Postdoctoral Fellow – Biology job – WVU Research Corporation – Morgantown, WV


This position supports the Barrett Lab by leading studies in plant evolutionary genomics. Potential areas of research include: organellar and nuclear phylogenomics and gene expression in mycoheterotrophic plants (orchids in particular); phylogenomics and population
genomics of monocot angiosperms (focus on orders Arecales, Poales); genome size evolution and content in palms (Arecales); and plant-microbial interactions.

The incumbent serves as a resource contact relative to the research project. Depth skills, knowledge, and interpretive abilities, as well as some creativity, are required to successfully perform duties. Independently uses professional concepts and organizational
policies to solve a wide range of moderate to complex problems in imaginative and practical ways. Work effort often addresses non-routine matters within established protocol, guidelines, and/or policies. Work effort has significant impact on client services
and operations, producing moderate to major organizational, legal and financial results and/or liabilities. Position duties require oversight of projects.

Duties & Responsibilities

Responsibilities are functional in nature, and performed under limited supervision. Specific tasks include, but are not limited to:

1) Work closely with Principal Investigator (PI) on various field, lab, and bioinformatics projects related to monocot angiosperm evolution.

2) Attend research conferences and read scientific literature to keep abreast of technological advances and current research findings.

3) Identify and assist with acquisition of funding from public, private, and governmental sources.

a. Assist with development of novel research proposals for sponsor submission.

b. Write proposals, papers, and abstracts to attract research funds.

4) Search scientific literature to select and modify methods and procedures most appropriate for research goals.

5) Perform laboratory and field experiment activities according to protocol.

a. Independent experimental data analysis.

b. Maintain detailed logs of work related activities, including accurate laboratory records and data on research methods, procedures, and results.

6) Oversee research facilities and personnel

a. Assure compliance with research protocols and safety requirements.

b. Oversee and direct undergraduate and graduate researchers in the completion of experiments.

c. Maintain lab equipment; keep accurate inventory of lab assets; monitor and assure proper use and conditions of lab equipment.

7) Write and present research/study status reports for review and use of the Principal Investigator.

8) Prepare results of experimental findings for presentation to colleagues and the sponsor; at professional/technical conferences; and/or, for publication in scientific journals, as directed.

Supervisory/Lead Role

This position reports to the Principal Investigator. It normally receives no instructions on routine work, but will receive instructions/advice when starting a new project or when a difficulty arises in the current project. Typically determines methods or procedures
and consults with the supervisor on new assignments. General sharing of knowledge and team participation is expected in the role. Guidance or supervision of others may be required.

Physical Demands

Requires physical abilities to perform laboratory research, including manual dexterity and abilities to see, hear, walk, talk, and feel. Individual is required to lift and carry items of 25 lbs or less or transport such items by cart. Walking and stair climbing
occur on a daily basis.

Work Environment

Work will be performed in a standard laboratory environment, using computers and laboratory equipment with electrical connections. The incumbent must comply with all laboratory safety procedures and clothing/equipment requirements. There will be exposure to
laboratory chemicals, electrical supplies, but protective measures will be provided.

The following items have been determined as possible job exposures of this position requiring WVU EHS medical monitoring:

1) Contacting Hazardous Chemicals- daily or weekly, using strong acids or caustics, fuel or tar products or cancer-causing chemicals

Requisite Qualifications

Education and/or Experience

1) PhD in Biology

2) Experience in plant evolutionary genomics and bioinformatics

Skills, Knowledge, Abilities

1) Laboratory skills including DNA/RNA extraction, quantification, polymerase chain reaction and cleanup, DNA sequencing and analysis of both Sanger and high-throughput data (e.g. Illumina).

2) Skilled in bioinformatics; proficiency in at least one computer scripting language (e.g. R, Perl, Python, UNIX).

3) Experience with genome-scale data analysis, including sequencing, assembly, annotation, and downstream comparative analysis.

4) Significant experience in molecular phylogenetic analysis, including dataset compilation, data mining from public sequence databases, DNA alignment, tree-building, and interpretation.

5) Experience in plant morphology, anatomy, physiology, or ontology.

6) Skilled at using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

7) Skilled at identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

8) The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

9) Ability to document and present the results of research.

10) Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format as well as use original or innovative techniques or style due to the nature of the scientific content of the material being presented.

11) Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to technical and non-technical audiences

12) Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems.

13) Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, etc.).

14) Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.

15) Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form.

16) Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.

17) Ability to meet deadlines, as well as prepare, present and report results effectively.

18) Ability to collaborate effectively with a multidisciplinary team of co-investigators from diverse disciplines, orientations, and organizations.

19) Ability to do strategic planning for program development.

Behavioral Competencies

1) Technical skills – Strives to continuously build knowledge and skills; pursues training and development opportunities; assess strengths, weaknesses, and shares expertise with others.

2) Problem solving – Gathers and analyzes information, identifies problems, develops alternatives, uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics and works well in groups and resolves matters timely.

3) Interpersonal Interactions in the Workplace – Manages difficult or emotional matters with objectivity and openness; responds promptly to needs and requests for service and assistance; meets commitments and dates, notifies others if change occurs; provides,
solicits and applies feedback; and builds goodwill through balanced contributions, positive approach, respect and support of others.

4) Communications – Demonstrates group presentation skills, participates in meetings, listens and gets clarification, is responsive and speaks clearly and persuasively in positive and negative situations. Writes and edits clearly and informatively, varies style
to meet needs, presents numerical data effectively, and able to read and interpret written information.

5) Organizational Support – Aligns work and develops strategies to meet organizational goals; seeks to improve and promote quality; demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; and upholds organizational expectations and values.

6) Self-Management – Responds to management direction; resourcefully adapts to changes in work environment and circumstances; responds well under pressure and manages competing demands; takes calculated risks, asks for and offers help when needed; exercise
discretion and sound judgment; is tactful and responsible for own actions. Adheres to work schedule and complies with leave management responsibilities.

About secureteam

A Computer Programmer whose articles got mentions from the likes of The New York Times, Kissmetrics and AllTopStories. He writes articles, novels and poems; spends most of his time reading everything he could get his hands on. He is currently pursuing his Masters from The University of Illinois and holds a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from the University of California. He is a programmer, a motivational writer and speaker.

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