NGO Job Opportunities – Senior Bioinformatician at Medical Research Council/ Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) Uganda

Organization: Medical Research Council/ Uganda Virus Research Institute (MRC/UVRI) Uganda
Duty Station: Entebbe, Uganda
Reports to: Unit Director Project
The MRC/UVRI Uganda Virus Research Unit on AIDS conducts large-scale epidemiological and intervention studies, clinical trials, virological and immunological research and behavioural studies, and has generated a wealth of research results that have been used to inform policy and practice, and that have led to a large number of scientific publications in peer reviewed journals over time.
The MRC/UVRI with the Sanger Institute is setting up the MRC/UVRI Ugandan Medical Informatics Centre (UMIC) that will be located at the UVRI campus in Entebbe. It will be closely associated with the Ugandan Ministry of Health and other educational and research Institutes in Uganda, as well as pan-African research centres as part of established collaborations with MRC/UVRI. The central aims of this project are: (1) to develop a medical informatics in Uganda and (2) to develop human research capacity in medical informatics and computational genomics in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in collaboration with UK and SSA centres. The UMIC is being developed to capitalise on technological advances in genomics and to ensure the efficient utilisation of data resources in clinical epidemiology and large scale genomics across SSA from on-going research programmes.
Job Summary: The Senior Bioinformatician will be responsible for maintaining  complex databases for phenotype and genotype data and to design implement and maintain analysis pipelines to carry out analysis of human and pathogen genome sequencing data. The post holder will be required to collate, clean, and harmonise data from various sources, perform some analyses for QC purposes, as well as to help identify scientific priorities and contribute to some applied analyses. The incumbent will also, among other tasks, prepare and analyse large genetic and phenotypic datasets, as well as manage collaborative relationships within the frame of large international consortia. In addition another primary objective will be training and supporting international researchers in large-scale genome analyses. The Senior Bioinformatician will be accountable for overseeing and enabling bioinformatics analyses undertaken by the UMIC and for maintaining and developing pipelines for the UMIC scientific programs.
Key Duties and Responsibilities: 
  • Designs and implements high-quality, high-throughput computational pipelines for genome-analysis
  • Keeps up with the developments in technology and statistical genetics, and adapts to these rapidly in order to ensure the highest standard of data generation
  • Oversees large-scale whole-genome and whole-exome datasets
  • Assists in the development of new methods, or improving on existing methods to create solutions to problems, if needed.
  • Technically supports researchers and other bioinformaticians within the UMIC and internationally
  • Contributes to analyses of large-scale next generation sequencing datasets, genome-wide association analyses of common and rare variants and meta-analyses in a high-quality, time-sensitive environment.
  • Interprets, and contributes to the design of computational tools and statistical analysis plans for complex trait analysis.
  • Prepares high-quality data reports and drafts of manuscripts for publication
  • Presents work at international meetings.
  • Communicate with collaborators effectively.
  • Oversees large-scale datasets of sequencing, clinical and other types of data, including cleansing and curation of data and facilitating deposition and access of data to and from the Medical Informatics Centre.
  • Coordinates and works with the international research community to facilitate data exchange, large-scale analytical efforts and exchange of expertise.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience: 
  • The ideal candidate should possess a bachelor’s degree in Computer science, Statistics, natural Sciences, Maths or have a degree in another subject coupled with extensive experience working with quantitative data.
  • Proven understanding and experience in the fields of genomics, data processing, high-through put data analysis, and genomic databases. Understanding of genome structure a must.
  • Significant experience providing advice, training and support to other researchers in the areas of bioinformatics and data analysis.
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of univariate statistical analysis fundamentals necessary.
  • Experience with multivariate statistics or statistical modelling a plus.
  • Candidates should have knowledge of leading NGS processing techniques for the identification of SNPs and structural variants.
  • Strong computational and data management skills and experience, particularly in data parsing, cleansing, data modelling, analysis, and database design and implementation.
  • Detailed knowledge and experience working in a unix/linux environment.
  • Demonstrated programming skills in shell scripting (e.g. bash, tcsh), interpreted/scripting languages (e.g. Perl, Python, R)
  • Substantial experience working within international consortia and effectively facilitating research within this environment.
  • Possess the ability to review, synthesize, and present scientific data and methods.
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.
  • The ability to present methodologies and results succinctly
  • Possess the ability to anticipate needs and problems while creating solutions.
  • Possess the ability to work within a team, and to provide advice, training and support to other researchers.
  • Possession of a PhD in computer science, computational biology, biostatistics, bioinformatics, or similar fields is desired although not strictly necessary.
  • Practical experience processing NGS data is a plus.
  • All candidates would ideally be familiar with the capabilities and limitations of NGS platforms and informatics pipelines, so that data can be appropriately integrated into analyses.
  • Past exposure and experience with cluster computing is a plus.
  • Programming skills in compiled language(s) (e.g. Java, C, C++) is an advantage
How to Apply:
All candidates should send their applications including copies of academic qualifications, curriculum vitae and names plus telephone contact details of three (3) referees should either be addressed to: The Human Resources Manager, MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, Uganda Virus Research Institute, P. O Box 49 Entebbe, Uganda or send by email:
NB: Only short listed candidates will be contacted for interviews
Deadline: 1st August 2014 by 5pm

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