Research Associate - Department of Microbiology & Immunology (Wastewater Sequence Data Analysis)

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime


We are seeking a PhD-level scientist to assist with analyzing wastewater sequence data from across Canada to track SARS-CoV-2 variants. The position will be part of the computational biology and in silico modelling pillar of CoVaRR-Net, a pan-Canadian rapid response network to monitor and characterize SARS-CoV-2 variants: .

The successful applicant will be based at McGill University in Montreal, with the possibility for remote work initially. The current funding allows for a contract of 1 year of full-time work, with the possibility for renewal.

The research associate will report to Dr. Jesse Shapiro at the McGill Genome Centre ( ), and be supported by pillar co-leads Dr. Fiona Brinkman at Simon Fraser University ( ), Dr. Morgan Langille at Dalhousie University ( ), Dr. Jorg Fritz at McGill ( ), Dr. Sally Otto at UBC ( ) and Dr. Caroline Colijn at SFU ( ).

For more information on the Pillar activities: .


The CoVaRR-Net relies on synergies and efficient communications across all pillars, with other members of the scientific community and with government bodies, for rapid response to the emergence of new Variants of Concerns (VOCs) for SARS-CoV-2.

The successful candidate will focus on developing methods to track mutations and variants via wastewater and ensuring that data is synthesized and integrated within the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

The successful candidate will:

  • Develop and benchmark bioinformatic methods for identifying mutations and inferring variant lineages of SARS-CoV-2 based on wastewater sequence data

  • Synthesize and integrate data from across Canada

  • Compare wastewater data with clinical sequencing data, using population genetic and statistical methods

  • Use wastewater data to inform epidemiological models

  • Share and organize data as part of an open data model (

  • Produce plots and reports to communicate results within CoVaRR-Net, with PHAC and with provincial public health agencies


  • Ph.D. in bioinformatics, genomics, computational/mathematical biology, or related field.

  • Programming experience (R, python, etc.), high performance computing (inc. Linux), big data management

  • Must be able to exercise good judgment, exercise considerable independence, take initiative and possess strong interpersonal skills

  • Must possess exceptional communication skills (verbal, written and presentation) and be comfortable engaging and exchanging information with members of the network

  • Proficiency in French an asset

Faculty/Department/Unit: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – Department of Microbiology & Immunology
Position:  Research Associate

Job Status: Full-time (35 hours/week)

Position Duration: 1 year (possibility of renewal contingent on performance and funding)

Location:McGill Genome Centre (possibility of remote working)

The following supporting documents are required:

  • Cover letter & curriculum vitae (as 1 pdf document).

Use a personal email address when creating an account in Workday to submit your application. Do not use or email accounts to apply.

Hourly Salary:


Hours per Week:

35 (Full time)


Penfield 740



Position Start Date:


Position End Date:


Deadline to Apply:


McGill University hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community. We welcome applications from racialized persons/visible minorities, women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as from all qualified candidates with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities. McGill implements an employment equity program and encourages members of designated groups to self-identify. Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations for any part of the application process may contact, in confidence, .

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