University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Associate in Computer Simulations and Statistical Mechanics of Genome Organization x 2 (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for two postdoctoral positions to develop computational approaches to study (1) the phenomena of liquid-liquid phase separation of heterogenous mixtures of nucleic acids and proteins occurring inside the Cell nucleus and (2) the organization of chromatin with subnucleosome resolution inside megabase scale domains.

The roles are funded by an ERC Starting Grant to R. Collepardo. The posts are available for a fixed-term period of 2 years starting on 1 April 2019 (or mutually agreed date shortly after), with possible extension for a third year. The positions allow considerable flexibility in research topics within the main theme of the grant: determining unknown molecular mechanisms of nucleosome organization inside in-vivo like epigenetic domains, including the formation of membrane-less liquid drop compartments. Reading the genome is one thing ¿ finding out how it functions, is something else altogether. The next big challenge to understand gene behaviour is deciphering (a) how the genome is organized in space and (b) how this organization influences its function. Research at the Collepardo group focuses on developing new computer simulation approaches, exploiting principles from physics, chemistry, computer science, and biology, to unravel the molecular mechanism that explain the connection between genome characteristics, organization and function (JACS, 2015 137:10205, PNAS 2014, 111:8061).

The successful candidates will join the research group of Dr. Rosana Collepardo ( based at the Maxwell Centre, Cavendish laboratory. The project is in collaboration with Professor Daan Frenkel at the Department of Chemistry and Professor Ernest Laue at the Department of Biochemistry.

The successful candidate will have strong experience in molecular modelling and simulations and statistical mechanics and will hold a PhD/DPhil in physics, chemistry, quantitative biology, applied mathematics, or a closely related field, with a strong interest in biological systems.

The proposed research project will be particularly suitable for candidates who have experience in developing coarse-grained models, polymer models, and/or in developing and applying Molecular Dynamics and/or Monte Carlo simulations to biomolecular systems or condensed matter systems. Experience in chromatin structure is a plus.

The role holder responsibilities will include carrying out their research in computer simulations and statistical mechanics of genome organization. Related tasks will include collaborating in the preparation of reports and journal articles, presenting papers at conferences and workshops, representing the group at meetings and seminars, and supervision of graduate students.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 24 months in the first instance.

Successful candidates who have not been awarded their PhD by the appointment date will be appointed as a Research Assistant at Grade 5 (£26,243 - £30,395. per annum). Upon award of the PhD the individual will be promoted to Research Associate, Grade 7 (£32,236 - £39,609 per annum).

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries can be addressed via email to Dr. Rosana Collepardo at Please quote reference KA17321 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online