Wellcome Sanger Institute

Postdoctoral Fellowship (SEED) - Sanger Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics

Wellcome Sanger Institute – Biological Sciences

Sanger Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics (SEED) Postdoctoral Fellowships now open for 2023 – Up to 2 open positions - 3 year contracts

We are seeking two highly motivated and independent Postdoctoral Fellows to join Parasites and Microbes programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute with a passion for tackling infectious diseases and promoting human health by combining cutting-edge computational approaches with large-scale microbial genomic datasets.

About the Programme:

A key goal of the programme is to understand how microorganisms evolve over time and uncover the factors that shape this trajectory. Whether for globally important pathogens, or host-associated and environmental microbiomes, researchers in the Parasites and Microbes programme combine cutting edge genomic and computational approaches with large scale sampling over extended time periods and across multiple locations to understand the evolutionary dynamics of these microorganisms and to use these insights to inform infectious disease control and health promotion efforts.

Parasites and Microbes has an Associate Faculty comprising world-leaders in mathematical and computational approaches to infectious disease epidemiology and public health. While based at other institutions, Associate Faculty work alongside Sanger investigators to develop a comprehensive vision for the integration of epidemiology, modelling and genomics. This Fellowship plays a critical role in connecting the Associate Faculty and Sanger investigators through strategically important projects.

For more background on our Fellowship, please visit

About the Fellowship:

Sanger Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics (SEED) postdoctoral fellowships offer the chance to develop and implement innovative methods for the analysis of large-scale genomic datasets to: address fundamental problems concerning the evolution, transmission dynamics and control of major infectious diseases; answer fundamental questions concerning microbial evolution and human health or disease; and develop innovative methods for the analysis of large-scale genomic datasets.

The opportunities available to SEED postdoctoral fellows, and the expectations placed upon them, are unlike most other postdoctoral programmes, whether at Sanger or elsewhere.

The SEED Postdoctoral Fellowship programme offers:

  • A salary in the range £35,707 - £44,712;
  • Research expenses, including consumables and travel costs for conferences and training courses;
  • Access to training and support resources from across the organisation;
  • Access to the University of Cambridge Careers Service;
  • Generous and flexible benefits

About you:

You will work under the co-supervision of an Associate Faculty member and a Sanger group leader. This supervisory structure is designed to create an environment in which you can draw upon the complementary expertise available across both supervisors and organisations and develop the knowledge base needed to steer their project through to completion. As such, you will need to demonstrate highly developed organisational and communication skills and the ability to drive complex collaborative science.

You will lead your project from conception through to delivery, having the intellectual independence and freedom to move between Sanger and the Associate Faculty member’s institution as needed in pursuit of project goals. As such, these positions represent an opportunity for you to maintain a high degree of control over the shape and direction of your work, although projects undertaken will need to be strategically aligned to the overall mission for Parasites and Microbes programme.

Essential skills:

  • PhD in a relevant subject area
  • Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies in experimental/computational areas
  • Research expertise in an area that will complement and enhance the Institute’s research strategy and goals
  • Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for own and joint research, with the assistance of a mentor if required
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research
  • Ability to plan and prioritise own work in order to meet deadlines, including using initiative to plan research programmes
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for the subject matter of the project
  • Commitment to personal development and updating of knowledge and skills
  • Working collaboratively with others and building working relationships with stakeholders at all levels
  • Demonstrates inclusivity and respect for all
  • Respects and Demonstrates our core competencies outlined in our Behavioural Competency Framework

Joining us as Postdoctoral Fellow:

You will be part of a vibrant international Postdoctoral Fellow community at the Sanger Institute with a wide programme of transferable skills training and excellent career development opportunities. We are committed to:

  • Providing an enriching and respectful research environment so you can focus on and enjoy your work
  • Mentoring you and providing opportunities for you to network across the genomics scientific community

For more information about being a Postdoctoral Fellow - please visit: https://youtu.be/1-vxm2nBmFA

Application process:

Fellowships will be awarded after a competitive selection process, with applicants applying to one of these broad projects. Applicants are encouraged to make contact with the named supervisors via pam-recruit@sanger.ac.uk (by clicking the 'Apply' button above)

  • Stage 1: Should you wish to propose a project of your own, please submit a brief outline proposal (approximately 500-1000 words) to the Group Leader and Associate Faculty member who you would like to work with via pam-recruit@sanger.ac.uk - Your proposal will need to be approved before you submit the application. Once approved, please apply on this job vacancy page, please click Apply.
  • Stage 2: In order to apply, you will need to submit a cover letter specifying the project you are applying for, your Curriculum Vitae, and two recent letters of references. Please note: once you start your online application you will have to complete all the steps through to submission, please ensure you have everything ready.
  • Stage 3: Co-development of a research project with a member(s) of the supervisory team. This is an opportunity for you to incorporate your own ideas and interests into the project plan.
  • Stage 4: The shortlisted candidates will present these extended project outlines at interview. The interview process shall consist of an open talk (30 minutes) to the PaM programme and a closed interview with all Group Leaders and Associate Faculty, chaired by the Head of Programme.

Support is available at all stages of the recruitment process, you can contact us on pam-recruit@sanger.ac.uk - for any queries.