Research Associate in Statistical Genetics and Bioinformatics

University College London - Division of Biosciences

We are recruiting an exceptional statistical geneticist/bioinformatician to help determine the genetic basis of complex phenotypes in rice and chickpea, with the aim of improving these important crops in response to changing climate and land-use. The post is funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund and by the BBSRC. The post-holder will join the group of Richard Mott in the Genetics Institute (UGI) University College London (UCL), comprising a dynamic team of statistical geneticists working on a variety of genetics programmes.

The post involves close collaboration and training with, and visits to, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), India, and the National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB), Cambridge.

The project focuses on large populations of rice and chickpea genomes sequenced at low coverage by this project to answer important questions in crop analysis and improvement: (i) the imputation of genome sequence, adapting methods developed previously in the group (e.g. Davies et al Nature Genetics 2015) (ii) the use of low-coverage population sequence to identify structural variants implicated in phenotypes (Imprialou et al Genetics 2017) (iii) The development and implementation of quantitative genetics and genomic prediction methods in crop development, particularly in relation to multiparental advanced intercrosses. (iv) Methodologies developed by the project will be applied to many other crops and animals adding considerable value to them.

The post is available from now until 30 June 2021 with possibility of extension. 

PhD in Statistical Genetics, Bioinformatics or a related field is essential as is a good understanding of the statistics of genetic association and experience of manipulating and analysing Next-Gen sequence data and of genotype imputation. It is essential candidates demonstrate programming fluency in R, Perl/Python, or C/C++.  The successful candidate must have experience of conducting research in statistical genetics or bioinformatics. The ability to lead and manage long-distance international collaboration is essential. The ability to develop new statistical genetics methods would be desirable but not essential. Experience of crop or plant genetics is not necessary.

The appointment will be on UCL Grade 7. The salary range will be £34,635 - £41,864 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance.

Please note: Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316 - £31,967 per annum) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis (including corrections).

Full details on the role and the person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page. Please ensure you read these carefully before applying for the post as candidates must meet all essential criteria to be considered.

UCL vacancy reference:1704024

Applicants should apply online. To access further details about the position and how to apply please click on the ‘Apply’ button below.

If you would like to discuss the post please contact Professor Richard Mott, For any queries regarding the application process, please contact Biosciences Staffing on and quote the reference 1704024

Interview Date: TBC

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