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Research Fellow in Bioinformatics – AR2493MR
School of Biology
Vacancy Description
School of Biology, Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum, Start: As soon as possible
The Neurogenetics of Vocal Communication Group is seeking to recruit a highly motivated bioinformatician with strong bio-programming skills to perform a computational research role in an interdisciplinary lab. The group has recently relocated to the University of St Andrews, funded by a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. Led by Dr S. Vernes, the group investigates the genetic, neural and behavioural bases of vocal learning and social communication, with a view to understanding the evolution of human speech and language. A bioinformatician is sought to join the group in St Andrews to investigate the genetics and genomics of vocal learning and language. We work on bats as the first tractable mammalian model of vocal learning, but incorporate data from a range of sources across humans and animals to understand the biology and evolution of this trait.

A large and comprehensive range of existing, unpublished datasets are available for this project, including de novo reference quality genomes (see examples in Jebb et al, Nature, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2486-3). Transcriptomic data including IsoSeq, mRNA and small RNA transcriptomes and 3’UTR MACE sequencing, have been generated for the project. Single nuclei RNA sequencing datasets will also soon be available. Lab-based group members will collaborate on this project to take findings into cell and animal experiments, including transgenic animals.

We work with a strong network of collaborators and international consortia. Dr. Vernes is a founding director of the Bat1K genome sequencing consortium (www.bat1k.com) and we work closely with the Vertebrate Genome Project and Earth Biogenome Project giving access to expertise and rich resources from around the world. A description of ongoing projects and all papers can be found here: https://www.mpi.nl/department/neurogenetics-vocal-communication/12.

You will lead computational projects that investigate the role of genes and molecular networks in vocal communication. This will involve analysis and interpretation of high-throughput molecular and genomics data. You will also contribute to the projects of Bat1K consortium. This post will suit a candidate who can think flexibly, adapt to technical challenges, and implement new pipelines rapidly. The candidate must have solid grasp of statistical programming languages (e.g. Python, R), statistical analysis methods and bioinformatic tools and formats. A desire to extend your capabilities into new areas is desirable and there will be opportunities to develop your skills.

You will have the opportunity to publish first author papers, contribute as a co-author, and present your work internally. You must be able to independently manage your work, meet deadlines, and prepare internal reports and draft publications. You will have good communication skills and be willing to contribute to the intellectual environment of the group. This is an outstanding opportunity to develop your research skills, ask exciting scientific questions and drive forward novel research at the cutting edge. We will consider both part time and full-time appointments.

Applications should include:
(i) A cover letter expressing your interest in the position
(ii) a current CV
(iii) the names and contact details of three referees.

Applications are particularly welcome from women, people from the Black, Asian, Minority or Ethnic (BAME) community and other protected characteristics who are under-represented in research posts at the University.

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through accreditation (Athena SWAN; Carer Positive; Stonewall, LGBT and Race Charters), as listed on: http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk/hr/edi/diversityawards/

Please quote ref: AR2493MR

Closing Date: 5 March 2021

Further Particulars: AR2493MR FPs.doc

School of Biology
Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum
Start: As soon as possible