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Postdoctoral Training Fellow


This is a full-time, fixed term position of 4 years on Crick Terms and Conditions of Employment.


The Francis Crick institute (the Crick) is a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Wellcome Trust, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London and King’s College London. It is a registered charity whose purpose is to conduct biomedical research into all aspects of human health and disease.

The institute will be a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It will promote connections between researchers and disciplines and between academic institutions, healthcare organisations and businesses. Dedicated to research excellence, the institute will have the scale, vision and expertise to tackle the most challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease. It will be world-class with a strong national role—training scientists and developing ideas for public good. Due to open in November 2015, The Crick will be located in a new, purpose built research centre in central London (Brill Place next to St. Pancras International) and will house some 1,250 researchers and 250 support staff.

This is a position working on the computational analysis of cis-regulatory sequences associated with the control of vertebrate embryogenesis. The post holder will be expected use computational approaches to identify and characterise patterns and grammar within existing and novel sets of cis-regulatory sequences, and develop generic models and algorithms that will describe those patterns and allow prediction of function. They will also analyse Next Generation Sequencing data from individuals in order to characterise variation in regulatory sequences in normal and disease states.


This Postdoctoral Training Fellow will be pivotal in ensuring that the work of the Elgar lab is supported computationally, and that new computational methods can be developed where appropriate. Working alongside other laboratory members, the post holder will lead some projects and support others, enabling the accurate and full interpretation of data generated both externally and within the lab. The postholder will report directly to the Group Leader, Greg Elgar.


The post holder will perform computational analysis of large datasets, employing appropriate bioinformatics and statistical methods. The post will import new methods and where necessary develop novel computational approaches.

Specific objectives will include, but not be limited to:

  • Ensure the design and implementation of his/her part of the project
  • Liaise with external collaborators both in the UK and abroad and visit collaborators’ labs to perform shared experiments.
  • Write and contribute to the preparation of scientific manuscripts, reports, presentations and records of experimental plans and results
  • Work closely with the Program Leader and other team members to gather and collate data and report on results via publications
  • Supervise and provide technical advice to more junior members of the team when appropriate in order to develop their skills where required
  • Communicate lab results within divisional meetings to keep colleagues informed of developments and progress of the project

Person Specification

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: Bold, Imaginative, Open, Dynamic and Collegial, in addition to the following:


  • PhD or equivalent in research in bioinformatics or computational biology, or in the final stages of completion
  • Proven track-record of research (e.g. publication record) in DNA sequence analysis.
  • Good programming skills (e.g. Java, C++, perl), experience using mysql databases. Extensive experience of using DNA analysis algorithms.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to prioritise and manage own time. Ability to multi-task and integrate the demands of different activities in parallel
  • Good understanding of the role of cis-regulatory sequences in the control of gene regulation


  • Experience in the characterisation of non-coding regulatory sequences
  • Experience building databases and bioinformatics pipelines.
  • Experience with NGS data
  • Good presentation skills
  • Experience of long term planning of experiments and time lines
  • Good knowledge of motif finding and transcription factor binding site analysis algorithms

If you are interested in applying for this role, please send your CV and covering letter as one document, explaining your motivation and suitability for this role including details of your current salary, to Greg Elgar via jobs@crick.ac.uk and quoting ‘Postdoctoral Training Fellow - Bioinformatics – REF 368’ in the subject line.

The closing date for applications is Friday 07 August 2015 at 5pm.

For any questions relating to this role, please contact either Greg Elgar via greg.elgar@crick.ac.uk or Nicola Texeira, Resourcing Advisor via jobs@crick.ac.uk

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