University of Dundee

Postdoctoral Research Assistant (Bioinformatics)

Plant Sciences
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, July 9, 2022
£33,309 - £40,927
Summary of Job Purpose and Principal Duties

We are recruiting for an exceptional individual to join us as a bioinformatician within Professor Gordon Simpson’s lab to understand the interplay between ambient temperature, RNA methylation and gene expression control.

This programme requires a talented and dedicated bioinformatics PDRA to perform innovative transcriptome analysis, using Arabidopsis as a model system. The program includes global RNA structure analysis, mapping of RNA binding protein sites with iCLIP, and m6A mapping using Nanopore direct RNA sequencing, over a range of temperatures and in different genetic backgrounds. The PDRA will work closely with a wet-lab PDRA based at the University of Leeds, to ensure iterative interaction between data analysis, biological input and wet lab experimental validation.

You will join a supportive and innovative team with experience in analysis of novel RNA datasets. We have pioneered the use of nanopore direct RNA sequencing to map the complexity of RNA processing and m6A modification (Parker et al., 2020 eLife; Parker et al., 2021 Genome Biology; Parker et al., 2021 bioRxiv) and we have integrated Illumina RNA-Seq and nanopore direct RNA sequencing to make breakthroughs in understanding complex regulation of gene expression (Parker et al., 2021 eLife). This BBSRC-funded program builds on a recent successful collaboration with Prof Brendan Davies’ Lab at the University of Leeds.

We are committed to open access publishing and the free sharing of data and code.

Summary of Skills, Experience and Qualifications


  • PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology, computer science, or other numerate discipline.
  • Experience with design and analysis of functional genomics sequencing experiments.
  • Strong experience in at least one programming/scripting language e.g. Python or R.
  • Strong data science skills i.e. data manipulation and statistics.
  • Good knowledge of Unix operating systems and high-performance cluster computing.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.


  • Knowledge of (plant) molecular biology and molecule biology techniques.
  • Experience of workflow management systems e.g. Snakemake, nextflow.
  • Experience of analysing Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencing data, particularly direct RNA sequencing.
  • Experience with machine learning techniques.
This post is full time, and is funded for 36 months. Appointment will be made on the University’s grade 7 salary scale.
Appointment as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant on the Grade 7 salary scale is dependent upon you having been awarded a PhD. An appointment may be considered if you are shortly expected to be awarded a PhD. In this case the initial appointment would be made as a Research Assistant on the Training Grade 7 salary scale (Spinal Point 25 – 28).

Commitment to DORA

The School of Life Sciences has been fully committed to the principals of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) since 2013. In assessing applicants, we consider the scientific quality of their published research papers, but do not take into account where the papers were published and do not consider journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors.
Additional Information:

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. We also have campuses at Ninewells Hospital and in Kirkcaldy which are easily accessible via local transport links.

For further information about this position please contact Gordon Simpson at To find out more about Gordon Simpson’s lab please visit

As an internationally diverse institution, we welcome job applicants from all countries and nationalities. The School of Life Sciences is proud to employ staff from over 40 different nations.

The University of Dundee is a signatory of the Researcher Development Concordat and is committed to enhancing the research environment and culture. Engagement and support of activities which assist the researcher development agenda at the University is therefore essential.

The University of Dundee is a Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC015096.