Postdoctoral Research Associate

Postdoctoral Research Associate

University of Bradford - School of Engineering and Informatics

Bradford, United Kingdom

Main Purpose

This post is part of a 3 year EPSRC-funded research project entitled “Light-weight Verification for Synthetic Biology”, aimed at developing a novel verification approach that will allow biologists to verify the correctness of synthetic biology systems at the design stage. This will provide increased assurance whether these systems are reliable in principle and work as desired.

The post offers an exciting opportunity to join a multi-disciplinary, highly-skilled and enthusiastic team of academics, postgraduate students with expertise in formal verification, model checking, stochastic simulations and high performance computing with applications to systems and synthetic biology.

The successful candidate will have a PhD degree (or will be expected to achieve soon) in a relevant area: Formal Verification, Model Checking, and/or High Performance Computing Simulation and interests in modelling and applications in Systems and Synthetic Biology.

Excellent communication skills and high quality research publications are essential. The successful candidate will also be expected to have strong programming skills, especially in HPC environments.

The post holder must be an enthusiastic self-motivated person, who can work in an interdisciplinary environment as part of a team, and is reliable, well organised, has an ability to work to tight deadlines when needed, and is keen to learn and apply new skills and approaches. The role requires overseeing the achievement of the research projects objectives, supporting the coordination of current research students, and ensuring that the relevant deadlines and content of projects deliverables are met.

The applicant must be willing to travel and will be expected to make visits to other collaborating institutes and research groups, engaging in continuous professional development to maintain and further develop knowledge and experience of our research team.

The post holder will be a member of the Theory of Computation and Artificial Intelligence Research group at the University of Bradford. The groups have a strong and ongoing track record of national and international funded research and substantial experience in RCUK, EU, Innovate UK and Access Innovation projects.

Project Overview

The project aims to develop a novel verification approach that enables biologists to build reliable and fault-free synthetic biology (SB) organisms regardless of the level of their complexity. The project will address the limitations of the existing tools and methods and to overcome the challenges imposed by the growing complexity of SB systems through a stateof-the-art software platform that integrates different capabilities in a high-performance computing environment. The project will deliver the following research outcomes:

  • developing a fast, smart and biology-friendly formal verification (in particular, stochastic/statistical model checking) method that works on HPC (e.g. GPGPU- General Purpose Graphics Processing Unit) clusters;
  • developing parallel implementations of stochastic simulation algorithms, which run stochastic simulations on HPC clusters;
  • developing a software platform that provides a seamless and easy interaction with users and ensures compatibility with data exchange standards of Systems and Synthetic Biology (e.g. SBOL and SBML);
  • identifying necessary requirements for certifying synthetic bio-parts; defining a biology-friendly language which can express these requirements formally;
  • demonstrating the efficiency of the approach on several Systems and Synthetic Biology case studies.

Main Duties & Responsibilities

  • Undertake the programme of work specified in the grant application, together with the principle investigator (PI) and under the general supervision of the PI;
  • Ensure that the project outcomes described above are met within the specified grant period;
  • Have meetings with the PI or other designated member of staff, and with other partners/collaborators on the project (which requires travelling);
  • Produce high-quality research publications documenting the results of the research, to publish these papers in relevant scientific journals, and to present these results at conferences and workshops;
  • Work independently and with the team to define, develop, and maintain a variety of solutions;
  • Prepare research proposals and applications to external bodies, e.g. for funding and contractual purposes;
  • Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity; use new research methods and technology and extend the research portfolio;
  • Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration. Join external networks to share information and identify potential sources of funds;
  • Contribute to delivery of relevant academic courses, e.g. on the use of research methods and techniques;
  • Be involved in the assessment of enrolled students and interns knowledge and the supervision of their projects;
  • Take part in career development activities as appropriate;
  • Any other duties as requested commensurate with the grade and nature of the post.

Qualifications

Essential

  • PhD degree in a relevant area (e.g. Formal Verification, Model Checking and/or High-Performance Computing).

Desirable

  • Post Doctoral research expertise in relevant area

Experience, Skills and Knowledge

Essential

  • Experience in model checking, preferably statistical/stochastic model checking;
  • Evidence of strong programming skills and expertise in HPC environments;
  • Evidence of journal and/or conference publications;
  • Evidence of ability to analyse and evaluate research data and produce written reports;
  • Ability to manage own workload without supervision;
  • Ability to manage research and administrative workload to strict and often conflicting deadlines.

Desirable

  • Experience using probabilistic model checking tools (e.g. PRISM, MC2, MRMC, PLASMA, YMER, etc.);
  • Experience in parallel implementation of stochastic simulations;
  • Experience in computational modelling and simulation;
  • Relevant experience in a collaborative multipartner research environment;
  • Ability to generate collaborative educational or research projects for joint grant applications and publications.

Personal Attributes

  • Ability to work normally unsupervised and as part of a team;
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work with academic and industrial partners;
  • Highly motivated, enthusiastic, responsible and demonstrable ability to work to deadlines;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Job Specific Requirements

  • Travel to research partner sites, and conferences.

Values

  • Encouraging participation and openness;
  • Encouraging creativity and innovation;
  • Supporting academic freedom and respecting the right to express diverse points of view;
  • Providing equal opportunities for all staff and students to achieve their full potential;
  • Applying the best ethical standards in everything we do.

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© EuroJobsites 2019

EuroJobsites is a UK registered company number: 4694396 VAT number: GB 880 9055 04

Registered address: EuroJobsites Ltd, Unit 8, Kingsmill Business Park, Kingston Upon Thames, London, KT1 3GZ, United Kingdom

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