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Computational Senior Staff Scientist at Wellcome Sanger Institute (Hinxton, UK)

The Lawniczak lab is seeking a highly motivated researcher with excellent computational and quantitative skills to fill a Computational Staff Scientist position. Our group is part of the both the Tree of Life Programme and the Parasites and Microbes Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. We strive to do science and build genomic resources that deliver impact in important global problems like malaria and the rapid loss of biodiversity while also enhancing our understanding of evolution and genome biology.

 This position combines the opportunity to lead cutting edge science while also mentoring trainees and taking custodianship of the quantitative half of the lab. Our work ranges from single cell RNA sequencing data analysis of tens of thousands of individual malaria parasites to population genomic studies of tens of thousands of mosquitoes to building, analysing, and using high quality genome assemblies across the entire tree of life. In each of these areas we aim to innovate, developing excellent visual and analytical explorations of data for ourselves and the wider community as well as applying the best available existing tools for the questions at hand (and doing the evaluations to determine which those might be).

 The ideal candidate will have a wide-ranging skillset including conceiving of computational approaches that enhance our interpretation of the genomic data we generate, leading analyses and also training others to do so, and writing, publishing, and presenting results. Another primary part of the role is to offer general computational support for the team and the resources we generate, including on-boarding new members, helping to build and maintain a shared code base in collaboration with the core informatics support teams that exist in both the Tree of Life and the Parasites and Microbes programmes, keeping our interactive data resource websites up to date and user-friendly, and taking responsibility for team code repositories and data organisation. 

Every project in the lab is collaborative but each has a primary leader. You will lead projects from conception to publication, including designing and executing experiments with the help of the wet lab team members. The role also has a strong mentorship component and we are looking for someone who is an able and willing teacher as you will also contribute substantial advice, training, and mentorship on projects that are led by MPhil and PhD students. Creativity and initiative are essential and the successful applicant will demonstrate dedication to leading while working collaboratively with a range of other scientists. We value diversity and we welcome applications from anyone regardless of their gender, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, nationality, or their requirement for part time or flexible working hours due to childcare or other commitments.

 This position offers the opportunity to work at one of the world’s leading genomic centres at the forefront of genomic research. You will have access to Sanger's computational resources, including a 20000+ core computational cluster, the largest in life science research in Europe, and multiple petabytes of high-speed cluster file systems. Our group has a vibrant wet-lab and access to core facilities, where we generate our own data with the help of dedicated staff. This provides an exciting opportunity for you to not only analyse the data, but to be actively involved in the planning and execution of large-scale experiments and projects.

Essential Skills:

  • PhD in statistics, bioinformatics, computational biology, genomics, population genetics, or other relevant area of quantitative analysis OR experience commensurate with a PhD.
  • Good programming skills, preferably Python for scripting, data analysis, pipeline and tool development.
  • Strong data visualization skills, preferably advanced knowledge of R ggplot or Python ggplot clone
  • Proficiency in Unix/Linux operating system
  • Experience with using compute cluster and batch queuing systems
  • Experience with software version control systems
  • Experience with managing and processing next-generation sequencing data
  • Experience with pipelining/workflow engines and languages
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to work together with wet lab biologists, providing analysis to inform experimental design and methods as well as data analysis of final results.
  • Highly developed problem-solving skills and the ability to rapidly learn new skills
  • Proficient in writing research manuscripts and reports

Ideal Skills:

  • Knowledge of a wide range of sequencing technologies and how each can be used to answer research questions
  • Excellent grounding in evolutionary genomics, genome biology and population genetics
  • Experience in single cell RNAseq analysis tools
  • experience working with relational databases and SQL
  • Good knowledge of statistics
  • An interest in speciation and biodiversity
  • An interest in global health
  • Knowledge of genomics and molecular biology
  • Previous experience with RNA sequencing data analysis
  • Previous experience in creating finished software
  • Full working proficiency in a compiled language (e.g. C, C++, D, Fortran)
  • Previous experience with implementing–omics data analysis pipelines on a cluster

Closing Date: 10th January 2020

To be considered for this role, please complete the application form and attach a cover letter addressing how you meet the criteria set out above.