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Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Genomics (A003-18MA)

Institute of Fundamental Sciences, College of Sciences

We seek a Postdoctoral Fellow to explore the evolution of genome structure in filamentous fungi.

Location:Palmerston North
Term:Fixed Term of 27 Months
Grade:Postdoctoral Fellow
Salary:$68,945 - $83,228 pa
Applications close:11:45 p.m. on 25 February 2018

Position overview

Below details for a ‘Postdoctoral Fellow in Computational Genomics’, in the words of Professor Murray Cox;

“I am looking for a motivated postdoctoral fellow to explore the evolution of genome structure in filamentous fungi. My group is interested in interactions between genome structure and gene expression, epigenetic modification and 3D conformation. A key focus of this postdoc will be on how interactions like these change over evolutionary time. This research program will build on a growing set of genomic data for the genus Epichloe, an increasingly important model system for studying the genome evolution of haploid and polyploid fungi. The postdoc will be expected to help develop her/his own research program, with an emphasis on addressing novel hypotheses rather than data description. This analytical position requires solid quantitative and computational skills, with the ability to develop and apply new bioinformatic applications to genome analysis. At a minimum, some confidence in bioinformatics and a programming language is required. Training in fungal biology or genomics can be provided as needed, and candidates from non-standard research backgrounds with a clear fit to the position are encouraged to apply.

Funding is guaranteed for two years and three months. Salaries are extremely competitive, starting at NZ$70,000, considerably higher than comparable salaries in the US and Europe.

My research group aims to achieve work-life balance within a productive scientific environment. The team is firmly embedded in the international scientific community, with extensive collaborative links to Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States. Ongoing training is a key focus for postdocs. As a computational biology group, I offer a supportive environment for computationally-inclined postdocs to work towards independence. The successful candidate will not be a lone bioinformaticist isolated in a bench biology group. My group is highly international, and applicants from all countries and backgrounds are actively encouraged to apply. Members of underrepresented groups are very welcome, as are postdocs with families.

The position will be based in my computational biology research group at Massey University in the city of Palmerston North, New Zealand. This offers a rare opportunity to experience New Zealand’s unique natural and cultural environment, while still undertaking world leading research. Palmerston North, a university town with a large international community, offers a full range of social and cultural amenities. The city is located between mountains and the sea, and presents regular opportunities for hiking, skiing, surfing and adventure sports. It also has a good café scene for those of a more cosmopolitan bent.

For further information, please visit my group’s website ( and the website of our funder, the Bio-Protection Research Centre ( Please contact me directly if you have any further questions:”

To submit an application, please provide;
1. A brief statement of research interests and experience, focusing on short to mid-term career goals.
2. Curriculum vitae, including qualifications and scientific publications.
3. The names and contact details of three referees willing to provide a confidential letter of recommendation upon request.

Job description

Purpose statement

To explore the evolution of genome structure, using filamentous fungi as a model system.

Responsible to

Head of the Institute of Fundamental Sciences through the Principal Investigator, Professor Murray Cox.

Key accountabilities

The Fellow is required to:
• Undertake computational research on fungal genomics.
• Undertake other relevant duties as specified and approved by the Principal Investigator.
• Maintain accurate and orderly records of experiments, procedures and code, and store these records and data in research group archives.
• Report weekly to the Principal Investigator summarizing research progress and planned future research, with a strong emphasis on work towards research publications.
• Publish at least one peer-reviewed publication in an international scientific journal each year.
• Maintain an organized and safe working environment.
• Be familiar with Institute guidelines and safety rules.
• Participate fully in the academic activities of the Institute and University.
• Devote herself/himself full-time to University duties.
• Diligently and faithfully serve the University, and use her/his best endeavors to promote and protect the interests of the University.
• Maintain confidentiality both during and after the appointment as Postdoctoral Fellow.

Person specification


A PhD in bioinformatics, computational biology, or otherwise applicable field (interpreted broadly).


• Able to conduct independent cutting-edge research.
• Proven research experience, including evidence of a publication record.
• Quantitative skills, including some background in statistics and programming.

• Candidates will be conversant in at least one programming language (broadly defined).
• Additional bioinformatic, computational and/or statistical experience would be an advantage.
• Candidates with a background in biology together with applied mathematics, physics or computer science are especially encouraged to apply.

Personal attributes and behaviours

• Good quantitative skills.
• Experimental and intellectual creativity.
• Initiative and enthusiasm.
• Proven ability to write, and potential to take a lead on, scientific publications.
• Commitment to quality improvement, up-skilling and personal development.
• Ability to organize and maintain quality records.
• Integrity and confidentiality.
• Good time-management skills.
• Ability to work as a member of a team.


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