work@ACE

A number of vacancies exist for postdoctoral research fellows to work within the Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland.

The Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE) seeks exceptional candidates to fill several postdoctoral positions on recently funded projects at the forefront of sequence-based analysis of environmental and clinical microbiomes. ACE is a dynamic and exciting research environment that brings together leading researchers in molecular microbial ecology and bioinformatics. The Centre is located within the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) at the University of Queensland and features modern laboratories with in-house sequencing capacity and high performance computing.

The Role

ACE has immediate openings for several Postdoctoral Research Fellows in Microbial Ecology and Bioinformatics to work with Professor Philip Hugenholtz and/or Associate Professor Gene Tyson. In the roles, you will be required to perform research on culture-independent characterization of microbial communities associated with environmental or clinical ecosystems using high-throughput sequencing. Please see details of the projects below:

Dissecting marine processes at the microscale (Tyson and Hugenholtz). This is a Moore Foundation funded project with colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The University of Technology Sydney focused on elucidating microscale interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton using microfluidic devices deployed in situ combined with high throughput metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

Understanding the response of microbial communities to permafrost thaw (Tyson). You will join a US Department of Energy funded interdisciplinary team focused on understanding microbial community and metabolic dynamics in thawing permafrost. The primary goal of this position will be the analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data and bioinformatic tool development (interfacing with KBase; http://kbase.science.energy.gov/).

Search for microbial triggers of skin cancer (Hugenholtz). This NHMRC-funded project will use RNAseq to longitudinally monitor the conversion of actinic keratosis lesions into skin squamous cell carcinomas in order to identify potential microbial triggers. This project is in collaboration with immunologists and dermatologists at the University of Queensland.

Clinical ecology of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) model (Hugenholtz). In collaboration with researchers at the University of Newcastle (NSW), this NHMRC-funded project aims to monitor and modify gut microbiomes to induce or ameliorate experimental COPD.

The Person:

Applicants should possess a PhD specialising in one or more of the following areas: bioinformatics, computational biology, biostatistics, genomics, phylogenetics, or molecular microbial ecology. Applicants should also have experience with the application, analysis and interpretation of high-throughput sequencing data including metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data; knowledge of microbial ecology, metabolism and/or evolution; and a record of high level of contribution to research through publication of scholarly papers in the international literature and presentation of scientific work at international meetings. A working knowledge of immunology and practical experience in cellular, molecular or in vivo immunology would be desirable.

Please refer to the position description at the bottom of the page for more detail.

Remuneration:

This is a full-time, fixed term 1 year appointment with the possibility of extension at Academic Research Level A. The remuneration package will be in the range $74,254 - $79,708 p.a., plus employer superannuation contributions of up to 17% (total package will be in the range $86,877 - $93,258 p.a.).

Enquiries:

To discuss this role please contact Professor Phil Hugenholtz on p.hugenholtz@uq.edu.au or A/Professor Gene Tyson on g.tyson@uq.edu.au

To submit an application for this role, please email to: c.moniz@uq.edu.au

All applicants must supply the following documents:

. Cover letter (please indicate project preference/s)
. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
. Brief Research Statement (a statement, in not more than one page, addressing prior research experience)

For information on completing the application process click here.

Application closing date:

Once positions are filled.

POSITION DESCRIPTION

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Type of Employment: Full time, fixed term 1 year with the possibility of extension
Classification: Academic Research Level A

BACKGROUND

Organisational Environment

The Federal Government’s 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia exercise confirmed The University of Queensland as one of the nation’s top three universities, measured by the quality of its comprehensive range of specialised research fields. ERA reported that research at UQ is well above world standard in more specialised fields than at any other Australian university: this reflects UQ’s leading global role in many areas of discovery. UQ’s outstanding critical mass offers researchers significant interdisciplinary capability.

UQ integrates its research strengths with excellent teaching and learning and has won more national teaching awards than any other Australian university. International university rankings highlight UQ’s excellence: Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Jiao Tong), Times Higher Education, QS and National Taiwan University Ranking all rank UQ in the top 100. UQ is one of Australia’s Group of Eight, and a founding member of Universitas 21, an international consortium of leading research-intensive universities.

UQ’s 45,500-strong student community includes more than 10,000 postgraduate scholars and more than 11,000 international students from 162 countries. The University has more than 7,000 academic and professional staff and a $1.6 billion annual operating budget. Its major campuses are at St Lucia, Ipswich, Gatton and Herston, in addition to teaching and research sites around Queensland and Brisbane city. The University has six faculties and eight institutes. The institutes — funded by government and industry grants, philanthropy and commercialisation activities — have built scale and focus in research areas that UQ regards as strategically important.

The School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) combines the disciplines of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Parasitology into a single academic unit. The School has modern research laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and research infrastructure. The School includes over fifty academic staff, who are published internationally and have extensive research backgrounds.

The Australian Centre for Ecogenomics (ACE) is a strategic research initiative established at UQ in 2010 under the direction of Drs Phil Hugenholtz and Gene Tyson. It provides a focal point for sequence-based analysis of microbial communities and builds strength in this space not only in Australia, but the southern hemisphere as a whole. ACE is located on Level 5 of the Molecular Biosciences Building (#76) in SCMB. More information about ACE and SCMB may be found on the web sites: http://ecogenomic.org/ jobs and http://www.scmb.uq.edu.au respectively.

Information for Prospective Staff

Information can be found at https://www.uq.edu.au/uqjobs.

Schedule 10 of The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2010 – 2013 outlines the position classification standards for Levels A to E.

DUTY STATEMENT

Primary Purpose of Position

ACE has immediate openings for several Postdoctoral Research Fellows in Microbial Ecology and Bioinformatics to work with Professor Philip Hugenholtz and/or Associate Professor Gene Tyson. In this role, you will be required to perform research on culture-independent characterization of microbial communities associated with environmental or clinical ecosystems using high-throughput sequencing:

Dissecting marine processes at the microscale (Tyson and Hugenholtz). This is a Moore Foundation funded project with colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The University of Technology Sydney focused on elucidating microscale interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton using microfluidic devices deployed in situ combined with high throughput metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

Understanding the response of microbial communities to permafrost thaw (Tyson). A US Department of Energy funded interdisciplinary team focused on understanding microbial community and metabolic dynamics in thawing permafrost. The primary goals of this position will be the analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data and bioinformatic tool development (interfacing with KBase; http://kbase.science.energy.gov/).

Search for microbial triggers of skin cancer (Hugenholtz). This project will use RNAseq to longitudinally monitor the conversion of actinic keratosis lesions into skin squamous cell carcinomas in order to identify potential microbial triggers. This project is in collaboration with immunologists and dermatologists at the University of Queensland.

Clinical ecology of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) model (Hugenholtz). In collaboration with researchers at the University of Newcastle (NSW), this project aims to monitor and modify gut microbiomes to induce or ameliorate experimental COPD.

DUTIES

Duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Research

• Statistical design of experiments, analysis and interpretation of high-throughput sequence data
• Develop and apply bioinformatic tools for data analysis
• Publish scholarly papers
• Present research findings at seminars and conferences
• Advise and supervise postgraduate students and work with colleagues and postgraduates in the development and implementation of joint research projects

OTHER

• Comply with the University’s Code of Conduct (see the University’s web site at http://www.uq.edu.au/hupp/?page=24987)
• Adopt sustainable practices in all work activities and comply with associated legislation and related sustainability responsibilities and procedures developed by the University (see the University’s web site at http://www.uq.edu.au/sustainability/responsibilities

Occupational Health and Safety

• Comply with requirements of Queensland occupational health and safety (OH&S) legislation and related OH&S responsibilities and procedures developed by the University or School. (see the University’s web site at http://www.uq.edu.au/ohs/index.html?page=133956) Reporting Relationships

The position reports to Professor Philip Hugenholtz and/or Associate Professor Gene Tyson, Australian Centre for Ecogenomics.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Qualifications

Essential

• A PhD specialising in one or more of the following areas: bioinformatics, computational biology, biostatistics, genomics, phylogenetics, or molecular microbial ecology

Knowledge and Skills

Essential

• Demonstrated experience with the application, analysis and interpretation of high-throughput sequencing data including metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data
• Knowledge of microbial ecology, metabolism and/or evolution
• Evidence of a high level of contribution to research through publication of scholarly papers in the international literature and presentation of scientific work at international meetings

Desirable

• Knowledge of common statistical methods such as linear and logistic regression, parametric and non-parametric tests, and multi-variate methods (e.g. PCA, MDS)
• The ability to program in a scripting language (Perl, Python, Ruby or C++) and the statistical computing language R
• Familiarity with one or more of the ecosystems described in the individual projects above
• Familiarity with human and murine immunology and practical experience in cellular, molecular or in vivo immunology
• Knowledge of genome-based phylogenetic inference
• Experience advising undergraduate and postgraduate students

Personal Qualities

Essential

• Positive, can-do attitude
• Ability to work collaboratively within a large multi-disciplinary team
• Understanding of ethical considerations involved in working with clinical and mouse-model samples and data (clinical projects only).
• High level of communication skills including excellent writing ability.
• Strong interpersonal skills
• Ability to organize and prioritise own work with minimal supervision
• Delivery of results to required standard and schedule

The University of Queensland is an equal opportunity employer.

Smoking is prohibited in all University buildings.

We encourage applications from all genders and minorities.