The Earlham Institute

Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Plant Metabolic Diversity)

The Earlham Institute

Norwich, United Kingdom

Postdoctoral Research Scientist (Plant Metabolic Diversity)

The Earlham Institute is looking for three motivated people to join the new Darwin Tree of Life Programme that aims to sequence the genomes of 66,000 known species of animals, plants, protozoa and fungi in the UK. This is part of a global effort to sequence the genomes of 1.5 million species on Earth.

Work at the Earlham Institute will focus on analysing genomes to further our understanding of evolutionary processes that drive biodiversity in populations and ecosystems. We are also involved in applying genomics to the conservation and management of valuable ecosystems and to the sustainable use of biodiversity for public good.

All three roles will be based at the Earlham Institute on the Norwich Research Park where they will join a diverse community of scientists with expertise in genomics, biology, evolution, bioinformatics, computing and biotechnology.

One of these roles is for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the laboratory of Dr Nicola Patron.


The main aim of this project is to investigate the metabolic diversity of UK flora. In this project, we will identify candidate genes responsible for the biosynthesis of target metabolites in UK plant species and explore the regulation and evolution of specialised metabolism in related species. Based in the Patron Lab at the Earlham Institute and in collaboration with the Osbourn Lab at the John Innes centre, this BBSRC-funded project will be linked to the Darwin Tree of Life Programme that aims to sequence the genomes of all known eukaryotes in the UK.

The role:

This project will generate and compare genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic datasets for a group of related plant species. The scientist will be responsible for conducting comparative analyses with the aim of exploring the genetic basis of metabolic diversity and identifying genes responsible for the presence of target metabolites. They will work in collaboration with other scientists at the Earlham Institute and John Innes Centre to characterise candidate genes, with the eventual aim of enabling biological production of novel, high-value metabolites.

The ideal candidate:

The candidate must have a PhD in Plant Biology, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Synthetic Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Bioinformatics or a related subject. The project would suit either a molecular biologist or biochemist experienced in the analysis of RNA-seq/metabolomic datasets, or a bioinformatician interested in applying their expertise to understanding metabolic diversification in plants. The candidate must be motivated and interested in the application of innovative technologies to natural product biology.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 – £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post for a contract of 18 months.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or quoting reference 1003678.

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 1 July 2019.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 1003678