Postdoctoral Fellow in Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Genomics

Germany (DE)
German Salary band TVöD/E13
April 27 2016
Position Type
Full Time


Population Genomics of Adaptation in Mice 

The Chan Lab at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory located on the Max Planck Campus, Tübingen, Germany, is looking for up to two talented bioinformaticians/computer scientists/evolutionary genomicists to work on cutting edge genomics projects. The positions are available for an initial 2 years (Postdocs) or the duration of the PhD projects.

We work at the cross-section between functional and evolutionary genomics with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic variation, adaptation and speciation in mice and other vertebrate systems. The Chan Lab is funded by the Max Planck Society and holds a prestigious European Research Council Starting Grant.

Project description: Dr. Campbell Rolian at the Univ. of Calgary has performed 21 generations of artificial selection for increased tibia length in mice (2 “Longshanks” selection lines & 1 control line, >6000 individuals). Using whole-genome sequencing we have already detected loci showing strong response to selection containing major genes/mutations. Currently we are sequencing ALL the individuals in the pedigree to reconstruct the entire selection experiment. You will characterize and detect loci that lead to increase in tibia length. You will use this empirical dataset to test theoretical predictions in collaboration with Nick Barton and his group at IST Austria. We will study the selection response from multiple angles, ranging from trait mapping, population genomics, theory to developmental genetics. The Longshanks selection experiment combines quantitative, developmental and population genetics and offers a unique opportunity to study how the genome responds to strong selection in a model paradigm. 

Requirements: We invite applications for the above positions at postdoctoral or PhD levels (MSc or 4-year BSc required). You will have training in genomics, bioinformatics or statistical genetics and in-depth research experience in these fields. You should demonstrate expertise and proficiency in one or more of the following areas:

  • advanced skills in statistical genomics (e.g. QTL or GWAS approaches, genotype imputation, Hidden Markov Models, and haplotype phasing of whole genome data)
  • empirical and theoretical population genetics
  • de novo genome assemblies and comparative genomics
  • familiarity with parallel computing, visualisation of genomic datasets and associated toolkits (e.g. UCSC/Ensembl genome browsers, proficiency with web-based programming and SQL relational databases desirable) 

Experience with UNIX and fluency in statistical and/or programming languages (R, Python or Perl, C++, SQL, java knowledge desirable) is essential. Wetlab skills and experience in other types of data analysis (e.g., image processing) will be an advantage.

We are interested in candidates who are keen to apply new and innovative statistical approaches. Passion for research, team spirit and enthusiasm are essential. 

Our Team: You will work in a multidisciplinary team that focuses on applying genomics approaches to understand the functional basis of adaptation and speciation in mice and fish. Our research groups are funded by the Max Planck Society as well as the European Research Council (ERC). The Max Planck Campus in Tübingen, Germany is one of the leading campuses in evolutionary genomics research. Our campus hosts world-class research groups, including a Nobel laureate and >10 ERC-funded teams. We operate state-of-the-art sequencing and other core facilities. English is the working language. All seminars and communications are in English.

Our Offer: Positions at the Postdoc level will be initially offered for 2 years, with the possibility of extension. Funding for PhD is available for the entire duration. Positions will be supported by contracts with salary and benefits based on the German public service pay scale (TVöD) and are commensurate with training and experience. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

To Apply: Consideration of applications will begin on 1st May, 2016, and will remain open until filled. Please send your application with 1. a cover letter outlining your background, achievements and motivations; 2. your CV, and 3. two reference contacts to Dr. Frank Chan (frank.chan[at] or the postal address below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  


Dr. Frank Chan

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society

Spemannstrasse 39

72076 Tübingen



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