Bioinformatics Analyst - APG

About the Position

The Research Informatics (RI) Bioinformatics group within the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) is hiring a full-time Bioinformatics Analyst to support research for the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics (APG) at the University of Minnesota. The analyst in this position will conduct cutting-edge bioinformatics analyses in close collaboration with a diverse set of labs within the APG department. The successful candidate will join the seventeen-person RI Bioinformatics group at MSI.

This position will work with researchers in APG on a variety of basic and translational research projects in crop plant genetics, including projects on the evolutionary genetics of crop plants and their wild ancestors, and the development and utilization of genomic resources for breeding improved varieties of key crops. Many of these projects involve applying genome and/or transcriptome assembly and annotation, variant calling or phylogenomics approaches to large and complex plant genomes, so there is ample opportunity for the analyst to break new ground by exploring novel methods and tools.

The analyst in this position must have excellent communication skills, strong analytical, computational, and life sciences training or experience, and be comfortable working independently and as part of an interdisciplinary research team on diverse projects.

The ideal candidate will have advanced knowledge of next generation sequencing technologies with demonstrated practical experience in developing and carrying out analytical strategies in the context of NGS applications (e.g. genome and transcriptome assembly and annotation, DNA variant detection, GWAS and genomic selection, bulk segregant analysis, transcriptomics, metagenomics, etc.).

Job Duties and Responsibilities
As part of an interdisciplinary team, this analyst will have the responsibility to:

  • Serve as a bioinformatics analyst and developer for research projects for the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics (APG).
  • Serve as a liaison between the APG Department and MSI.
  • Consult with APG researchers on experimental design and planning.
  • Design and implement appropriate informatics workflows.
  • Identify and integrate new, cutting-edge molecular technologies and analysis methods as they become useful for research purposes (e.g., long-read sequencing, machine learning, etc.).
  • Appropriately document and present methods and results in both internal and external reports, publications, and presentations.

MSI and APG have a strong commitment to the University’s goal of creating a positive and inclusive campus climate by advancing equity and diversity. We aim to hire high-potential people with varying identities and backgrounds.

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) endorse a “work with flexibility” approach that offers a welcoming and flexible work environment where everyone is inspired to do their best. Work location options at the University of Minnesota include working fully remote, partially remote, or entirely in the office and are based on the work of the position. Some on-site work may be necessary for certain positions, even those designated as fully remote. Because we are a land-grant institution that serves the state, the University will continue to, in most cases, expect employees to live in Minnesota.

This MSI position has responsibilities that will require on-site work at least 50% of the time, with options for management-approved flexible work arrangements. Offices for these staff positions are located in Walter Library on the Twin Cities, East Bank Campus.

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in the life sciences, computer science, or engineering. Candidates must have significant bioinformatics experience.
  • 3+ years of research experience in genomics, genetics, molecular biology, or computational biology.
  • Hands-on experience in developing and carrying out data analytical strategies and pipelines for analyzing datasets from high-throughput platforms such as next generation sequencing.
  • Experience/general proficiency with UNIX shell environment, a programming language (ideally R or python), plus currently used tools (e.g. BWA, HISAT2, GATK, freebayes, PLINK, Trinity, Hifiasm, etc.).
  • Must be able to understand and translate life scientist researchers' scientific goals into analytical strategies and process requirements.
  • Must be able to function as part of an interactive team while demonstrating self-initiative to achieve the project's goals and the group's mission.
  • Critical and independent thinking.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication and interpersonal skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Research background in plant evolutionary and quantitative genetics is preferred.
  • Experience with version control (e.g. github).
  • Image analysis skills (e.g. drone image processing, image-based root phenotyping, or microscopy) are highly desirable.
  • Machine learning and advanced statistical and data modeling skills.

About the Department

The Research Informatics (RI) Bioinformatics group at the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) was formed in 2011, leveraging MSI’s rich computational environment to foster innovative bioinformatics collaboration with researchers across the University and Minnesota.

The Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) is a core research facility of the University of Minnesota (U of M), part of Research Computing within the Office of the Vice President for Research. MSI provides advanced research computing infrastructure and expertise to the University's research and scholarly community and the State of Minnesota in order to advance and accelerate research and foster innovation and discoveries through advanced computing technologies, scientific computing and informatics, application development, and services. The Institute currently supports over 900 different groups with over 4,500 active users spanning the sciences, engineering, life sciences, medicine, and social sciences.

To Apply

Applications must be submitted online via the University of Minnesota Employment site. The Job ID for this position is 355521.