Research Associate in Bioinformatics and Genomic Analysis

McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

University of Cambridge, Trinity Ln, Cambridge, UK


  • Posted on: 24th Nov 2021
  • Salary: £33,309-£40,927
  • REF: JC28997
  • Closes: 07th January 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

The McDonald Institute invites applications for a full-time Research Associate to work for 36 months on the ERC-funded project “MOBILE: Movement networks and genetic evolution among tropical hunter-gatherers of island Southeast Asia”.

The appointee will join a team based in the University of Cambridge along with international collaborators to work on the above project which will study the relationship between mobility, social networks, and community genomics among traditional hunter-gatherer communities in Indonesia. The project will include both microbiome and human genomic work, and the appointee will take a major role in analysing this in the context of rich behavioural data annotation. The role holder joins the project in its first year, with pilot data generation involving several Indonesian populations ongoing, and will take a major role in all aspects of the bioinformatic analysis of sequencing data. The appointee may be involved to a limited degree in wet-lab work and/or sample collection depending on experience and project needs.

The post holder must have a PhD (or have submitted their doctoral thesis and are awaiting viva) and research experience in bioinformatics, population genomics, microbiome analysis or a closely related area. Preference will be given to candidates with experience working with human and/or microbiome systems. Experience with bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequence data, including scripting in one or more appropriate computer languages, is essential, and the candidate should be comfortable working on large genomic datasets using high performance computing systems. Knowledge of methods for analysing microbiome diversity is highly desirable. Knowledge of methods for inferring evolutionary processes, including selection and demographic history, from genomic variants is also desirable. Previous experience or general knowledge of genetics wet-lab methods and/or fieldwork would be an advantage. Indonesian language skills are not required for the role but could be an advantage.

The post holder is expected to possess some research experience with sufficient breadth/depth of specialist knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within and enrich the research programme. They will be able to complete tasks in accordance with a realistic timetable, take initiative in developing research approaches, and contribute to the publication of results in scientific journals in a timely manner.

The closing date for applications is 7 January 2022. Starting date: April 2022 (flexible). Interviews with shortlisted candidates will be carried out in person or by video call in February/March.

We particularly welcome applications from women and/or candidates from ethnic minorities for this vacancy as they are currently under-represented at this level in our department.

Click the ‘Apply’ button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please include a Cover Letter, CV, a copy of a relevant publication, and details of two referees in your application.

Applications are a two-stage process involving an initial application followed by interview (see further particulars by following the link below for details). Please do not apply without consulting the further particulars as these give you essential information about the procedure and the documents you need to submit. Informal inquiries may be addressed to Dr Guy Jacobs (email:

Please quote reference JC28997 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.
Further information

  • Further Particulars

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