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Research Associate in Bioinformatics

Requisition ID:  1263

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Posted Date:  25-Nov-2019


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £30,492.00 - £31,866.00.

Closing Date: 23 December 2019


The role

You will join the research group of Prof Muzlifah Haniffa on functional genomics analysis of human tissues in health and disease within the Human Cell Atlas initiative (https://www.humancellatlas.org). The project will use cutting-edge functional genomics and proteomics technologies including single cell sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, high dimensional flow cytometry and imaging mass cytometry.  The projects involve close collaboration with Dr. Sarah Teichmann, Wellcome Sanger Institute.

The post will be located in state-of-art laboratories housed within the Institute of Biosciences, Newcastle University and will have access to excellent dedicated core research facilities.

This post is fixed term for a duration for 4 years. Informal enquiries to Prof Muzlifah Haniffa (M.A.Haniffa@newcastle.ac.uk).


As part of our commitment to career development for research staff, the University has developed 3 levels of research role profiles.  These profiles set out firstly the generic competences and responsibilities expected of role holders at each level and secondly the general qualifications and experiences needed for entry at a particular level.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Please be advised that due to the minimum salary thresholds imposed by the UKVI, this post may not qualify for University sponsorship under Tier 2 of the points based system.


Key Accountabilities

  • To provide high-level bioinformatic analysis for bulk and single cell sequencing datasets from human tissues. 
  • Contribute to the delivery of research projects in the Haniffa group focused on the Human Cell Atlas (https://www.humancellatlas.org/) in close collaboration with Dr. Sarah Teichmann at Wellcome Sanger Institute.
  • Use of high-performance computing clusters to perform analyses.
  • Develop new implementations or algorithms (machine learning or otherwise) for analysis of single cell and spatial datasets. Deploy these algorithms for use by others both in-house and externally within new or existing open source packages.
  • Identify and develop suitable methods for the analysis of different datasets; develop collaborative networks to support analytical method development.
  • Provision of advice to and training of undergraduate and graduate students regarding the setting up of specific analytical systems and programming.
  • Present information on research progress and outcomes to a Principal Investigator or groups overseeing the research project.
  • Write up results from own research activity and provide input into the research project’s dissemination, in whatever form (report, papers, chapters, book).
  • Work to deadlines and manage, with support, competing priorities.
  • Work with other researchers in a team and actively participate in collaborative research.
  • May provide guidance as required to any support staff and/or research students.


The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Substantial theoretical and practical knowledge of programming in Python and/or R, scripting languages (e.g. Perl, Shell).
  • Substantial practical knowledge of transcriptomic analysis including use of next generation RNA and DNA sequencing data (ideally including single cell transcriptomics).
  • Good coordination, time management, analysis and presentation skills.
  • Involvement in drafting manuscripts.

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Demonstrates substantial bioinformatics skills applied to a broad range of computing and biological sciences.
  • Keeps up to date with new / improved bioinformatics knowledge, skills, techniques and research.
  • Possesses good written, oral communication, intellectual, numeracy and creative problem solving skills.
  • Evidence of working with a multi-professional research team.
  • Expectation and willingness to work outside normal office hours including weekends and to work away from main laboratory site including national and international collaborative visits.



  • A PhD in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Biomedical Sciences, Physics or Engineering or a similar discipline with an interest in Life Sciences and experience in Bioinformatics and Programming.

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


Requisition ID: 1263