Senior Research Fellow of Evolutionary and Population Genomics: Estonia

University of Tartu is seeking an experienced and highly motivated researcher in evolutionary genetics, population genetics, computational genetics and genomics or related fields to join an interdisciplinary research group formed through the ERA Chair project Center for Genomics, Evolution and Medicine (cGEM) at the University of Tartu, Estonia. This group, led by cGEM ERA Chair Dr Anders Eriksson, was recently formed with the goal to bridge the fields of bioinformatics, evolutionary biology and genomic medicine. These fields have each undergone explosive growth thanks to recent theoretical and technological advances, but there is a lag in interdisciplinary research, which also contributes to the difficulties in translating basic research results into clinical practice and viable science-based business ideas. The main task of the research group is to, under the supervision of the ERA Chair, unlock and promote synergy both in terms of advancing basic science and technology, and delivering research results that cross the boundaries of established research directions, thereby creating a new frontier of science at the host institution. To this end, the research in the cGEM ERA Chair group will be focussed on combining tools and data from different disciplines to gain insights into the genetic variation, regulatory mechanisms for gene expression and gene-environment interactions responsible for variation in complex human traits and susceptibility to disease within and between and populations, and translating these insights into clinical practise and collaboration with industry.

The cGEM ERA Chair group offers unique opportunities for this research as it is tightly integrated with the Institutes of Genomics (IG) and Clinical Medicine (ICM) at the University of Tartu, with a vibrant and internationally recognised research community and unique resources such as the Estonian national biobank containing 200,000 samples with matching genetic, physiological and health information, a global biobank of over 25,000 human DNA samples from hundreds of populations, as well as modern facilities and equipment, including High Performance Computing cluster (, high-throughput sequencing, ancient DNA facilities, and processing of sample tissue, blood and cell cultures. In addition, the secured funding allows to hire one Junior Research Fellow and one PhD student working under the supervision of the successful applicant.

The main responsibilities of the post hold will be to carry out research and development in evolutionary genetics, population genetics, computational genetics and genomics or related fields; to work with the other members of the groups to unlock synergy between large scale population-based biobank, computational genomics, population and medical genetics in genomics guided evolutionary medicine; and to supervise Junior Research Fellows and PhD students in the group. The post holder will also have an essential role together with the cGEM group leader, PI and the Project Management Board in the selection process during recruitment of Junior Research Fellows and PhD students.

Main tasks of this position are:

  • Research, development and creative (RDC) activities in evolutionary genetics, population genetics, computational genetics and genomics or related fields, at least 70% of working time.
  • High-level RDC activities, including directing RDC activities in the research theme, taking care that necessary resources are available for it, and taking responsibility for the performance of RDC activities.
  • Internationally recognised research in five years at least in the volume equivalent to that of two doctoral theses
  • Supervision of academic staff members involved in RDC activities.
  • Participation in the research-organisational activities of international dimension.
  • Development of skills necessary for RDC activities, and professional development.
  • Teaching and activities related to the administration and development of teaching, up to 20% of working time.
  • Teaching, using modern teaching methods and educational technology; primarily supervision of students, incl. doctoral students.
  • Professional development to enhance teaching and supervising skills.
  • Activities related to the governance and institutional development of the university, at least 5% of working time.
  • Social and public activities, at least 5% of working time.

Required qualifications

  • PhD or an equivalent qualification in a relevant subject, postdoctoral training. See also requirements for teaching and research staff.

Required experience
Essential skills and experience

  • Nationally/Internationally-recognised knowledge and emerging reputation in Genetics/Genomics
  • Proven ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Track record of producing publications of outstanding quality
  • Track record of contributions to national/international research conferences
  • Track record in supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Capacity to engage, mentor and motivate colleagues

Desirable skills and experience

  • Track record of industry collaboration
  • Track record of obtaining funded research projects
  • Recognised teaching ability
  • Experience in team or project management

Required language skills
Excellent command of English for professional communication and research.

Additional info
Please do not hesitate contacting:

Dr. Anders Eriksson, cGEM ERA Chair, group leader genomics guided evolutionary medicine,
Dr. Mait Metspalu, Institute of genomics, director, PI of the project,
Dr. Andres Salumets, Institute of clinical medicine, WP leader,
Dr. Tõnu Esko, Institute of genomics, head of Estonian Genome Center,
Ms. Merit Kreitsberg, project manager,
Ms. Merilin Raud, assistant,

For the full description of the ERA Chair project and roles of the ERA Chair team members, please contact the contact persons listed above. Here we give a concise summary of the mission, expected impact and tasks of the cGEM ERA Chair project.

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