Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Statistical Genomics/Genetic Epidemiology

Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Statistical Genomics/Genetic Epidemiology

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Nijmegen, Netherlands

Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Statistical Genomics/Genetic Epidemiology
(Full time, Starting salary: €49,598 – €54,380 p.a.)

Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Language & Genetics Department

Job description
The Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, is offering a Postdoctoral Research Scientist position in Statistical Genomics/Genetic Epidemiology. The host research group, led by Dr Beate St Pourcain, investigates the genetic basis of social communication, language and interaction and related phenotypes in the general population and in neurodevelopmental disorders. The successful applicant will work on “Disentangling autism heterogeneity through multivariate genetic analyses”, a project funded by the Simons foundation. The aims of the project are to:
I. Identify and characterise the genetically predictable phenotypic spectrum of high- versus low-functioning ASD and ASD subcategories
II. Identify and characterise shared and unique genetic influences among co-occurring ASD symptoms
This will involve the study ~4000 unrelated Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) patients from the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) cohort. The host research group is embedded within the Language & Genetics Department of the MPI for Psycholinguistics.

Requirements
The successful applicant will hold, or shortly expects to obtain, a PhD qualification in Statistical Genomics, Genetic Epidemiology, Medical Statistics, Bioinformatics or a related quantitative discipline involving the interrogation of ‘omics’ datasets. This includes a strong computational background with knowledge of shell, R, Python or Perl or another programming language, and familiarity with approaches to integrate biological information from a wide range of (publicly available) data resources. Knowledge of one or more of the following data-analytical approaches is an advantage:

  • Structural equation modelling or twin modelling techniques
  • ‘Omics’ methods to analyse the genetic architecture of human phenotypes

Familiarity with the genetic architecture of ASD is a further advantage. There are furthermore opportunities to contribute to the development of genetic-relationship structural equation modelling techniques (GSEM, R gsem library, v0.1.2)1 if of interest.
1 St Pourcain B, Eaves LJ, Ring SM, Fisher SE, Medland S, Evans DM et al. Developmental Changes Within the Genetic Architecture of Social Communication Behavior: A Multivariate Study of Genetic Variance in Unrelated Individuals. Biological Psychiatry 2018; 83: 598–606.

Conditions of employment

  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 3 years.
  • The salary is according to the German TVöD (Starting salary: €49,598 – €54,380 p.a.).
  • All research staff have access to state-of-the art research and training facilities and a generous conference and travel budget.

Employer
The MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen is the only research institute in the world entirely devoted to the study of language. Our goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types. We are situated on the campus of the Radboud University, and have close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University. We are part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The Institute is part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer. Applications from women, people with disabilities and under-represented groups are particularly encouraged. The Institute is located in the Netherlands. Scientists in the Netherlands report among the highest job satisfaction ratings of any in the world.

For further details please see our website: http://www.mpi.nl

Application procedure
For informal scientific enquiries, please get in touch with Beate St Pourcain (beate.stpourcain@mpi.nl).

Applications should include in a single pdf file:
(i) A 2-page statement of interest
(ii) A CV
(iii) A list of publications
(iv) Names, email addresses and contact numbers of three referees

Applications and general enquiries should be sent to Martina Bernhard (Secretary, Language & Genetics Department); E-mail: martina.bernhard@mpi.nl

The deadline for applications is 15 January 2019.

Interviews are scheduled for 23 January 2019. The proposed starting date is 1 March 2019 though the start date is negotiable.

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Position

Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Statistical Genomics/Genetic Epidemiology