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Covid 19 - Research Associate

Job Description

Applications are invited for a Postdoctorate Research Associate to join our recently awarded NERC grant “ Mapping the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and environmental samples ”, led by Professor Vincent Savolainen and in collaboration with several groups at Imperial College (Ransome, Bell, Woodward, Jones).

Mapping the prevalence of COVID-19 cases is essential for designing and tracking the efficacy of control policies, such as social distancing and isolation. Community- level estimates of disease prevalence should be sufficient to develop these mitigation strategies – especially when the disease is widespread and infection is driven by community transmission. Given that there is now good evidence that SARS-CoV-2 RNA is detectable in faeces for prolonged periods (even for otherwise asymptomatic individuals), it may be possible to map the prevalence of COVID-19 using sewage samples. You will be part of a multidisciplinary team of ecologists, virologists and modellers, who are testing sewage, connected freshwater bodies and wildlife for SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses across the UK.

Your main role will be to help characterise new coronaviruses in bats by assembling sequence reads from next generation sequencing (e.g. Illumina read from RNA extractions of faecal samples). The potential for sewage outflows in the environment to contribute to transmission to humans and wildlife will also be investigated by assessing viral infectivity from environmental samples. You will help to run coronavirus infectivity assays, alongside our technician, in our dedicated containment level 3 (CL3) laboratory at Imperial College. You will also help coordinate the collection and delivery of sewage and environmental samples from across the UK.

Duties And Responsibilities

Your main role will be to assemble sequence reads from next generation sequencing data (e.g. Illumina read from RNA extractions of faecal samples) and to characterise coronaviruses from bats, other wildlife and/or other environmental samples.

The potential for sewage outflows in the environment to contribute to transmission to humans and wildlife will also be investigated by assessing viral infectivity from environmental samples. You will help to run coronavirus infectivity assays in our dedicated CL3.

You will also help coordinate the collection and delivery of sewage and environmental samples from across the UK.

Essential Requirements

  • Hold a PhD (or equivalent research, industrial or commercial experience) in genetics, virology, molecular ecology or a closely related discipline
  • Practical experience in a broad range of techniques including genome/transcriptome/virome assembly
  • Knowledge of metagenomics and RNA-seq

Further information
All candidates will need to complete an online application.

  • Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as a Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045 - £39,183 per annum

Should you require any further details on the role please contact: Vincent Savolainen vsavolainen@ic.ac.uk .

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment@imperial.ac.uk

 

Salary: £36,045 - £39,183
Employment Type: Contract Based
Contact Information
Name: Vincent Savolainen