scientists and biologists
Essential
Networking and influencing skills and the ability to build effective collaborative links
Essential
Evidence of presenting research findings to internal and external audiences
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Must be able to travel and work a non-conventional work pattern on occasion
Essential
Ability to adapt to new techniques and methodologies
Essential
Willingness to participate in occasional training of other institute members and visitors, and as part of formal training programmes hosted at the institute
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential