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Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Bioinformatics & Quantitative Genetics


Location: Cambridge
Salary: £30,042 to £39,640 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 20th May 2019
Closes: 16th June 2019
Job Ref: T/354

(3 years fixed term)

We are looking for an enthusiastic and talented bioinformatician/quantitative geneticist to work on the genetics of wheat yellow rust resistance at NIAB in Cambridge, UK. The post is funded by a BBSRC-LINK grant to investigate the best way to combine complementary adult plant disease resistance loci to obtain durable resistance. Working with seven commercial breeding companies, the project will characterise (a) the in-field effectiveness of combinations of disease resistance loci in multi-site trials, (b) the location and timing of action of resistance within the plant at the microscopic level and (c) the underlying genetics of resistance using differential RNA expression analysis. The successful candidate will mostly be responsible for the quantitative genetic analysis of the field trial data, particularly the detection of genetic interactions, and the bioinformatics analysis of the differential expression data. With the majority of the UK commercial wheat breeding companies involved, the project offers an excellent opportunity to work on translational research at the academic-commercial interface.

The essential requirements for this role are:

  • Relevant BSc;
  • PhD in quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, plant genetics or similar with evidence of specialisation in data analysis;
  • Evidence of training in statistics and basic bioinformatics
  • Experience of genetic data analysis and bioinformatics analysis;
  • Good knowledge of a statistical package, preferable R or GenStat
  • Programming skills e.g. Python
  • Ability to work independently, once given adequate training
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Presentation skills both written and verbal

The desirable requirements for this role are:

  • RNA seq/differential expression analysis
  • Advanced genetic mapping skills
  • Advanced Quantitative Genetics or bioinformatics training
  • Experience of curation and analysis of large data sets
  • Good knowledge of experimental design
  • Interest in plant breeding, plant pathology or crop science
  • Glasshouse/field data collection or laboratory genetics experience
  • Positive attitude to challenges, views problems when they arise with creativity
  • Enthusiasm for developing new ideas
  • Driving Licence

The post will require travel within the UK and internationally.

NIAB is 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. The NIAB Genetics and Breeding team, based at Cambridge, carries out leading-edge crop genetics research, with direct translation to plant breeding programmes in the UK and elsewhere.

Starting salary is in the range of £30,042 to £39,640 per annum depending on qualifications, skills and experience. Further details and an application form are available at: or from the HR Office, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, Tel No. 01223 342282, Email:, quoting Ref No. T/354.  Closing date for applications: 16 June 2019

Interviews to be held week of 1 July 2019

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