Research Associate (Genetic Epidemiology)

London (Greater)
£38,826 - £45,649 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
05 Jul 2022
End of advertisement period
27 Jul 2022
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are looking for a post-doctoral genetic statistician or statistical geneticists with initiative and drive, to contribute to research into the genetic and omic epidemiology of chronic conditions, in particular the gut microbiome and back pain.   


There will have a unique opportunity to work on data from important cohorts including TwinsUK and UK Biobank.  The applicant should be familiar with all aspects of genetic epidemiology including heritability studies, GWAS and multi-omic modelling.


There will also be opportunities to engage in other projects using deeply phenotyped cohorts, as well as with other projects involving genomics research and age-related diseases, in particular chronic pain and age-related hearing loss.


Applicants are expected to be able to direct research independently, supervise students and have a good breadth of knowledge of genetic epidemiology and epidemiology research methods and background. This post is within a highly supportive environment for both early- and mid-career researchers and the ability to work as part of a team is essential. 


This post will be offered on a fixed term contract for 24 months 

This is a full-time post


Key responsibilities

This post will work on the genetic epidemiology of back pain, intervertebral disc degeneration and hearing loss, supporting the research activities of Prof Frances Williams (PI, Dept of Twin Research, School of Life Course Sciences). We are increasingly moving to multi-omic analysis of microbiome and metabolites to understand their relationship with chronic complex traits. The use of two sample Mendelian randomisation is allowing us to truly define the risk factors which cause common complex conditions, and how they interact with host genetics.   


Applicants are expected to be able to direct research independently with a good breadth general statistical methods suitable for omics research.  


Analysis & research

•        Undertake original and state of the art biomedical research as an integral member of a group working on omics 

•        A strong working knowledge of modern bioinformatic strategies for use of resources.

•        Attend and contribute to regular lab meetings

•        Maintain up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive laboratory notes 

•        Assist, supervise and train other members of the group, including students and other research staff in their application in related lab projects.  

•        Manage the research progress and be involved in setting goals for achievement of project aims

•        execution of literature reviews, data collection and analysis, and report preparation. 


Communication & networking:  

•        Prepare reports on results for verbal and multimedia presentations at regular lab meetings, departmental seminars, national and international meetings.  

•        Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer review journals or book chapters  

•        Facilitate collaboration and networking 


Decision making, planning & problem solving: 

•        Identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio  

•        Contribute to collaborative decision making with colleagues  

•        Deal with problems and implement new technological approaches to solve problems  

•        Take initiative to undergo relevant training  


Service delivery:  

•        Provide expert advice in subject area  

•        Set the standards of service and ensure overall quality is maintained 

•        Supervise the research activities of undergraduate and postgraduate students engaged in related research under the direction of group leaders.


Teamwork, teaching & learning support:  

•        Actively participate as a member of a research team  

•        Attend and contribute to relevant meetings  

•        Provide mutual support to the team, acting as a role model for good practice  


Sensory/physical demands & work environment:  

•        Balance with help the competing pressures of research and administrative demands and deadlines  

•        Be aware of the risks in the work environment and their potential impact on own work and that of others  


Pastoral Care:  

•        Show consideration to others  


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.  

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria  

1.      PhD awarded in genetic epidemiology or microbiome/metagenome, or genetics 

2.      sound knowledge of genomic epidemiology or statistical genetics 

3.      strong computational skills

4.      ability to write manuscripts for publication

5.      knowledge of bioinformatics analysis methods, including ability to analyse microbiome data 

6.      organised and systematic approach to research 

7.      problem solving skills – both within the project and more broadly in the institution

8.      evidence of successful team-working

9.      evidence of self-directed productivity

10.    the ability to work under pressure & to meet deadlines


Desirable criteria

1.      experience with working across omics

2.      extensive experience in conferences, oral presentations and posters 

3.      good publication record 


Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6. 

Further information

The post holder will need to be independent and self-driven.  They will benefit from prior experience managing large datasets. The position will allow many exciting opportunities to interact with a wide variety of researchers, from clinical specialists to epidemiologists to microbiome experts.

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