Research Fellow


Duration: Fixed Term 12 months, or available until 30/04/2025, whichever is sooner

The School of Biological Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, is currently seeking to appoint an exceptional candidate to the post of Research Fellow.

The postholder will be a highly productive, ambitious and collaborative member of a research group led by Professor Eric Morgan in the School of Biological Sciences. The position will involve working as part of a research programme investigating emerging zoonoses in Arctic ungulates.

The purpose of this project is to support a larger investigation into the emergence of the bacterial pathogens Erysipelothrix rhusopathiae and Brucella abortus in wild musk oxen and caribou in the Arctic archipelago in northern Canada. The project as a whole uses multiple methods to elucidate the causes of pathogen emergence and spread in these species and consequences for population dynamics and food security for the Inuit people. The appointee will work with Prof Morgan and the wider team to develop and apply models of pathogen dynamics to this problem. Methods will involve SIR models of pathogen transmission linking to fitness and population viability (of host and parasite), further integrating concepts of host stress and susceptibility, and the environmental persistence and transmission modality of the pathogen. Outcomes will include projections of future scenarios and framing of testable hypotheses to address key uncertainties. A second approach will use spatial data on disease occurrence in concert with host distribution and movement to test the plausibility of different hypotheses for disease spread, incorporating traditional and elder knowledge of changing animal and plant biology over time and links to climate warming.

The successful applicant will be seeking to lead this element of the collaborative research project and will be involved with planning and delivery of the modelling, collaborations and outreach. Creativity in developing new modelling approaches as well as applying established frameworks will be encouraged.

This is a 12-month position in the first instance, funded by UK Natural Environment Research Council, with potential for extension to 18 months.

Further information:

The successful candidate must have, and your application should clearly demonstrate that you meet the following criteria:

  • Have or about to obtain* a relevant PhD in a biological field such as ecology or epidemiology (*must be obtained within 3 months of commencement of employment).
  • Significant relevant research experience to include experience in:

– mathematical and/or computational modelling

– infectious disease dynamics

– wildlife ecology

– population dynamics

– climate change projections

– spatial modelling, geospatial data analysis

  • High quality original research publications on these subjects in reputable peer-reviewed journals, commensurate with career stage.

Please note the above are not an exhaustive list.

Fixed term contract posts are available for the stated period in the first instance but in particular circumstances may be renewed or made permanent subject to availability of funding.

Key Dates

Closing Date: 08/01/2024

Anticipated Interview Date: 19/01/2024

Further Information

Informal enquiries may be directed to Ms Siobhan Fitzsimons at [email protected]

Information about the School of Biological Sciences can be found at

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