Postdoctoral Research Assistant

University of Oxford

The Kelly lab is looking to recruit four post-doctoral researchers to contribute to growth and improvement of the OrthoFinder comparative genomics method.

Comparative genomics, and specifically our ability to identify which genes are related in different species, has revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. It enables us to reconstruct the tree-of-life on Earth, it allows us to reveal how biological function has evolved and is distributed on this tree, and it is the foundation technology that enables us to use model organisms to study health and disease. Accordingly, almost all of contemporary biological science research is critically dependent on our ability to identify which genes are related in different species. 

The Kelly lab has developed the OrthoFinder comparative genomic methods. OrthoFinder has become widely-used in comparative genomics research, it powers many popular databases of online genomic information, and has enabled and been cited by over 4,000 studies in the last five years.

We are excited to announce that OrthoFinder is entering an exciting new phase of growth and development. We are looking to recruit 4 post-doctoral researchers to lead this next phase of research, and take part in the evolution of the method. We are looking to improve its accuracy, scalability, functionality and useability. Accordingly, we are looking for a diverse cohort of researchers who are driven, curious, and excited to work on a cutting-edge project that is delivering substantial impact across the breadth of the biological sciences. We welcome a diverse range of applicants with a wide range of skills and backgrounds – you don’t need to be an expert in comparative genomics or molecular evolution.

The four posts will have slightly different areas of focus and the different roles will suit applicants with different skill sets and expertise.

One role will focus on improving the usability and accessibility of the method, this would be best suited to those with data analysis, data visualization and web-development skills.

The second role will focus on improving the accuracy of the methods, which would be best suited for applicants with molecular evolution and phylogenic skills.

The third role will focus on expanding the functionality of OrthoFinder, this would best suit applicants who have experience in comparative genomics, molecular evolution, and/or phylogenetic skills.

The final role will focus on the scalability and performance of the method, which would be best suited for applicants with software engineering skills.

If you are interested in a specific area of focus please highlight that in your application.

For example, data analysis, data visualization and web-development skills would be particularly welcome for the role in improving the usability and accessibility of the method. Similarly, molecular evolution and phylogenetic skills would be beneficial for post relating to improving accuracy of the methods. Finally, software engineering skills would be useful for the post relating to the improvement of the scalability and performance of the method. 

The Kelly lab welcomes individuals with diverse career backgrounds – PhD-level scientists in any discipline with expertise in data and programming, or software engineers outside of academia looking to change career to biological research are particularly welcome to apply.  The Kelly lab has a history of welcoming applicants from non-standard career trajectories. 

This post is full and available immediately.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Friday 11th August, interviews are likely to be scheduled for late August.

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