Postdoctoral Research Associate

Edinburgh, UK
Jun 30, 2020
Jul 30, 2020
Medicine, Medical
Contract Type
Full Time
The Postdoctoral Research Associate position is to conduct molecular laboratory work and analyses, including genetic mapping, as part of a project studying sex chromosome evolution in a fish. The project is a collaborative one with a group at the University of Exeter, who provide the materials needed for the molecular work. The work involves supervising a technician to manage DNA extractions for various purposes, including for whole genome sequencing, sequencing of individual genes of interest, microsatellite genotyping and high-throughput genotyping by sequencing. The position will also contribute to the discussion and interpretation of results.

The successful applicant will conduct bioinformatic analyses of complete genome sequences and other data generated. The ability to work independently within a small group of collaborators is essential, as is a high level of computer and statistical skills.

We seek a motivated Postdoctoral Research Associate to join our project in its final stages. This post is Full Time, Fixed Term until 31st July 2021, potential extension dependent on further funding.

Salary: £33,797 to £40,322 per annum

Closing date: Tuesday 21st July 2020 at 5pm(GMT).

1. Job Details
Job title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

School/Support Department: School of Biological Sciences

Unit: Institute of Evolutionary Biology

Line manager: Paul Sharp / Deborah Charlesworth

2. Job Purpose
To contribute to a research programme in the field of molecular evolution, genetics and genome analyses, specifically focusing on sex chromosome evolution. The post-holder will conduct original research in collaboration with Deborah Charlesworth, and produce material for publication and dissemination.

3. Main Responsibilities
(Approv % of time)
  • To conduct genetic mapping and molecular evolutionary analyses of the genome sequences of a set of closely related fish species, as parts of a programme of studies of newly evolved sex chromosome pair in the species. The work will involve studies of the evolution of genes on the sex chromosomes and other chromosomes, and includes analyses of whole genome sequences. (68%)
  • The post-holder will maintain accurate and up-to-date records to document the research progress and will have a role in writing up data for publication. They will make results available for presentation at lab meetings and at national and international meetings, including preparing figures to explain the conclusions. (10%)
  • They will provide guidance and supervision to junior staff and M. Sc. students working on the project, as required. (10%)
  • Keep up to date with relevant scientific developments through literature review, seminar attendance etc. (10%)
  • Contribute to laboratory maintenance, ordering of supplies, maintenance of equipment, complete COSSH and other safety forms to ensure the smooth functioning of the laboratory (this is mostly handled by the technician). (2%)

  • 4. Planning and Organising
    • The post-holder will plan and manage their own programme of research activity on an ongoing basis, to ensure that the research is conducted in accordance with the research timetable.
    • Assist more junior members of the research team in planning and scheduling of their workload, in accordance with the demands of the overall project.

    5. Problem Solving
    • The post holder is expected to resolve many problems using accumulated experience, in collaboration with D. Charlesworth, with serious non-standard issues reported to the line manager for assistance.
    • To use creativity and initiative in the for research, including potentially identifying further aspects that can be tested with our data or new data that can be collected to help answer the focal questions of the project.
    • Use initiative to analyse and interpret research data, and draw conclusions from it.
    • Use initiative to help other researchers in the team to resolve project problems and develop techniques and methods not previously used in the lab, as appropriate.

    6. Decision Making
    • Taken independently: Organise own workload according to priority and adapt as necessary, set short-term time-lines, design experimental set-up to address specific research aims.
    • In collaboration with others: Problem solving and data interpretation, experimental design and discussion of short-term research aims and potential new research strategies.
    • Referred to manager: Overall timelines, changes of direction, response to serious and unexpected events, identification of the best way forward and interpretation of complex data (although input to these areas is expected).
    • Level of Direction Given: D. Charlesworth will offer general orientation and advice, in addition to support in developing and implementation of the research strategy, and will allow an appropriate degree of independence.

    7. Key Contacts/Relationships
    Internal: D. Charlesworth and members of the immediate research team, members of other labs with relevant lab expertise, other users of the computer server to be used for bioinformatic analyses, bioinformatics M. Sc. students, and School Professional Services staff (Staffing, Health and Safety, Building Manager, IT staff).
    External: Collaborating researchers in the UK (the project is a collaboration with researchers at the University of Exeter) and elsewhere, as appropriate.

    8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job
    • PhD in an appropriate biological science, ideally with strong genetics component
    • Experience in analysing DNA sequences, and associated computer skills

    • Expertise in molecular lab techniques
    • Experience in analysing genome sequences
    • Publications in peer reviewed journals
    • Ability to communicate complex information clearly, orally and in writing

    9. Dimensions
    To work as part of Deborah Charlesworth's group comprising Deborah Charlesworth, one molecular lab technician, and up to 2 Bioinformatics M. Sc. students.

    10. Job Context and any other relevant information
    This position is for the final stage of a project that has already run for 3 years, and funding is available for at least one further year, or somewhat longer. Data for bioinformatic analyses are in hand. This is a demanding but exciting opportunity for an individual to develop their research skills.

    Application Procedure

    All applicants should apply online by clicking the apply link at the bottom of this page and submitting an up to date CV. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application. The online system allows you to submit a CV and other attachments.
    You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.
    The closing date is 5pm on Tuesday 21st July 2020.

    Right to Work
    In accordance with UK legislation the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

    To do so, the University requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

    For further information on right to work please visit our right to work website

    In the circumstances where the vacancy does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) criteria for sponsorship the successful applicant must have the existing right to work in the UK or individual circumstances which enable permission to work to be obtained.

    For further information about whether you require a visa and other visa routes please visit the GOV.UK website

    Conditions of Employment
    Pension Scheme
    This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

    For further information please visit our Pensions website .

    The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £33,797 to £40,322 for 35 hours, each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

    The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.
    var links = document.querySelectorAll(".targetLink"), i, j, aTags, string; for(i=0; i The Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IEB) At the Institute of Evolutionary Biology we study evolution in the broadest possible sense, from virtually every angle and using a great range of organisms and techniques.

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