Postdoctoral Fellow – Birney Research


Key information

  • Location: EMBL-EBI Hinxton
  • Staff category: Postdoctoral Fellow - Science, research and training
  • Contract duration: 3 years
  • Grading: Year 1 Stipend - £2,829.64
  • Closing date: 20 April 2020
  • Reference number: EBI01614

Continue reading for more information about this position, or apply now.




About this position

We are looking for an experienced statistical geneticist or genetics aware computational biologist post-doctoral fellow to join the Birney research group at EMBL-EBI to work on a multi-national NIH funded research project to exploring environmental toxicology – MedakaTox.

Over the last seven years dedicated work has led to the establishment of the first near-isogenic panel from a wild fish population in vertebrates, the inbred medaka MIKK panel. This resource provides a unique opportunity for studying the genetic and gene-environment (GxE) effects of environmental contaminant response in a wild-derived vertebrate population.

Your role

In this project we will focus on two specific phenotypes, a heart rate and a skeletal assay, testing a range of dosage exposures for 10 or more environmental compounds known to affect the heart, skeleton, or both. For association testing we will use leading genetic techniques, in particular linear mixed models with multi-trait phenotypes, to maximize discovery. High-throughput phenotyping across the MIKK panel will be followed by specific breeding strategy designs and genome sequencing to maximize power for mapping effects to loci. The project will influence the design and interpretation of human GxE studies, where it is impossible to control exposure, and will provide a comprehensive view of the genetic architecture of the GxE effects.

You have

The applicant needs to hold a PhD in Statistics, Genetics, Bioinformatics, or a related field, and will have a proven track record in statistical genetics research. You should be skilled at developing software in a Unix-based environment, have a detailed knowledge of current statistical genetics methods and be comfortable coding in either python or R. Good interpersonal skills are important as is the ability to discuss methods and present results to other group members.

You might also have

Experience with knowledge transfer, supervision/mentoring is not required but would be considered as an advantage, as would previous research experience with fish or other aquatic models.

The successful applicant will work as part of a highly collaborative, international team. The fellowship will be based at EMBL-EBI but shared with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Massachusetts, U.S.A). There will be regular project meetings between computational and laboratory members so the ability to explain complex ideas to others is of great importance.  The post holder will be required to travel to the US at least once a year and would have the opportunity to spend an extended period at Woods Hole.

Why join us

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by over 27 member states and two associate member states. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 850 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation. For more information about pay and benefits click here.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

What else you need to know

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

This position is limited to a 3 year duration in the first instance.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.