Postdoctoral Positions in Microbial Bioinformatics

    Website National Library Of Medicine

    Job Profile: Microbial Bioinformatics

    Location: National Library Of Medicine, Bethesda, MD, and Surrounding Area

    Closing Date: October 21, 2022


    The Jiang lab at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is inviting qualified applications for postdoctoral research positions in the area of bioinformatics and data science. The overarching goal of the lab is to develop computational tools and approaches that advance our understanding of microbial and viral evolution and aid in the development of microbial-based diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive practices.
    The selected candidate will be able to contribute to the ongoing projects in the lab, as well as develop their own independent research projects in microbial bioinformatics. Several projects are currently available including 1) identifying and characterizing microbial gene clusters of interest; 2) knowledge-based functional annotations of biosynthesis pathways; 3) building phage and bacterial interaction networks. For more information, please visit our website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CBBresearch/jianglab/.


    We are looking for creative, self-motivated individuals who are interested in applying computational tools to challenging problems in large-scale microbial genomic analysis.
    Applicants who meet the following requirements will be considered for the positions:
    • A Ph.D. with less than 5 years of postdoctoral experience;
    • Ph.D. in bioinformatics, microbiology, virology, or a related discipline with intensive training/experience in bioinformatics;
    • Strong proficiency in Python, R, and Bash;
    • Strong oral and written communications skills;
    • Proven track record in this area reflected in recent or pending publications;
    • Clear sense of organization, purpose, and accountability.

    Prior experience in at least three of the following computational areas:

    • Protein structure modeling and prediction
    • Structural bioinformatics
    • Comparative genomics
    • Metagenomics analysis
    • Large-scale genomic data analysis
    • Evolutionary genomics

    To Apply:

    Applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement of research interests, and contact information for three references (names and e-mail addresses) to Dr. Xiaofang Jiang at xiaofang.jiang@nih.gov using the following email subject: “PostDoc applicant – FirstName, LastName.”
    Application Deadline: October 21, 2022
    The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

    Job Title: Computational Biologist
    Salary: £39,748 – £44,166 gross per annum*
    Banding: UKRI B and E
    Location: Daresbury Laboratory- Warrington OR Rutherford Appleton laboratory- Didcot
    Contract Type: 3 Year Fixed Term Contract
    Hours: Full Time/ Part Time (22 hours minimum) (We understand the importance of work-life balance, and are happy to discuss the possibility of flexible working with applicants)

    Date Posted: 03 Aug 2022

    *This role is eligible for up to £2000 Responsibility and Retention Allowance gross per annum

    About the Hartree Centre

    At the Hartree Centre, we want to see UK businesses outperforming their global competitors. We want to grow the economy, create skilled jobs and train people to excel in them. Most of all, we want to keep the UK at the forefront of industrial innovation. We’re making all this happen and more by enabling UK industry to fully embrace and integrate the latest digital and cognitive technologies.

    We provide collaborative research, innovation and development services that accelerate the application of high-performance computing (HPC), data analytics and artificial intelligence technologies.  By working with us, businesses and research partners can gain a competitive advantage that enables them to produce better outcomes, products and services more quickly and cheaply than through conventional R&D.

    We have a technically exciting computing environment, encompassing a wide range of hardware and software technologies.

    Reasons our staff enjoy working for us:

    • We’re based at Sci-Tech Daresbury – a lively and dynamic campus bringing together SMEs and leading industry-academic collaborations located in a picturesque semi-rural location with easy access to canal-side and woodland walking.
    • We are less than two miles from the M56 motorway with public transport links and access to Warrington and Runcorn national rail stations. Advice on all aspects of travel to site including car sharing is available at: https://www.sci-techdaresbury.com/the-campus/travel-hub/.
    • 30 days annual leave plus 10.5 public and privilege days.
    • Options for flexible or hybrid working patterns are available.
    • Defined benefit pension scheme (employer contribution – currently up to 26%).
    • There are different active sport and social groups across campus with access to an on-site gym for staff.
    • Personal development is key. You will work with your line manager to develop your own Learning and Development plan each year.
    • We value collaborative working across STFC and with our external collaborators such as IBM Research, The University of Liverpool’s Virtual Engineering Centre, Atos, NVIDIA, Unilever and many more.
    • Diversity and inclusion are important to us. UKRI has a corporate policy on Equality and Diversity which is supported by a Diversity Forum and implementation group.

    For more information on the rest of our employee benefits, take a look at: http://www.stfccareers.co.uk/why-join/rewards-and-benefits/.

    About the Role

    We now have an opportunity for a Computational Biologist with significant experience in high performance computing (HPC) and data intensive science to join the emerging Life Sciences team at the STFC Hartree Centre. The team is currently under development and is anticipated to work on a variety of research projects using quantum, atomistic and mesoscale simulation, using these methods in industrial product design and optimisation. This is a fantastic opportunity to grow a role in the field of computational biology.

    At the Hartree Centre we specialise in applying computational methods to real industrial problems working with a range of leading companies from different sectors. This role will focus on developing, and executing, industrially applicable research projects aligned with the Hartree Centre emerging life sciences programme where we are developing data analytics, modelling, and simulation capabilities to address a broad variety of challenges at cutting-edge scale and accuracy. Specifically, the successful candidate will be expected to lead the development of our capabilities in modelling and simulation field, although may become involved in related areas from time to time.

    As an example of the type of work you could be engaged with, the postholder may utilize molecular dynamics codes, such as LAMMPS, NAMD and GROMACS to benefit in silico drug discovery or to screen for pathogen inhibition. This would likely involve constructing and applying cloud deployable complex workflows.

    Computational biologist responsibilities may include:  

    • Leading and identifying contract R&D opportunities for a range of industry clients by carrying out relevant code development and simulations in the multiple fields of application.
    • Attracting new research opportunities and collaborations with external partners including academia and industry.
    • Leading the development of modelling capability to extend the capabilities of the current team. This will include planning and guiding the tasks of the team related to this area.
    • Actively contributing to the Hartree Centre’s wider programme of work in the area of life sciences, algorithms and software, machine learning and data.
    • Conducting high quality, creative individual research.
    • Co-ordination of resources to industry deadlines.
    • Creating high quality reports detailing the work carried out in projects for industry stakeholders.
    • Increasing the team remit through developing new capabilities and areas of expertise applicable to industry challenges.

    Successful candidates will be expected to communicate effectively with a range of STFC staff and various academic and industrial partners. There will also be the opportunity for occasional UK and overseas travel to attend meetings, conferences and to deliver presentations to industry partners.

    Person Specification

    Computational Biologist will have demonstrable experience in leading research using particle-based simulation methods such as MD, CGMD and MC, and may demonstrate knowledge and prior experience with the application of DFT or other QM based methods. In addition, you will have worked with HPC architectures. The ideal candidate will demonstrate an understanding of how these approaches can be applied to industry challenges.

    The ideal Computational Biologist candidate will be able to demonstrate a good understanding of the key areas in the life sciences field that can be facilitated by molecular simulation.

    We are seeking adaptable Computational biologist/scientists who can, and are, interested in applying themselves to multiple areas including writing and running applications for different industrial sectors (e.g. drug discovery etc.). You should have a broad interest in multidisciplinary applications. A very high level of drive, enthusiasm and focus on the achievement of goals is anticipated. A desire to work on high paced and highly varied projects is essential.

    (Please note the below criteria will be assessed at Shortlisting or Interview stage as indicated)



    • Postgraduate Degree (MSc, PhD etc) in a relevant STEM subject or equivalent relevant experience (S)

    Experience/Skills & Qualities


    • Computational biologist will demonstrable leadership in the application of particle-based simulation methods (e.g., molecular dynamics, Monte Carlo) (S&I)
    • Significant background in application of these simulation approaches to the benefit of the life sciences field (S&I).
    • Extensive experience of biological molecular modelling (S&I)
    • Demonstrable scientific programming (e.g., Fortran, C, C++) or scripting (e.g, Python) experience. (S&I)
    • A clear vision of the challenges associated with modelling and simulation in life sciences and necessary future research directions (I)
    • Familiarity working in a Unix/Linux type environment (S&I)
    • Experience of collaborating with industry (S&I)
    • Basic knowledge of QM methods applied to life sciences (S&I)
    • Ability to lead and drive industry engagement. (I)
    • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral (S&I)
    • Good presentational skills and ability to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences (I)
    • Flexible and independent working; ability to organise and prioritise work based on identified priorities (I)
    • A conscientious and diligent approach to your work (I)
    • Advanced problem-solving ability (I)
    • Evidence of independent working and thinking must be demonstrated (I)


    • Experience working in a high-performance computing (HPC) environment.  (S&I)
    • Experience with data analytics, data science, cheminformatics / bioinformatic or machine learning applied to life sciences.  (S&I)
    • Collaborating with or as part of a multidiscipline or multi-site team (e.g. within academia and/or industry). (S&I)
    • Demonstrable evidence of working on projects in a diverse range of application areas (S&I)
    • Project management experience or understanding and working on time limited projects. (S&I)
    • Demonstrable experience in attracting funding (S&I)
    • Excellent track record of coding, patents, published work (Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the outputs and their ability to influence the field of life sciences modelling rather than the number of publications) (S)
    • Familiar with running on cloud based and/or hybrid (cloud/HPC) platforms (S&I)

    Special Requirements 


    • Flexibility to travel to partner sites (in UK) and present at meetings and workshops (day and occasionally extended trips)


    • Able to attend overseas conferences
    • UK driving license

    About The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) 

    As one of Europe’s largest research organisations, we ask the biggest questions in the universe to find answers that change the world around us. We seek understanding. We’re proud of the impact we make. And we’re committed to helping build a globally competitive, knowledge-based UK economy. Being part of all this means contributing to work that pushes boundaries and creates possibilities. You’ll work with, and learn from, true experts. Whatever your role, you’ll be free to question, and encouraged to share ideas. And, in a positive and supportive culture, you’ll discover just what a difference you can make when you’re equipped and inspired to excel.

    We’re a place where curious minds thrive. Not bound by profit, we explore ideas that others don’t, ask questions that others won’t, and discover answers that others are not equipped to find. And, alongside Mars landings and black holes, we also explore diverse, international projects in everything from science and engineering to computing and technology. Whether it’s at the cutting edge or behind the scenes, our work is intellectually challenging. It’s very often ground-breaking.  And it’s endlessly, irresistibly fascinating.

    For more information about STFC please visit https://stfc.ukri.org/

    You can also visit our careers site https://www.stfccareers.co.uk/

    About UK Research Innovation (UKRI) 

    UKRI is an organisation that brings together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Together, we build an independent organisation with a strong voice and vision ensuring the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

    Supporting some of the world’s most exciting and challenging research projects, we develop and operate some of the most remarkable scientific facilities in the world. We are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge through fundamental research and delivering benefits for UK society and the economy through world-class research, skills and business-led innovation.

    More information can be found at www.ukri.org.

    Choosing to come to work at UKRI means that you will have access to a whole host of benefits from a defined benefit pension scheme, excellent holiday entitlement, access to employee shopping/travel discounts and salary sacrifice cycle to work scheme.  For more details, visit benefits of working for UKRI.

    How we support EDI in the workforce 

    At UKRI, we believe that everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to be provided with equal opportunities to thrive and succeed in an environment that enables them to do so. We also value diversity of thought and experience within inclusive groups, organisations and the wider community. For further information, please visit ‘How we support EDI in the workforce’.

    Disability Confident Employer

    As users of the disability confident scheme, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy/ies. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

    How to apply 

    Online applications only preferred for the Computational Biologist role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for UKRI and the role. Ensure that the job reference number is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Note that failure to address the above criteria or submit an application without a covering letter may result in the application not being considered. Assessment will only be based upon the content of your submitted covering letter and CV and not the ‘experience’ section of the application.

    UKRI seeks to ensure it creates and maintains a system of openness, fairness and inclusion – a collaborative, trusted environment, which is attractive to and accessible to everyone who is interested in developing their career with us.

    Additional Information

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    To apply for this job email your details to xiaofang.jiang@nih.gov