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Current Vacancies

Postdoctoral Research Associate: Comparative Genomics

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Dec 06, 2017.

We invite applications for a postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Department of Zoology in Central Cambridge on Downing Street with Dr Stephen Montgomery's research group. It is funded for up to 36 months by the ERC and should start on 1st February 2018 or soon after.

The PDRA will study comparative genomics and the genetic basis of mushroom body expansion in Heliconius butterflies. We have recently confirmed previous reports that Heliconius have massively expanded mushroom bodies, an insect learning and memory centre (see Montgomery et al. 2016 J. Comp. Neurol. 524 (9):1747-1769). This provides a novel case study for investigating the genetic basis of volumetric expansion of 'higher order' brain regions. We are interested in using comparative genomics and transcriptomics, in combination with extensive phylogenetic, neuroanatomical and developmental work, to identify genes that contribute to changes in mushroom body size, structure and function.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and building bioinformatics pipelines to carry out de novo genome and transcriptome assemblies, using a combination of sequencing technologies;
  • Designing and executing genome/transcriptome assembly, orthology detection;
  • Performing evolutionary analyses to investigate gene-phenotype associations, adaptive molecular evolution and gene duplication, differential expression and regulatory evolution;
  • Data management;
  • Analysing and writing up the results;
  • Contributing to the wider research environment. There is scope for the nature of the analyses to be shaped by the interests of the candidate.

Required skills and qualifications:

  • PhD in an appropriate subject (e.g. comparative/evolutionary genomics, computational biology or bioinformatics, etc.).
  • An enthusiasm for comparative genomics and an excellent understanding of key methodologies and challenges of the field;
  • Experience with large genome/transcriptome datasets;
  • Excellent programming and data management skills;
  • An interest in brain and behavioural evolution, or phylogenetic tests of gene-phenotype associations;
  • Ambition and drive, strong work ethic and good interpersonal skills and a strong publication record for their career stage;
  • Enthusiasm to interact with colleagues;
  • Ability to organise time and work effectively, independently and responsibly in a research team setting.

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

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF14258 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

Research Assistant x 4 (Fixed Term): The connectome of olfactory memory circuits in the adult fruit fly

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Dec 11, 2017.

Four research assistant posts are available in the recently established Drosophila connectomics group headed by Greg Jefferis and Matthias Landgraf. The positions are funded by a £3.25M Wellcome Trust collaborative award to the Department of Zoology.

Preferred start date from 26th February 2018 but a later date may also be possible, e.g. to start after the end of the 2017/18 academic year.

The research project is in collaboration with co-applicants from HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the US (Gerry Rubin, Davi Bock), the MRC LMB in Cambridge and the University of Oxford Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour (Scott Waddell).

The project reconstructs neurons and their connections from a recently completed electron microscopy (EM) volume of a whole adult fly brain. This will enable a comprehensive understanding of the neural circuits basis of memory storage and retrieval.

You will work in a highly collaborative team using web-based software to trace neuronal structures and connections. Sophisticated data analysis tools will be used to identify traced neurons and to analyse their organisational logic. Experienced senior staff will give full training in neuron tracing, data analysis and the required Drosophila neuroanatomy. We are looking for highly motivated individuals with a background in biological or physical/computational sciences and a long-term interest in understanding the circuit basis of brain function and behaviour. In exchange we will work to develop your research skills and scientific independence. You will be expected to contribute directly to scientific publications and to present your work at UK and international conferences. This is an opportunity to join at the very beginning of one of the first large scale connectomics efforts that will have a major impact on circuit neuroscience.

Essential Experience/Attributes

  • Relevant BSc, or equivalent, to a good level in an appropriate subject (e.g. neuroscience, biological sciences or computer science/physical sciences);
  • Basic understanding of neuroscience;
  • Strong desire to understand circuit basis of brain function and behaviour;
  • Good communication skills (written and oral);
  • Ability to work in a team;
  • Attention to detail.

Desirable

  • Formal coursework in neuroscience;
  • Prior research experience;
  • Experience in analysing neural circuits;
  • Experience working with electron microscopy data;
  • Experience with Drosophila;
  • Experience with computer programming / scripting / data analysis (e.g. R, Matlab, Python, unix shell);
  • Experience with Image Processing (e.g. Fiji / ImageJ).

Interview dates: Thursday the 1st February to Friday the 9th February 2018.

Fixed-term: The appointments will be for 2 years in the first instance with a possibility of extension until 30 Sep 2020 subject to funding.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF14302 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

Tea Room Assistant/Cleaner

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Dec 07, 2017.

The Department of Zoology is spread over 4 buildings in the centre of Cambridge and the Sub-Department situated in Madingley. The successful candidate would join the 15 strong facilities management team tasked with cleaning, maintaining and improving the Department.

You will be looking after a tea-room, Part II suite and four small tea points. Your duties will include stocking and maintaining liquid line coffee machines, snacks machines and drinks machine. You will be operating and maintaining dishwashers, microwaves and a hot water still and will call out engineers to rectify faults and arrange servicing. You will also be responsible for maintaining stock levels. You will be cleaning these areas to a high standard and will be handling a small amount of money daily.

A good standard of English is required to ensure an ability to read and follow written and verbal instructions from supervisors and to understand user and safety instructions regarding the use of maintenance and cleaning products. Due to the nature of the work, you also need to have a good level of physical fitness.

You will required to work daily Monday - Friday, starting at 8.00am.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF14277 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

The Claire Barnes 150th Anniversary Studentship in Marine Biology - 2018/19

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Oct 30, 2017.

A Claire Barnes 150th Anniversary Studentship in Marine Biology, covering the University Composition Fee at the Home/EU rate, a stipend at the RCUK rate for 4 years, and £5k pa towards research costs for 3 years, is offered at the Department of Zoology (University of Cambridge) to start in October 2018. Candidates must carry out research that is relevant to marine biology.

Please see the below list of available projects. Applicants are also invited to suggest their own projects.

  • Brain evolution in vertebrates. (Supervisor: Stephen Montgomery)
  • Development, growth and repair of cartilage in a cartilaginous fish, the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea) (Supervisor: Dr Andrew Gillis)
  • Defining the blueprint of the ancestral vertebrate brain. (Supervisor: Dr Elia Benito-Gutierrez )
  • Single cell transcriptomics in the marine invertebrate amphioxus: redefining the genoarchitecture of the vertebrate bauplan. (Supervisor: Dr Elia Benito-Gutierrez )

Eligibility:

Applicants to the Department of Zoology graduate programme must have:

  1. At least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (e.g CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject
  2. Two excellent academic references
  3. Fluency in the English language - recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading.

For more details of the University's entrance requirements see the Graduate Admissions website - http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/studying/entryreq/

Candidates of any nationality/residency may apply, but a successful Overseas applicant would need to secure additional funds from other sources to cover the higher fee level. The most current estimates of costs can be found on the Graduate Admissions fees page - http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance

Application procedure: To be considered for these studentships, candidates must have applied to the University of Cambridge (following the normal application process - https://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply ) by 4th January 2018.

Please note that to be considered, you must also have uploaded all of your supporting documentation by this date.

Interviews are likely to be held in February-March 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Zoology - Graduate Administration team (graduate@zoo.cam.ac.uk)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 48 months

Please quote reference PF13840 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

The Claire Barnes 150th Anniversary Studentship in the Biology and Ecology of Asia - 2018/19

From Jobs at the University of Cambridge. Published on Oct 31, 2017.

A Claire Barnes 150th Anniversary Studentship in the Biology and Ecology of Asia, covering the University Composition Fee at the Home/EU rate, a stipend at the RCUK rate for 4 years, and £5k pa towards research costs for 3 years, is offered at the Department of Zoology to start in October 2018. Candidates must carry out research that is relevant to the biology and ecology of Asia.

Please see the below list of available projects. Applicants are also invited to suggest their own projects.

  • Insect-plant interactions in Nepenthes pitcher plants and Macaranga ant-plant mutualisms. (Supervisor: Dr Walter Federle)
  • Invasive species in China's freshwaters. (Supervisors: Dr David Aldridge and Aibin Zhan, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
  • The effects of logging and forest disturbance on tropical river ecosystems. (Supervisors: Dr Edgar Turner, Dr Sarah Luke)
  • The yield gap in oil palm production and its implications for global biodiversity conservation. (Supervisors: Dr Edgar Turner, Prof. Andrew Balmford)

Eligibility:

Applicants to the Department of Zoology graduate programme must have:

  1. At least a 2.1 in an Honours degree or equivalent (e.g CGPA 3.5/4.0) in a relevant subject
  2. Two excellent academic references
  3. Fluency in the English language - recent IELTS test with an overall band score of at least 7.0 with not less than 7.0 in speaking, listening and writing, and 6.5 in reading.

For more details of the University's entrance requirements see the Graduate Admissions website - http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/studying/entryreq/

Candidates of any nationality/residency may apply, but a successful Overseas applicant would need to secure additional funds from other sources to cover the higher fee level. The most current estimates of costs can be found on the Graduate Admissions fees page - http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance

Background:

Claire Barnes (Clare College, 1976) writes:

"I have been fortunate to spend my working life in Asia during an era of rapid economic growth. As a traveller and keen diver, I have visited some of the world's most magical places, and have also witnessed unprecedented ecological change and destruction. Losses of habitat, biodiversity, and traditional local knowledge are all of concern; and regional education systems often equip their graduates with little understanding of the natural world. Meanwhile, the amateur naturalist marvels at the number of species yet to be documented and of topics yet to be studied. I would like to encourage zoological studies in Asia, and to strengthen scholarly and personal ties between the UK and Asia."

Application procedure:

To be considered for these studentships, candidates must have applied to the University of Cambridge (following the normal application process - https://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply ) by 4th January 2018.

Please note that to be considered, you must also have uploaded all of your supporting documentation by this date.

Interviews are likely to be held in February-March 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Zoology - Graduate Administration team (graduate@zoo.cam.ac.uk)

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 48 months

Please quote reference PF13838 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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