Bioinformatician - Microbial Genomics


(Fixed Term for 3 years with the possibility of becoming a permanent post)

Based at East Malling in Kent, NIAB EMR is an internationally renowned plant science organisation conducting research on horticultural crops and their interactions with the environment, with particular emphasis on perennial and clonally propagated fruit crops. NIAB EMR is part of The NIAB Group, the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia. Employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.

NIAB EMR carries out research across the supply chain in perennial crop species and their pests and pathogens. We are seeking an innovative, motivated and enthusiastic individual to contribute microbial genomics and bioinformatics analysis to BBSRC-funded multidisciplinary research into microbes and plant-microbe interactions. Specifically, projects include analysis of growth responses to light and temperature in the fungal pathogen, Verticillium dahliae, and analysis of secondary metabolism in the fungus, Fusarium venenatum.

The appointee will join the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding (GGB) Department; one of three research departments within NIAB EMR.  In the wider department there is a strong emphasis on using statistical genomics approaches to understand the genetic basis of complex traits in plants, and functional genomics approaches to characterise pathways important in virulence and metabolism in bacterial, fungal and oomycete pathogens.

The GGB department is a collaborative environment and scientists are multidisciplinary (genetics, breeding, imaging, biochemistry, pathology and physiology).  The post holder will be expected to collaborate, integrate, and communicate with the wet-lab scientists conducting experiments and generating the data. This post holder will play a full role in hypothesis generation and collaborative experimental design.

This post is a three year position and is subject to a six month probationary period.  The minimum requirement for this post is a PhD in bioinformatics (or a heavily informatics-based PhD), or another computational discipline (with additional experience in biology/informatics). An understanding of working on a high performance computer cluster, use of version control and scripting in python (or another appropriate language) are key.

The successful applicant will work across two BBSRC-funded projects in the area of microbial functional genomics and plant-microbe interactions. Key tasks include:

  • Genome annotation of fungal genomes – metabolic pathway annotation
  • Analysis of RNA-seq transcriptome timecourse and multiple treatment data
  • Structural analysis of genomes and identification of regions of the genome undergoing rapid re-arrangement
  • Analysis of ChIP-Seq datasets

The successful candidate will also assist with national and international collaborations and in time (subject to performance), be given the opportunity to prepare grant proposals at appropriate levels to attract research funding and develop their own independent research path.  The desire to prepare high quality submissions to journals will be expected and an ability to communicate and present to both scientific and industry audiences is also essential.

The full time appointment will be on Pay Band 6 £28,125 to £32,422 or Pay Band 5 £33,696 to £35,915 per annum, dependent on qualifications and experience, 25 days annual leave plus 8 days public holidays, work in a pleasant collegial environment and have eligibility to join the company pension scheme upon appointment. 

Further details and an application form can be obtained by e-mail from  Please include a detailed CV with your application.  Please contact Richard Harrison for informal enquiries.  Closing date:  23rd March 2018