We are always keen in hearing from talented and motivated scientists interested in our research, please get in touch!

Funded positions

(1) Post-Doctoral Research Associates x 2 in Computer Simulations and Statistical Mechanics of Genome Organization


See official advert here: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/19461/

Applications are invited for two postdoctoral positions to develop new computational approaches to study the formation of membrane-less compartments via liquid-liquid phase separation inside the Cell nucleus.  The successful candidate will join the research group of Dr. Rosana Collepardo based at the Maxwell Centre, Cavendish laboratory. The project is in collaboration with Professor Daan Frenkel at the Department of Chemistry and Professor Ernest Laue at the Department of Biochemistry.

Project details. Reading the genome is one thing – finding out how it functions, is something else altogether. The next big challenge to understand gene behaviour is deciphering (a) how the genome is organized in space and (b) how this organization influences its function. Research at the Collepardo group focuses on developing new computer simulation approaches, exploiting principles from physics, chemistry, computer science, and biology, to unravel the molecular mechanism that explain the connection between genome characteristics, organization and function (JACS, 2015 137:10205, PNAS 2014, 111:8061). This project, in collaboration with the groups of Professor Daan Frenkel (Biophys. J, 2017, 112:683) and Professor Ernest Laue (Nature, 2017 544:59-64), will develop a new simulation approach to investigate the phase behaviour of heterogenous mixtures of nucleic acids and proteins occurring inside the Cell nucleus that give rise to the formation of membrane-less liquid-droplet compartments.

Preferred skills/knowledge. The successful candidate will have strong experience in molecular modelling and simulations and statistical mechanics and will hold a PhD/DPhil in physics, chemistry, quantitative biology, applied mathematics, or a closely related field, with a strong interest in biological systems. The proposed research project will be particularly suitable for candidates who have experience in developing coarse-grained models, and/or in developing and applying Molecular Dynamics and/or Monte Carlo simulations to biomolecular systems or condensed matter systems. Scientific programming skills in at least one high performance language (e.g. C, C++, Fortran) and one scripting language (e.g. Python) is essential. Experience with MD packages such as LAMMPS or Gromacs is a plus.

Funding. The position is supported by an ERC Starting Grant and the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability.

Salary. Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£25,728 - £29,799 per annum). Upon award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate, Grade 7 (£31,604 - £38,833 per annum). The funds for this post are available for 12 months in the first instance.

How to apply. Please send your CV and a cover letter as attachments to Rosana Collepardo  rc597@cam.ac.uk. Your CV should include the names and contact details of two academic referees who have agreed to act on your behalf. Your cover letter should highlight your relevant abilities and experience, explain why you are suitable for the role, and how you learned of this post.

Deadline. Flexible


(2) ERC-funded positions to join the CDT (MPhil + PhD) in Computational Methods for Materials Science (start in October 2019)
See official call here: http://www.jobs.cam.ac.uk/job/19434/

Dr. Rosana Collepardo wishes to appoint two CDT (MPhil + PhD) students to start in October 2019 and work on the projects: Physical determinants of chromatin nanostructure and liquid-liquid phase separation in the genome

CDT in Computational Methods for Material Sciences. This is a very competitive four-year Doctoral Training Programme on computational methods that trains scientists in the use of existing modelling methods and also in the underlying computational and mathematical techniques (see here). Candidates must be accepted to the competitive CDT program to be considered for this ERC-funded position. However, contacting Dr. Rosana Collepardo previous to application to the CDT is required.

Project details. The Collepardo research group is multidisciplinary, exploiting physics, chemistry, computer science, and biology to unravel the relationship between epigenomes, chromatin structure and gene function. While it is recognized that epigenetic factors play a crucial role in normal and aberrant gene function, the detailed molecular mechanisms that explain their functions and their effects on genomic structure are not clear. Our group investigates these questions by developing and applying novel multiscale computational methods that can connect subtle chemical changes to broad topological transformations in large biomolecular systems (JACS, 2015 137:10205, PNAS 2014, 111:8061). In the first project, a new coarse-grained model for chromatin will be developed and applied to understand the epigenetic modulation of chromatin structure at the nanoscale. The second project will focus on developing a simulation approach to investigate the formation of membrane less compartments, via the phenomena of liquid-liquid phase separation within the genome.

Preferred skills/knowledge. We seek enthusiastic PhD students to develop an exciting project exploring the link between epigenetic modifications and chromatin nanostructure. The student will be highly motivated, capable of independent thought and have excellent communication skills with the ability to work collaboratively. Ideally, the candidate will have a strong background in physics/biophysics and/or chemistry. A good knowledge of computer programing, biomolecular simulations, and/or high performance scientific computing is highly desirable.

Funding. These studentships are funded by an ERC Starting Grant to R.C. and the EPSRC-CDT programme. Funding fully covers a standard stipend (~£14,130 per annum) for the 4 years and the cost of all University and College fees costed at the home/EU rate. Outstanding international students are encouraged to apply ASAP to be elegible for complementary funding from the University to cover the difference between international and home/EU fees. [Una opción adicional para estudiantes mexicanos es complementar el financiamiento (diferencia entre el precio más alto de las colegiaturas para estudiantes internacionales y el precio para Europeos/nacionales) a través de una beca parcial de CONACyT].

Eligibility. Applications are invited from recent graduates or final year undergraduates who hold or expect to gain a first/upper second class degree (or equivalent).

How to apply. Please send your CV and a cover letter as attachments to Rosana Collepardo rc597@cam.ac.uk. Your CV should include the names and contact details of two academic referees who have agreed to act on your behalf. Your cover letter should highlight your relevant abilities and experience, explain why you are suitable for the role, and how you learned of the studentship.

Deadline. December 31st, 2018

Other potential funding sources for postdocs
And, sadly, due to Brexit, maybe for the last time this year: