3 year postdoc / Hill group / Royal Veterinary College

We seek an ambitious and skilled postdoctoral scientist to undertake innovative research into combatting infectious disease outbreaks in animals. Through close collaboration with global industrial partners and national government agencies, you will help pioneer how virus genomic sequencing approaches can be adapted and adopted to provide real-time information critical for informing interventions. You will become a key member of Dr Sarah Hill’s research group during the 3-year post.

Key challenges will involve the design and refinement of rapid targeted and metagenomic genome sequencing approaches that can be used successfully within varied animal health, farming and aquaculture contexts. By combining newly generated virus genome sequences with detailed epidemiological, ecological, and industry data (including rarely available data on the network of individual host movements between farms), you will help gain high-resolution insights into the factors that drive virus transmission and the repeated emergence of new virulent strains. You will focus on explaining the transmission of two viruses within the production network of farmed Atlantic salmon.

Working in close partnership with the world’s largest provider of animal health diagnostics will allow you to access samples and rarely available industry data from producers across the globe. Through funded visits to Norway and Scotland you will develop strong relationships with industry partners, which will enable you to see the impact of your work and help achieve the widespread adoption of the methods that you design. We will support you to travel to international and national conferences, and to access opportunities at the RVC and elsewhere that will enhance your professional career development. You will be encouraged to publish in high impact, international journals, including through collaborating with other researchers within the RVC community working on a range of emerging animal and human pathogens. Please see Dr Hill’s Google Scholar profile for examples of her recent work, including collaborative publications in Science, Nature and Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The successful applicant will hold (or be about to receive) a PhD-level degree in a suitable subject, preferably in virus genomics or genomic epidemiology. We are seeking candidates with either expertise focused on exploring novel sequencing methods, or candidates with a broader skill-set spanning both wet-laboratory sequencing and computational approaches.

We encourage interested candidates to contact Dr Hill (sahill@rvc.ac.uk), who would be very pleased to informally discuss this role further. Further information on the role and person specification is available at PPS-0086-22 Post-Doctoral Researcher - Fixed Term (36 months) - Jobs at the RVC.