Research Scientist Molecular Biology/NGS

Job Summary

Food labelling is a major cost to industry and has been shown to be vulnerable to abuse and susceptible to fraud. A significant support industry of inspection and auditing has developed to certify labelling accuracy. Yet major food adulteration scandals, such as the horsemeat scandal of 2013, highlight the ease with which labelling information is subverted.

The Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF) project (Beyond Food Labelling) that funds this position will involve close collaboration with IdentiGEN Ltd. to develop and implement a novel DNA profiling system that will operate at unparalleled scale and marginal cost. As each cow, pig, sheep, chicken or fish is genetically unique, the generation of individual DNA profiles, that will be securely linked to a digital ledger of production data, offers a robust and objective basis to verify economically important attributes. These include origin, welfare, sustainability, breed, quality, ethical/organic, shelf-life, amongst others.

This is a research and development (R&D) focused role, where you will conduct a specified programme of R&D supported by training and development under the supervision and direction of a Principal Investigator. This role will involve close collaboration with IdentiGEN Ltd. and the successful applicant will be part of a team of academic and industry researchers working together to achieve the defined objectives of the Beyond Food Labelling project.


The successful candidate will carry out the following duties specific to this project -

  • Review, assess and critique published methods for massively parallel midplex SNP genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) using high-throughput sequencing (HTS).
  • Develop highly multiplexed barcoded HTS library preparation methods suitable for GBS in a range of food animal species (e.g. cattle, pigs, chickens, fish, shellfish).
  • Collaborate on development of an industry-ready HTS-GBS process workflow incorporating laboratory automation, bioinformatics and computational genomics.

Education, Skills and Qualifications

Required -

  • Masters/PhD in Molecular Biology, Genomics, Biochemistry or related discipline.
  • A demonstrated commitment to scientific research and development.
  • An understanding of the operational requirements for a successful industry-focused animal genomics project.
  • Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and ability to develop and implement a research project.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation etc.).
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills including a proven ability to work as part of a research team and to deadlines.
  • Advanced training and experience in high-throughput sequencing (HTS), including sample preparation and multiplex barcoded library construction
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics and computational genomics required for managing, analysing and interpreting high-throughput sequencing (HTS) data for the purpose of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification and validation.

Desirable -

  • Knowledge and research experience in the field of livestock genomics.
  • Bioinformatics and programming skills that will include: R statistical programming and Python.
  • Previous experience in setting a personal research agenda and planning complex research activities.
  • Previous experience with intellectual property (IP) management and protection

Location: University College Dublin (UCD), Belfield and IdentiGEN, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Job Type: Full time, fixed term contract (30 months)

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