Postdoctoral fellowship in human population and quantitative genetics

Inferring patterns of natural selection and complex trait evolution using ancient DNA
 
The Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, at University of Copenhagen invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow position at the University of Copenhagen, in the research group of Fernando Racimo. The Racimo group focuses on using ancient and present-day genomes to understand patterns of selection and admixture over time, and to develop methods to jointly analyze population and functional genomic data. We are particularly interested in human evolution, on both an ancient scale (i.e. modeling the joint history of Neanderthals, Denisovans and modern humans) and a recent scale (i.e. finding functional variants that were selected in humans during major cultural transitions, like the advent of agriculture). 
 
The position is to be filled by April 1st, 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.  
 
Objectives 
 
The candidate will be able to work with unprecedentedly large ancient genomic dataset from a period spanning the last 50,000 years of human history, in combination with functional datasets and medical biobanks. The focus of the project will be on integrating ancient genomics with population genetic theory and quantitative genetic resources, to learn about how humans adapted to their environments as they expanded across the globe, with a particular focus on complex trait evolution. 
 
The candidate will have freedom to design their project in consultation with the advisor, and the project can range from theoretical methods development to empirical data analysis. Research topics can include: 1) Utilizing trait-association data from metabolic, neurological and anthropometric studies to learn about the evolution of complex traits in ancient genomes from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age; 2) Developing methods to detect genes under positive selection when working with multiple populations related to each other in complex ways; 3) Searching for functional variants that were positively selected in humans over time during major cultural transitions, like the advent of agriculture; 4) Testing among different models of evolution on trait-associated variants over time. 
 
Research environment 
 
The candidate will work at the Lundbeck GeoGenetics Centre, a world-leading institution in ancient DNA studies. The position is for 3 years, and is fully funded. The candidate will have to opportunity to collaborate with leaders in the fields of paleogenomics, population genetics and quantitative genetics, like Eske Willerslev, Rasmus Nielsen, Martin Sikora and Morten Allentoft. The University of Copenhagen is ranked the 29th best university in the world according to Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (http://www.shanghairanking.com/ARWU2018.html). It provides excellent academic programs in biology, statistics, computer science and mathematics. The GeoGenetics Centre is located in central Copenhagen, Denmark – a city that is ranked among the most liveable cities in the world (see e.g. https://placebrandobserver.com/monocle-quality-of-life-survey-25-most-liveable-cities-2018/ at 5:56).   

Qualifications 
 
The candidate will have a MD, PhD, or equivalent doctorate, with a strong background in one or more of the following areas: population genetics, human genetics, genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics, machine learning, data science, mathematics and/or statistics. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a working proficiency in programming and statistical computing (e.g. experience in Python, R, C/C++, Java or Julia) and have experience handling large data sets in the UNIX operating environment. 
 
Salary and terms of employment 
 
The position is covered by the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff.  
 
Terms of appointment and payment accord to the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and The Danish Confederation of Professional Associations on Academics in the State.  
 
The starting salary is currently up to DKK 426.625 including annual supplement (+ pension up to DKK 72.952). Negotiation for salary supplement is possible. 
 
The application, in English, must be submitted electronically by clicking APPLY NOW below.   
 
Please include    
  •  A cover letter (max. one page) describing your background, personal qualities, research interests and specific reasons for applying to this position.   
  •  Curriculum vitae      
  •  Diplomas (PhD degree or equivalent)  
  •  Description of current research  
  •  Complete publication list   
  •  Contact details of two people for references  
You can read about the recruitment process at https://employment.ku.dk/faculty/recruitment-process/ 
 
If you consider applying from abroad, you may find useful information on how it is to work in Denmark and at UCPH in this links: 
 
The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation. Appointment will be based on merit alone.  
 
The deadline for applications is 28 Feb 2019, 23:59 GMT +1.  
  
Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among  Europe's top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organization - with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture - creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career. 
 
For further information please contact Assist. Prof. Fernando Racimo: fracimo@snm.ku.dk  
 
Fernando Racimo, Ph.D. 
 
Assistant Professor in Population Genetics 
Lundbeck Foundation GeoGenetics Centre 
Department of Biology 
University of Copenhagen 
Twitter: @ferracimo 
 
Interviews will be held on 14 March 2019.   
APPLY NOW

Part of the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), and among Europe’s top-ranking universities, the University of Copenhagen promotes research and teaching of the highest international standard. Rich in tradition and modern in outlook, the University gives students and staff the opportunity to cultivate their talent in an ambitious and informal environment. An effective organisation – with good working conditions and a collaborative work culture – creates the ideal framework for a successful academic career.

Info

Application deadline: 28-02-2019
Employment start: 01-05-2019
Working hours: Full time
Department/Location: Biologisk Institut

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