Research Associate in Computational Biology

London (Greater)
£40,386 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance.
25 May 2023
End of advertisement period
14 Jun 2023
Academic Discipline
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Computational Biology to join the Epigenetics and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation Group within the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics. Our group is interested in the contribution of genetic variation and its interaction with the environment to influence phenotypic diversity. Within this context, we employ genome-wide approaches to profile epigenetic and epitranscriptomic modifications, together with integrated computational analyses and a range of wet-lab techniques to validate the functional role of our discoveries. We apply this approach across a broad range of biological questions.  

The post-holder will contribute to an MRC funded project by applying their highly developed computational skills to data within the UK Biobank. Applications are welcome from individuals without a strong background in biology, provided the essential criteria are met and the individual is interested in learning about the underlying biology. This project will build on our previous work that established a link between a non-coding genic region and growth/body mass. Using this large and deeply phenotyped cohort, we seek to understand how this is influenced by both genetic background and lifestyle. Furthermore, we aim to establish what the primary and secondary genotype-phenotype associations are. This project has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of genetic disposition towards obesity and related disorders. In addition, we will then establish if these associations are present in a mouse model and what the relevant tissues are for further functional investigation, which will involve analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation, with the possibility of integrating data utilising other genome-wide approaches, such as transcriptome data (RNA-seq) and translatome data (polysome-seq or ribo-seq). 

Our laboratory provides a diverse and friendly environment within a department that has expertise spanning population genetics, statistical genetics, computational biology, developmental biology, epigenetics and beyond. International applicants are welcome. 

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract till 31st March 2025. 

This is a full-time  post

Key responsibilities

•         Perform computational/statistical analyses  

•         Keep excellent records documenting all code developed and outputs 

•         To present data at regular supervisory/group/departmental meetings 

•         Support the training of undergraduate and postgraduate research students 

•         Interact scientifically with colleagues within the group, department and external collaborators 

•         To contribute to the preparation of manuscripts for publication within peer-reviewed international journals 

•         Plan own day-to-day research activities within the framework of the agreed schedule and co-ordinate effectively with others for maximum collective efficiency 

•         Contribute by providing feedback on other projects during lab meetings to promote a well-rounded discussion 

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.       A PhD awarded in a relevant subject area that demonstrates a high level of competency with computation and statistics 

2.       Programming skills (command line, R, python) 

3.       Motivated and hard-working 

4.       Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex ideas to non-specialists 

5.       A strong understanding of research integrity  

6.       A willingness to attempt to develop novel approaches to problem solving 

7.       A track record of published primary research outputs 

8.       The ability to learn new techniques and skills as required 

9.       The ability to integrate with colleagues and work as part of a team  

10.     A reliable and conscientious approach to duties 

11.     Willingness to contribute and undertake a share of group tasks 

12.     Ability to work under reduced supervision when necessary 

Desirable criteria

1.       A background in biology, preferably population/statistical genetics 

2.       Familiarity with the UK Biobank Research Analysis Platform  

3.       Familiarity with the analysis of genome-wide DNA Methylation data (RRBS, WGBS) 

4.       Familiarity with different types of functional genomic data and integration of these 

5.       Familiarity with data protection legislation 

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

Candidates who are successfully shortlisted based on their application form and CV will be invited to interview. This post is subject to Occupational Health Clearance.

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