Postdoctoral Research Associate / Fellow

University of Exeter

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This new full-time post is available from the 1st of October 2023 until the 31st of August 2026 on a fixed term basis.

The post

The Centre for Ecology and Conservation wishes to recruit a Postdoctoral Research Associate / Research Fellow to participate in a Human Frontiers Science Program funded research project to investigate the association between olfactory immune modulation and anthropophilic preferences in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and its consequence for the epidemiology of arboviral diseases, such as dengue and Zika.

The successful applicant will be supporting the development of an evolutionary modelling framework to investigate the implications for odour-associated mosquito traits on arboviral disease emergence. Using a variety of modelling approaches, from ODE to spatially-explicit agent-based, the aim of this project will be to elucidate the ecological conditions that have selected mosquito traits, which underlie their preference for human blood whilst simultaneously affecting mosquito fitness and their susceptibility to and transmissibility of arboviruses. Besides supporting in model development, parameterisation and evolutionary inference, the successful candidate will work close collaboration with empirical scientists and project partners based in India, Brazil and Canada.

About you

For the PDRA:

The successful applicant will be able to present information on research progress and outcomes, communicate complex information, orally, in writing and electronically and prepare proposals and applications to external bodies.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD (or be nearing completion) or possess an equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study and be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge in the discipline and of research methods and techniques to work within established research programmes. Applicants will be able to work independently and have expertise in scientific programming and data analysis.

For the PDRF:

The successful applicant will be able to develop research objectives, projects and proposals; identify sources of research funding and contribute to the process of securing funds and make presentations at conferences and other events.

Applicants will possess a relevant PhD or equivalent qualification/experience in a related field of study. The successful applicant will have a recognised track-record in mathematical modelling and/or infectious disease epidemiology and possess sufficient specialist knowledge in the discipline to develop research programmes and methodologies. The successful applicant will also be able to work collaboratively, supervise the work of others and act as team leader as required. Applicants will be able to develop and simulate mathematical models independently using open source programming languages, such as Python and R; understand evolutionary and epidemiological principles; analyse and interpret biological data from a variety of sources, including spatio-temporal ecological data and in vitro experimental data on antiviral immunity and vector competence; fit models to empirical data using sophisticated statistical inference methods.

Please ensure you read the Job Description and Person Specification for full details of this role by clicking on the attachment.

What we can offer you

  • Freedom (and the support) to pursue your intellectual interests and to work creatively across disciplines to produce internationally exciting research;
  • Support teams that understand the University wide research and teaching goals and partner with our academics accordingly
  • An Innovation, Impact and Business directorate that works closely with our academics providing specialist support for external engagement and development
  • Our Exeter Academic initiative supporting high performing academics to achieve their potential and develop their career
  • A beautiful campus set in the heart of stunning Cornwall.

The University of Exeter

We are a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities and in the top 150 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 and the 2022 Academic Ranking of World Universities released by Shanghai Rankings).  

Our research income in recent years means we’re the fastest growing UK Research University with some of the world’s most influential scientists, and we seek to answer some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today. More than 99% of our research is of international quality and our world-leading research impact is growing faster than any other Russell Group university (2021 Research Excellence Framework). We are using the power of our education and research to create a sustainable, healthy and socially just future.  Our shared purpose and vision continually moves us forward to make a difference to our people, our communities, our partners and the world around us.  Read about our world leading research on Green Futures and how we are transforming education for a changing world. We are located in a beautiful part of the country and Exeter (a fast growing tech hub) is one of only a few UK cities to have been designated as a UNESCO City of Literature

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented within our working community. Reasonable adjustments are available for interviews and workplaces.

With over 30,000 students and 7,000 staff from 150 different countries we offer a diverse and engaging environment where our diversity is celebrated and valued as a major strength. We are committed to creating an inclusive culture where all members of our community are supported to thrive; where diverse voices are heard through our engagement with evidence-based charter frameworks for gender (Athena SWAN and Project Juno for Physics), race equality (Race Equality Charter Mark), LGBTQ+ inclusion (Stonewall Diversity Champion) and as a Disability Confident employer.

For further information please contact Dr Mario Recker, e-mail [email protected] or telephone (01326) 259329.

The closing date for completed applications is 30 August 2023. Interviews are expected to take place in early-mid September 2023.

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