Postdoctoral Research Associate

London (Greater) (GB)
£40,386 - £46,155 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
01 Aug 2022
End of advertisement period
28 Sep 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are seeking an enthusiastic postgraduate with a PhD in statistical genetics (or a related field), to work within a small but rapidly growing research group.  

The Powell Lab investigates the links between biological factors (e.g. telomere length data, inflammatory cytokine levels) and disease risk, using multidisciplinary approaches. This position will be ideal for someone who has extensive expertise in handling large datasets.  


The successful applicant will investigate genetic, environmental and pharmacological determinants of telomere attrition and their links to age-related diseases, using data from large cohort studies. They will perform genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses to determine genetic factors associated with telomere attrition. Post-GWAS analyses including Transcriptome-Wide Association analyses will determine which biological mechanisms moderate rates of telomere shortening. Mendelian randomisation will be used to infer causal pathways, and to establish the impact of telomere attrition on age-related disease risk. Linear and longitudinal modelling will be used to determine social, environmental and pharmacological factors that might slow rates of telomere attrition. 


The successful applicant will report to Dr Tim Powell within the Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre. The SGDP Centre is highly supportive of career development for postdoctoral researchers: you will have the opportunity to develop your independence, and you’ll receive training and support to apply for future fellowship funding.   


We strive to be a diverse research environment that is open, welcoming and supportive to all. Faculty-wide initiatives are supported by an active Diversity & Inclusion Team.  Our research groups are predominantly from White backgrounds, and we particularly welcome applications from individuals of any other race or ethnicity background (E.g. Black, Asian, Latinx). 


This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed-term contract for up to 36 months (expected start date 20th November 2022).


Key responsibilities

•        Perform statistical analysis on genotype/phenotype data, harmonising results across multiple datasets.   

•        Co-ordinate with research leads from multiple European cohorts.  

•        Perform genome-wide association studies and meta-analyses on telomere attrition. 

•        Perform analyses to identify environmental and pharmacological moderators of telomere attrition. 

•        Write scientific publications arising from the research, serving as first author.  

•        Contribute to the supervision of BSc, MSc and PhD students. 

•        Present results of analyses to team members, and at scientific conferences.  

•        Undertake reproducible analysis in an open science framework, developing analysis pipelines and using github repositories.  


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 in Statistical Genetics (or similar). 
  2. Analysis of large biological or epidemiological datasets. 
  3. Experience in performing GWAS and analyzing GWAS data. 
  4. Experience in Linux/unix-based operating systems and the use of high performance computing clusters. 
  5. Extensive experience of analysis and programming using R (or equivalent). 
  6. Experience writing peer-reviewed manuscripts.  

Desirable criteria 

  1. Experience in longitudinal modelling. 
  2. Experience working on the UK Biobank. 
  3. Experience in polygenic risk scoring and Mendelian Randomization. 
  4. An understanding of telomere biology.  

Further information

Interviews are expected by mid-October. The earliest start date is 20th November.

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