Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics
Post Number
1004378
Closing Date
1 Feb 2023
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£33,050 - £40,750
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Pathogenomic analyses of the notorious wheat rust pathogens
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Mar 2023
Months Duration
24

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

A Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics position is newly available in the Saunders group at the John Innes Centre (JIC), Norwich, UK. The post holder will work with genome sequencing datasets to study the notorious wheat rust pathogens, which have been associated with crop failures and famine throughout history.

The appointee will predominantly contribute to further development of the award-winning MARPLE diagnostics system (https://marple-diagnostics.org), whilst also using this system to study wheat rust population dynamics at an international scale. The MARPLE system uses MinION sequencing to rapidly diagnose individual wheat rust strains and has been deployed across East Africa and South Asia. This post provides an exciting opportunity for the candidate to work in a multidisciplinary research group in the Crop Genetics department at the JIC, whilst also working with partners at the international maize and wheat improvement center, CIMMYT.

Key Relationships

Internal: The appointee will work closely with all members of the Saunders Lab.

External: Collaborators at CIMMYT based in Mexico, South Asia and East Africa.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Develop, test, maintain and execute bioinformatic pipelines that are relevant to the project
35
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
30
Contribute to the training of others in various computational skills
10
Lead data management and promote best practice
10
Disseminate findings through presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
5
Liaise with external stakeholders
5
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post, for example, contributing to the work of Institute committees
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) in computer science or bioinformatics
Essential
BSc or equivalent in computer science, biology, bioinformatics or a related field
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Proficient in Python programming language
Essential
Proficient in Bash scripting
Essential
Skilled in use of Python libraries (pandas, Biopython etc.)
Essential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Experience analysing large complex datasets
Essential
Experience in building and/or maintaining bioinformatic pipelines
Essential
Experience in supervising, training and mentoring
Essential
Experience in software testing
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential

Who We Are

John Innes Centre

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial genetics, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.

Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

For more information about working at the John Innes Centre, please click here.

We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links, appointing staff from across the world. Any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme, a founding signatory of the Tecnician Commitment and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709).

Department

Crop Genetics

The Department of Crop Genetics undertakes fundamental research on the biology of cereals, brassicas and legumes to understand the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic variation. A major goal is to develop the technologies and knowledge base to provide a predictive framework that will underpin conventional and novel plant breeding strategies. This will enable high-yielding, stress and disease resistant varieties, with a particular end-use quality, suitable for an efficient but benign agriculture.

Group Details

The Saunders group works on a variety of emerging and re-emerging plant pathogens using a broad array of techniques that include molecular genetics, biochemistry, plant pathology, cell biology, genomics, transcriptomics and data mining to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the plant pathogen interface.

Living in Norfolk

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Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics
Salary:            £33,050 - £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract:        2 years, full time
Location:        John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 1 February 2023
Reference:     1004378

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Bioinformatics to join the Saunders Group at the John Innes Centre, working on cutting-edge science in plant disease diagnostics.

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant and microbial sciences. We nurture a creative, curiosity-led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits. Our strategic vision, Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet, sets out our ambitious long-term goals for the game changing impact of our science globally. 

Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management. Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

About the Saunders Group:

The Saunders group works on a variety of emerging and re-emerging plant pathogens using a broad array of techniques that includes molecular genetics, biochemistry, plant pathology, cell biology, genomics, transcriptomics, and data mining to improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the plant pathogen interface.

The role:

The successful candidate will work with genome sequencing datasets to study the notorious wheat stem rust pathogens, which have been associated with crop failures and famine throughout history.

The appointee will contribute to further development of the award-winning MARPLE diagnostics system (https://marple-diagnostics.org), whilst also using this system to study wheat rust population dynamics at an international scale. This system uses MinION targeted re-sequencing to rapidly diagnose individual wheat rust strains and has been deployed across East Africa and South Asia. The post holder will work on expanding the computational aspects of the MARPLE diagnostics bioinformatics pipeline, this will include further improving existing software pipelines and developing new pipelines to expand the methodology to other areas of interest. Whilst also applying these new pipelines to study wheat rust population dynamics in East Africa and South Asia. 

This is an opportunity for the candidate to join a multidisciplinary research group in the Crop Genetics department at the JIC and to work on a fascinating project in computer science with a direct and immediate benefit for better management of the deadly wheat rust pathogens.

The ideal candidate:

You will have excellent programme skills in Python, Bash and experience with software testing. You will have demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and in applying problem solving skills. A PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) in computer science, bioinformatics or a related field is also essential.

Additional information:

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity.  As a Disability Confident organisation, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.