Research Fellow in Computational Sciences for Infectious Diseases

Melbourne, Australia
$77,171 to $130,900 p.a. (commensurate with experience.) plus 17% super
23 Mar 2023
End of advertisement period
21 Apr 2023
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Location: Parkville
Role type: Full time; Fixed-term for 3 years
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology
Department/School: Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 
Salary:  Level A – $77,171 - $104,717 p.a. OR Level B - $110,236 - $130,900 p.a. (commensurate with experience.) plus 17% super

The University of Melbourne would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Traditional Owners of the lands upon which our campuses are situated, the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung Peoples, the Yorta Yorta Nation, the Dja Dja Wurrung People. We acknowledge that the land on which we meet and learn was the place of age-old ceremonies, of celebration, initiation and renewal, and that the local Aboriginal Peoples have had and continue to have a unique role in the life of these lands.

About - Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is a vibrant community of internationally recognised researchers focused on addressing major challenges in Signal Processing and Data Science; Communications Technologies; Robotics and Systems Engineering; and Power and Energy Systems. We have long-standing, strong partnerships with industry and government that support our researchers in conducting high impact research. The Department offers both PhD and Masters level research degrees, and our research graduates are highly sought after in academia and industry.

About the Role

We are seeking a highly motivated Research Fellow to join Prof. Matthew McKay and Dr. Syed Faraz Ahmed to assist with research projects related to following grants:

  • NHMRC Ideas Grant, Using Big Data to Engineer Highly Immunogenic Hepatitis C Virus Envelopes for the Induction of Broad Neutralising Antibodies
  • ARC Discovery Grant, Engineering Methods for Resolving Complex Mutational Networks in Proteins

The first project looks at using data science methods to rationally design vaccines for HCV and the second project looks at developing computational platforms to understand the complex mutational patterns that underpin virus protein evolution.

The appointee will be a member of a team focused on employing computational approaches/machine learning/data science to understand viral infectious diseases, their evolution, and to design next-generation vaccines and therapies. The team is computationally focused and works with experimental virologists and immunologists in the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (where Prof McKay is jointly appointed in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology), as well as with other national and international collaborators. Recent scientific contributions of the group include guiding the development of commercial COVID-19 vaccines and commercial products for measuring human immune responses.

The appointee will contribute to a program involving the development of computational models and bioinformatics platforms to identify immune targets for viral pathogens including Hepatitis C virus, SARS-CoV-2, and future pandemic threats. The platforms will be used to design vaccine strategies for eliciting targeted T cell responses and/or inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies. The successful candidate will work under the direction of Prof McKay and Dr Syed Faraz Ahmed and will work closely with computational and experimental collaborators.

Responsibilities include:

  • Independently planning and carrying out research on the nominated research project and working towards completion of the aims of the project
  • Be responsible for qualitative and statistical analysis of research data
  • Identifying sources of funding to support individual or collaborative projects, relating to teaching, research and engagement practice in the discipline
  • Contributing to teaching, training, scientific mentoring and supervision of students

For a full list of responsibilities, please refer to the position description.

About You

To be successful in this role you will exhibit a strong willingness to engage in multidisciplinary research, and an ability to apply novel computational solutions for addressing key virological/immunological questions. You will be expected to have a strong technical and computing background; relevant biological knowledge is a plus, but not essential. (A keen willingness and passion to learn relevant biology/immunology concepts is essential, however.) You will have excellent written and verbal communication skills, demonstrated by presentation of research results at conferences, internal forums and through manuscript submissions.

You will also have:

  • A PhD, or near completion of PhD, in electrical engineering or computer science, or in other relevant technical fields including computational biology, bioinformatics, biophysics, statistics, mathematics, genetics 
  • A record of quality research in relevant fields, as evidenced by publications in leading journals and at conferences commensurate with opportunity
  • Demonstrated experience with one or more high-level programming languages, e.g., Python, R, Matlab
  • Demonstrated capacity to communicate research concepts to technical and non-technical audiences

To ensure the University continues to provide a safe environment for everyone, this position requires the incumbent to hold a current and valid Working with Children Check.

About the University

The University of Melbourne is consistently ranked amongst the leading universities in the world. We are proud of our people, our commitment to research and teaching excellence, and our global engagement.

Benefits of Working with Us

In addition to having the opportunity to grow and be challenged, and to be part of a vibrant campus life, our people enjoy a range of rewarding benefits:

  • Flexible working arrangements, generous personal, parental and cultural leave
  • Competitive remuneration, 17% super, salary packaging and leave loading
  • Free and subsidised health and wellbeing services, and access to fitness and cultural clubs
  • Discounts on a wide range of products and services including Myki cards and Qantas Club
  • Career development opportunities and 25% off graduate courses for staff and their immediate families

To find out more, visit

Be Yourself

We value the unique backgrounds, experiences and contributions that each person brings to our community and encourage and celebrate diversity.  First Nations people, those identifying as LGBTQIA+, females, people of all ages, with disabilities and culturally and linguistically diverse people are encouraged to apply. Our aim is to create a workforce that reflects the community in which we live.

Join Us!

If you feel this role is right for you, please apply with your CV and cover letter outlining your interest and experience. Please note that you are not required to provide responses against the selection criteria in the Position Description.

We are dedicated to ensuring barrier free and inclusive practices to recruit the most talented candidates. If you require any reasonable adjustments with the recruitment process, please contact us at

Position description: 0058991 Research Fellow in Computational Sciences for Infectious Diseases.doc

Applications close: 21 Apr 2023 11:55 PM AUS Eastern Standard Time

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