The Animal Genomics group within the Institute of Agricultural Sciences at ETH Zurich investigates animal (epi-)genomes and transcriptomes. The group applies bioinformatics and statistical methods to detect and characterize trait-associated sequence variation. We are looking for a motivated and talented Postdoc that is eager to work on cutting-edge research projects within our young and international team.

To expand our team of doctoral and postdotoral researchers, we are looking for a postdoctoral researcher to join us as soon as possible. The position is available for 2 years with an anticipated start date of April 1st, 2023 (negotiable, extension beyond 2 years is possible). The position is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. You will join the Animal Genomics group led by Hubert Pausch.

Project background: Our research focuses on the genomic characterization of animal populations. We have established a comprehensive database of whole-genome sequencing variants that segregate in various pig and cattle breeds. We have access to whole-genome genotyping and imputed sequencing data of >150’000 (partially) progeny-tested animals with excellent phenotypic records for numerous complex traits. This data enables powerful genome-wide association studies.

Other ongoing projects include the characterization of individual animal genomes using long-read sequencing (PacBio HiFi), the de-novo assembly of these genomes, and the development of graph-based pangenomes. Moreover, our group is involved in several international endeavours that aim at characterizing genomic diversity in farm animals such as the EU H2020 project BovReg and the Bovine Pangenome Consortium. Our group has access to ETH’s high-performance computing cluster and state-of-the-art molecular user labs equipped with short- and long-read sequencing technologies. We are committed to open and reproducible research. 

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and collaborative young researcher that is eager to:

  • contribute to ongoing cutting-edge research projects,
  • support the projects of doctoral students,
  • develop and implement own research ideas

You will interact closely with current group members. The Postdoc will be able to access comprehensive genotyping, short- and long-read sequencing, and phenotyping data from large cohorts of animals representing different breeds of cattle and pig. These data can be used to identify trait-associated sequence variants using genome-wide association testing or similar approaches but also offers the opportunity to contribute to the de novo assembly of individual animal genomes and the development and analysis of pangenomes. Furthermore, you will also be able to pursue her/his own research interests that complement our ongoing efforts.

We are primarily looking for a bioinformatics and computational genomics-oriented researcher, but candidates with a wet-lab background and bioinformatics experience will also be considered if their future research interests align well with our group. Active participation in international conferences and scientific writing are very much supported.

Your profile

You should have a strong research interest in bioinformatics, statistical genomics, computational biology, and/or animal genetics. Experience with a programming/scripting language (e.g., python) and working in a high-performance computing environment are required. Applicants should hold a PhD (or should be close to the completion of their PhD thesis) in disciplines that are related to the advertised postdoctoral position (e.g., genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics, genetics, agricultural sciences, animal sciences). Affinity to computational genomics, bioinformatics and statistics is required. The writing of scientific papers and participation in international conferences requires good knowledge of English.

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • A Cover/motivation letter (not more than two pages) that demonstrates (i) your suitability for the offered position and (ii) provides information about the research questions you would like to pursue
  • A Curriculum vitae including a list of publications, complete academic record, and copies of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
  • Names and contact information of two references

Please note that we only accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. The application review will begin on February 15th, 2023, and continue until the position is filled (and this advertisement is online). For questions about the position, please contact Hubert Pausch via email hubert.pausch@usys.ethz.ch (no applications).

About ETH Zürich:

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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