Research Scientist (Metagenomics of antimicrobial resistance in soils)

    • Application Deadline
      15 June 2023
      (application date has expired)
    • Job Salary
      £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience
    • Website
    • Contact Name
      Recruitment Team

    Applications are invited for a Research Scientist to join the group of Professor Alison Mather at Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), based in Norwich, UK.

    Quadram Institute Bioscience:

    QIB provides a vibrant and exciting setting composed of multiple research teams working on metagenomics, microbial genomics, molecular epidemiology, and microbial communities. We offer the chance to work with world leading, cutting edge technologies both in sequencing and computational biology and give you the opportunity to broaden your skills using open-source technologies, and bringing together biological, epidemiological and bioinformatics data. (


    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has evolved in environmental bacteria over billions of years, producing a vast reservoir of AMR genes that can potentially be transferred to clinical pathogens. Agricultural soils are exposed to antibiotics through the use of manures or sewage sludge as fertiliser, or irrigation with reclaimed water. There is a concern that such exposure may promote AMR in food producing environments, increasing the likelihood of AMR transmission to the human microbiome via contaminated crops or environmental matrices. The field scale trials undertaken at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) over the last 10-20 years offers a unique opportunity to investigate the effects of antibiotic application on soil communities and AMR, and how soils recover from long-term application of antibiotics.

    The post holder will join a fun, international and supportive group with expertise in bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular ecology and epidemiology. Working closely with our collaborators at the University of Exeter and AAFC, the postholder will use state of the art metagenomic and bioinformatic approaches to determine the evolutionary effects of antibiotic residues on the soil resistome.

    The role:

    The successful post holder will analyse and interpret shotgun metagenome sequence data and other sequence data to investigate the effects of different antibiotic residues on the soil microbial communities and AMR at three timepoints: short-term exposure (7 & 30 days after application); long-term exposure (after 10 years of annual exposure); and after cessation of antibiotic application (1, 2, and 3 years post-exposure). The post holder will lead and/or contribute to the preparation of written reports and research publications and present research findings at project meetings, scientific conferences and outreach/translation events. They will contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources and occasional supervision of visitors to the laboratory, encouraging scientific excellence.

    The ideal candidate:

    Candidates should have a PhD in a relevant subject (e.g. Computational Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Bioinformatics, Epidemiology or related discipline), and experience in analysing microbial (meta)genome sequence data. The candidate must value teamwork and collaboration, be able to work independently, and have excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

    You will gain experience of working with large sequence datasets and with academic and government department collaborators, and have the opportunity to publish excellent science in leading peer-reviewed journals.

    Additional information:

    Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 12 months, with an ideal start date of 1 December 2023 (flexible).

    For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our website or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450814 or [email protected] quoting reference 1004468.

    We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sectors of society. The Institute supports equality of opportunity within the workplace and expects all employees to share and display these values. To support our commitment, we have a range of family, faith and diversity friendly working arrangements to help all staff achieve excellence in their area of work.

    As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

    The closing date for applications will be 15 June 2023

    The Quadram Institute Bioscience is a registered charity (No. 1058499) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

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