University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Plant Sciences
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Sunday, May 3, 2020
Grade 7 (£32,817 - £40,322)

The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is a world-class academic institution with a reputation for the excellence of its research, its high quality teaching and student experience, and the strong impact of its activities outside academia. With 900 staff from over 60 countries worldwide the School provides a dynamic, multi-national, collegiate and diverse environment with state-of-the-art laboratory, technology and teaching facilities.

A BBSRC-funded Post-doctoral position is now available in computational biology to join a team unravelling the genetic control of the barley rhizosphere microbiota in the group of Dr Davide Bulgarelli (Plant Microbiota: The project is part of a collaboration with Prof Robbie Waugh (Barley Genetics: and Prof Geoff Barton (Computational Biology: ).

We want to discover the identity of the plant genetic determinants that control the recruitment of specific microbes to the barley rhizosphere, the thin layer of soil surrounding the roots. This basic research is relevant for global food security as knowing what plant genes/alleles shape the microbiota will allow breeders to develop crops that are less dependent on chemical inputs and more resilient to climatic change. To address this ambitious task, we have already assembled expertise in metagenomics and plant genetics, and currently seek to appoint in the area of computational biology.

We are looking for an enthusiastic scientist with strong computational and data analysis skills to analyse and interpret complex multidimensional biological information. While an ideal candidate will have gained these skills through research in plant sciences, and in particular in contemporary genetic analysis, whole genome sequencing and RNA-seq, we also welcome applications from candidates who have gained computational skills in other fields (e.g. Physics or Chemistry) and wish to apply them to the exciting challenges of our project. We have a long track-record of supporting scientists to transfer into computational biology/bioinformatics from other fields in order to work at the computing/data analysis/biology interface (see and for examples). The successful candidate will be embedded in the Division of Plant Sciences ( ) as well as the Division of Computational Biology ( and so will gain strong support and mentoring from both environments. The successful candidate will work alongside both experimentalist and computational colleagues in order to meet the goals of the project.

Experience in data analysis in Python and/or R in a Linux environment are essential. Excellent written and spoken English communication skills and capacity to work both independently and as part of a team are expected. Ideally, applicants will also have experience of writing and publishing scientific manuscripts. Willingness to take part of outreach initiatives of the University is also a requirement for the post-holder.

Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent on a PhD degree. An appointment may be considered if the candidate is shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. The initial appointment will be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 - 28, £29,176 - £31,866).

Apply Here

For further information and informal enquiries please contact Dr Davide Bulgarelli ( For informal enquiries relating to the unique Computational Biology research environment at Dundee, contact Prof Geoff Barton ( ).

We are one of the UK’s leading universities – internationally recognised for our expertise across a range of disciplines and research breakthroughs in multiple areas, including science, medicine and engineering, amongst many others. Conveniently located on the banks of River Tay, our main city-centre campus is at the heart of Dundee - an up-and-coming, friendly, compact and affordable city with a rich heritage in design and technology. Just a short walk from the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, we’re close to both the train and bus stations.

The Division of Plant Sciences is based at the James Hutton Institute on the outskirts of Dundee and conveniently linked to the main campus and the city centre with regular public transport.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee one of the top universities in the UK. Family friendly policies, staff support networks for BME and LGBT+ staff, membership of Athena Swan and Stonewall, as well as a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.

Applications: Candidates should submit a single document containing a cover letter, brief description of relevant research experience, a CV with publication list, and email addresses of three referees.