Research Associate

Updated: 25 days ago
Location: Cardiff, WALES


Please note that this job is open to Cardiff University staff only

Research Associate
Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences
Cardiff School of Medicine
College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

The Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences at the Cardiff University School of Medicine seeks to appoint a Research Associate to work on an international research project named “Rare Genetic Disorders as a Window into the Genetic Architecture of Mental Disorders” that is funded by the National Institutes of Health (USA). This project will set out to establish the contribution of genetic variation to psychopathology and neurocognitive performance in carriers of CNVs at 22q11.2 and 16p11.2.

This post will lead the bioinformatic analysis of this project, incorporating genomic and detailed phenotypic data to obtain a greater understanding of disease pathology. This will offer an opportunity to work in an internationally leading centre on an exciting and innovative project.

We aim to recruit, motivated, passionate individuals who will stimulate new thinking with progressive and inclusive approaches.  We are committed to employing people who will bring difference in background, approach, identity and experiences.

This post is full time (35 hours per week) available from 1st August 2020 and is fixed term until 31st March 2024.

Salary: £33,797 - £40,322 per annum (Grade 6).

Closing Date: Monday, 20 July 2020

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds. We therefore welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of sex, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, trans identity, relationship status, religion or belief, caring responsibilities, or age.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Main Function

To conduct research on an international research project funded by the NIH to investigate the genetic and phenotypic complexity of individuals with copy number variants at 22q11.2 and 16p11.2

Main Duties and Responsibilities


• To conduct statistical and bioinformatic analysis on genetic and genomic data (which will include QC and management of genomic and phenotypic data, statistical analysis of GWAS and genomic analysis of Whole Genome Sequencing data) to gain further insights into disease pathology of CNV carriers.
• To attend and or present at conferences/seminars at a local and national level as required.
• To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field.
• To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals.
• To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of the project and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting.
• To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate.
• To participate in School research activities.
• To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions,   explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects.
• To work closely with members of the Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, and other collaborators, on the collation, quality control, analysis and reporting of large genetic data sets related to the project.
• To contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University in the fields of Genetics and Bioinformatics by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in national academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.


• To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
• To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
• To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world
• Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

1. Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

2. An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within one or more of the following research fields:

  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Statistics

3. Knowledge of current research in complex disease genetics.

4. Proven experience of analysing large genomic datasets and previous experience of statistical analysis of genetic data using industry standard analysis packages e.g. R, Plink, Magma.
5. Experience in utilizing data from public genomic and functional genomic databases.
6. Proven ability to publish in high-quality journals and high-impact conferences
7. Knowledge and understanding of competitive research funding to be able to develop applications to funding bodies

Communication and Team Working

8. The ability to convey information clearly and accurately in a variety of formats, explaining complex information in a way that is understandable to the target audience.
9. Ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals.


10. Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work.

Desirable Criteria

11. Evidence of collaborations with industry.
12. Experience of analysing next generation sequencing data.
13. Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities of the School.

Additional Information

Scope of work

The post holder will be investigating the way in which genetic and environmental factors modify the risk of psychiatric and cognitive problems in carriers of CNVs at 22q11.2 and 16p11.2. This research will highlight potential risk mechanisms, thereby impacting both risk prediction in patients and the development of therapies. The post holder will be working in a multidisciplinary team embedded in a large Centre with a world-leading reputation in the field of psychiatric genetics.

IMPORTANT: Evidencing Criteria

It is School of Medicine's policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement.

Please ensure when submitting this document / attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number, in this instance for this post,9795BR

If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all of the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed. The School of Medicine welcome the submission of CVs to accompany evidence of the job-based criteria.

Job Category

Academic - Research, Health, Medical & Dental

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