22P-64 Postdoctoral Scientist-Bioinformatician / Senior Postdoctoral Scientist-Bioinformatician

22P-64 Postdoctoral Scientist-Bioinformatician / Senior Postdoctoral Scientist-Bioinformatician

Location: The Pirbright Institute

Organisation position and purpose

We are looking for a postdoctoral scientist to execute and continue to develop bioinformatics pipelines to analyse transcriptomic data and antibody single cell sequencing data in livestock. This post is funded by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant aiming to defining the fine specificity of antibody responses in livestock to inform vaccine development. The research will involve refining the analysis of existing and future high-throughput sequencing data to examine the overall antibody response to vaccination and infection in cattle, buffalo, pigs and chickens. Established workflows will then be made available to as wide a range of collaborators as possible.

This post will report to the project coordinator, sitting within the Immunogenetics Group at Pirbright as part of a team focused on measuring the influence of genetic variation on immune responses.

This post is offered at Band D/E, depending on experience.

Main duties and responsibility

Responsible for combining different datasets to identify pathogen-specific immune responses:

  • Characterise and compare antibody transcripts from high-throughput sequencing data obtained with different platforms (Illumina MiSeq and NextSeq; 10X chromium-generated data, occasionally Sanger sequencing), using existing pipelines. 
  • Adapt and optimise existing pipelines to multiple livestock species (cattle, buffalo, pigs and chickens).
  • Combine single-cell transcriptomic, antibody NGS sequencing, and mass spectrometry datasets to select B cell antigens of interest and characterize antigen-specific B cell subsets. 
  • Keep up to date with new pipelines and softwares. 
  • Contribute to a linked team working on structural vaccinology.

Integration of analytical tools within the immunological toolbox website:

  • Help maintain the Immunological toolbox website and Pirbright Antibody Hub page.
  • Integrate example datasets on the website.
  • Integrate developed tools for community access.

 Contribute to the overall Immunogenetics group:

  • Maintain datasets.
  • Produce presentations.
  • Publish manuscripts as appropriate.

This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role. The jobholder will carry out any other duties as may be reasonably required by his/her line manager. The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.

All employees shall actively participate in the Institute-wide quality assurance system in conjunction with the Institute’s Quality Manager. Employees are also expected to safeguard their own health and safety and security by following policies and all employees are responsible for the Health and Safety and security of staff under their management.

Personal specification

Results driven with a clear ability to drive and organise multiple projects.

  • Good collaboration skills.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Able to problem solve and be creative in generating a solution whilst also able to perform the same activity in a consistent manner.
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Critical mind.

Specific requirements


  • A PhD or equivalent in a relevant branch of biosciences 
  • Significant and relevant experience in a recognised R&D environment 
  • Experience with high-throughput sequencing data analysis 
  • Knowledge of Unix and Linux operating systems 
  • Strong experience in at least one programming language 
  • Strong experience in building and deploying distributed pipelines for data science 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills 
  • A publication records commensurate to the applicant’s career stage 


  • A good understanding or experience of working with either antibodies or other variable immune genes 
  • Experience of molecular biology 
  • Experience working with a high-performance cluster 
  • Experience in 10X chromium-generated data analysis 
  • Experience proteomics data analysis 
  • Experience in website development and maintenance 

This post is offered at either Band D or Band E (details outlined above), the successful applicant will need to demonstrate existing skills in the field.

Due to the nature of the work we do, all successful applicants will be required to go through a comprehensive screening process including reference and qualification checks, financial and security clearances.

We would like to encourage all overseas applicants to consider the Tier 1 Global Talent Visa route. This has been designed to offer fast-tracked entry to the UK for scientific researchers to work and live in the UK. Please see for further information under the link: https://www.gov.uk/global-talent

The Pirbright Institute may be able to make a financial contribution towards the cost of immigration to the UK.

What we offer

Generous Group Personal Pension Scheme and life cover (subject to age and earnings)

  • 25 days annual leave per annum, pro rata, plus 10.5 public and privilege days
  • Buy and sell annual leave
  • Option to carry over up to two weeks annual leave
  • Pirbright gym with subsidised membership
  • Pirbright social club
  • Pirbright Lifestyle Hub (employee discount site)
  • Cycle to work
  • Subsidised staff restaurant
  • Childcare allowance
  • Free onsite parking
  • Electric Car charging facilities
  • Flexible working pattern can be considered 

We particularly welcome applications from under-represented groups, for example individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds, women, and people with disabilities (visible and hidden).  We are committed to taking steps to increase the diversity of our employee and student community and removing any barriers to opportunities and success.

The Institute is committed to retaining staff employed on fixed term contracts of employment. The Institute operates a Redeployment process which is the moving of an employee from one role to another suitable alternative role, when possible, to avoid compulsory redundancies.

We recognize the need for flexibility in our working and personal lives and we have a range of flexible working arrangements in practice.  Where the role allows, arrangements can also be agreed for some informal home-working and we are open to candidate questions about this.  If you wish to find out more, or have any questions, please contact jobs@Pirbright.ac.uk.

To apply for this vacancy please visit our careers page -Jobs | The Pirbright Institute

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, if you have not heard from us within one month from closing date of the vacancy, then please contact us on jobs@pirbright.ac.uk for an update.

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