Human Resources Employment Opportunities

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Apply now Job no: 515165
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Biology
Pay Grade: No Pay Grade
Date opened: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

General Summary: 

The Hill Lab at UMass Boston (https://blogs.umb.edu/nichola-hill/) seeks a postdoc to study the ecological and molecular determinants of infectious disease spillover. The position requires expertise in one or more of the following areas: i) disease ecology and evolution, ii) epidemic surveillance of animal or human populations, iii) genomic or bioinformatic analysis of pathogen traits, or iv) molecular virology. The postdoc will be instrumental in assisting the Principal Investigator (PI) to build and grow the newly-formed lab, attract external funding and develop cutting-edge research in virus evolution or disease ecology. The successful candidate will be expected to perform a range of wet and/or dry lab assays, coordination of laboratory and field-based studies, supervision of undergraduate and graduate students, writing manuscripts and communicating the results at national and international conferences.

Current projects include: 1) understanding the evolution and ecology of highly pathogenic avian influenza, 2) characterizing the impacts of the climate crisis on the emergence of viral diseases, 3) assessing the drivers of human-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), and 4) investigating host susceptibility of wild and domestic animals using immunogenetics.

Examples of Duties:

  • Acquire and screen samples from the field or clinical studies using high-throughput molecular techniques (nucleic acid extraction and real time-PCR)
  • Develop assays to characterize virus genotype and phenotype using cell culture, serological assays and other in vitro techniques
  • Use next-generation sequencing (short and long reads) to genetically characterize pathogens and perform bioinformatic analysis
  • Lead or coordinate surveillance studies of animals (i.e., birds, rodents, domestic animals) and humans with local, regional or international collaborators
  • Source and analyze ‘big data’ from ecological (i.e., eBird, GIS layers) or epidemiological (i.e., UN-FAO outbreak, public health agencies) disciplines.
  • Give presentations at national and international conferences
  • Train and mentor undergraduate and graduate students
  • Write and publish scientific manuscripts of the results
  • Assist in grant-writing to obtain internal and external funding (i.e. NIH and NSF)
  • Participate in departmental activities such as seminars and journal clubs
  • Perform scientific communication (lab website, social media, science fairs and workshops, K-12 curriculum development) to enhance interaction with lay, managerial, and expert audiences  

Qualifications: 

A PhD in either Ecology, Microbiology, Virology, or other related disciplines before starting the position is required. Experience with molecular techniques (e.g., nucleic acid extraction, real time-PCR, primer design, sequencing) and bioinformatic data analysis. Proficiency in basic virology ‘wet lab’ skills such as cell culture, phenotypic assays and serology is preferred, but not required. Experience in integrating data from field observations and experiments to answer questions related to disease spillover from reservoirs to novel hosts. Applicants should have demonstrated knowledge of concepts and theories related to disease ecology and evolution, with preference for viruses or other fast-evolving pathogens. Strong publication record is also necessary, and evidence of effective science communication skills.

Application Instructions:

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three references. 

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date.

Salary Range: Commensurate with experience

This is a non-union exempt position. 

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to confirm proof of their vaccination status.. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

The University of Massachusetts Boston provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other legally protected class. The University of Massachusetts Boston complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the university operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

UMass Boston normally does not provide H-1B visa sponsorship for non-academic positions.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is committed to providing a safe and secure environment that is supported by qualified employees for all of its students, faculty and staff to carry out the University's teaching, research and public service missions. As a condition of employment, the University will conduct appropriate background check reviews. For more information, please see the University of Massachusetts Boston campus policy and procedures for employee background reviews.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated and to confirm proof of their vaccination status. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

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