Postdoctoral Research Associate
- Location: Edinburgh
- Date: 5 days ago
We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to apply computational analyses to the study of cross-species communication mediated by small RNAs. The project involves comparative analysis of small RNA-producing loci in closely related gastrointestinal nematode parasites and analysis of changes in small RNA populations in response to variable environmental conditions (nutrient availability/co-infections).
This is a demanding but exciting opportunity for an ambitious, driven individual to develop expertise in small RNA biology and cross-species communication in a host-parasite context.
A PhD (or near completion) in evolutionary biology, computational biology, genomics, RNA biology, parasitology, ecology or related field is required . The ideal candidate will have previous experience in transposable elements and/or small RNA biology and experience in using/developing imaginative or innovative approaches to solving bioinformatic problems and/or evolutionary biology problems.
This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and involves a cross-disciplinary team of collaborators/advisors including Amy Buck (small RNA biochemistry), Amy Pedersen (ecology of host-parasite interactions in the wild), Darren Obbard (population genetics and small RNAs), Cei Abreu-Goodger (small RNA analyses and targets) and Mark Blaxter (nematode genomics). Please get in touch with Amy Buck or others for questions,
This is a full time post, available until 30th June 2022.
Salary:£33,797 to £40,322 per annum
Closing date: 18th June 2020 at 5pm
1. Job Details
Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate
School/Support Department: School of Biological Sciences
Unit: Institute of Immunology & Infection Research
Line manager: Amy Buck
2. Job Purpose
To contribute to a multi-disciplinary research program on the role of small RNAs and transposable elements in cross-species communication. The post-holder will apply computational analyses to understand the evolution of small RNA-producing loci in closely related nematode parasites and build a framework for small RNA evolution and transmission between parasites and co-inhabiting organisms in the gut.
3. Main Responsibilities
(Approx % of time)
- Carry out comparative genomics to annotate small RNA producing loci in closely related nematode genomes and use computational analyses to classify extracellular sRNA populations under different environmental conditions. (70%)
- The post-holder will maintain accurate and up-to-date records to document the research progress and take a lead role in writing up data for publication. Data will be presented at lab meetings to make data available for other research staff. Presentation of research findings at national and international level is also required. (10%)
- To provide guidance and supervision to junior staff and students on related sRNA projects requiring computational analyses (15%)
- Keep up to date with relevant scientific developments through literature review, seminar attendance etc. (5%)
4. Planning and Organising
• The post-holder will plan and manage own programme of research activity on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with the research timetable.
• Assist more junior members of the research team in planning and scheduling of their workload, in accordance with the demands of the overall project.
5. Problem Solving
• The post holder is expected to resolve most general problems using accumulated experience, with the most serious non-standard issues reported to the line manager or collaborators for support.
• To use creativity and initiative to identify areas for research, develop new research/computational methods, diversify the research parameters.
• Use initiative to analyse and interpret research data, and draw conclusions from it.
• Use initiative to help other researchers in the team to resolve project problems and develop new techniques and methods, as appropriate.
6. Decision Making
• Taken independently: Organise own workload according to priority and adapt as necessary, setting of short-term time-lines, design experimental set-up to address specific research aims
• In collaboration with others: Problem solving and data interpretation, experimental design and discussion of short-term research aims and potential new research strategies
• Referred to manager: Overall timelines, changes of direction, response to serious and unexpected events, identification of the best way forward and interpretation of complex data (although input to these areas is expected).
• Level of Direction Given: Line manager and collaborators will offer general orientation and advice, in addition to support in developing and implementation of research strategy, there will be an appropriate degree of independence
7. Key Contacts/Relationships
Internal: Line Manager and members of the immediate research teams, members of other labs (Dr. Pedersen, Dr. Obbard), and students. School Professional Services staff (Staffing, Health and Safety, Building Manager). External: Collaborating researchers in Mexico (Prof. Abreu-Goodger) or Sanger (Prof. Mark Blaxter) and others as appropriate.
8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job
• PhD (or near completion) in evolutionary biology, computational biology, genomics, RNA biology, parasitology, ecology or related field
• Expertise in computational analyses, gene regulation, or comparative genomics
• Experience in transposable elements and/or small RNAs
• Publications in peer reviewed journals
• Ability to communicate complex information clearly, orally and in writing
• Previous experience in bioinformatic analyses of small RNAs
• Wet lab experience in small RNA approaches
• Desire to seek future external support to develop the research area.
To work as part of the Buck lab comprising approximately 7 research staff and students and to also liase closely with Research Assistants in the Pedersen lab, as well as collaborators on the Leverhulme Award.
10. Job Context and any other relevant information
This is a demanding but exciting opportunity for an ambitious, driven individual to develop new expertise in small RNA biology and cross-species communication in a host-parasite context. Beyond the Buck lab, this research involves a dynamic cross-disciplinary team of collaborators/advisors including Amy Pedersen (ecology of host-parasite interactions in the wild), Darren Obbard (population genetics and small RNAs), Cei Abreu-Goodger (small RNA analyses and targets) and Mark Blaxter (nematode genomics).
All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.
You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.
The closing date is 5pm on Thursday 18th June 2020.
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Conditions of Employment
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.
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The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,797 to £40,322 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 for Immunology and Infection Research (IIIR) IIIR conducts fundamental research across the areas of immunology, infection, genetics and epidemiology, in order to develop new interventions to control human and animal diseases. The Institute encompasses an exceptional breadth of pathogen research, from viruses to helminth parasites, on a wide platform of scientific approaches from functional genomics to mathematical biology. IIIR's environment and facilities offer outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research into immunology and infection. Our four main themes are: fundamental immunology; immune regulation of disease; molecular biology and genetics of parasites; and host-pathogen population biology. Research is funded by a wide range of sponsors including MRC, the Wellcome Trust, other charities, industry and the European Union.
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