Postdoc position in Computational Genomics

50%-100%, Zurich, temporary

The Animal Genomics Group at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences investigates genomic variation within and between livestock populations. The group applies bioinformatics and statistical approaches to detect and characterize trait-associated sequence variation using whole-genome sequencing data in large cohorts of farm animals. We are recruiting for a motivated and talented Postdoc that is eager to contibute to a number of cutting-edge research projects within our young and international team.

Project background

We have a number of running projects on the genomic characterization of cattle and pig populations. Within these projects, we have collected a database of whole-genome sequencing variants that segregate in hundreds of individuals from several pig and cattle breeds. We already imputed sequence variant genotypes for tens of thousands of (partially) progeny-tested animals with excellent phenotypic records. This data will enable powerful association testing. Other ongoing projects include the development of graph-based reference genomes, the characterization of individual cattle genomes using long sequencing reads, and the de-novo assembly of mammalian genomes. Moreover, our group contributes to international endeavours that aim at characterizing genomic variation of cattle including the 1000 Bull Genomes Project and the EU H2020 project BovReg. Our group has access to ETH's high-performance computing cluster and molecular user labs with access to short- and long-read sequencing technologies.

Job description

We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly-motivated young researcher that is eager to contribute to ongoing cutting-edge research projects and develop and implement her/his own research ideas. The candidate is expected to contribute to the analysis of short- and long-read sequencing data from hundreds of animals representing different breeds of cattle and pig. The successful candidate will pursue their own research interests, contribute to collaborative projects and assist PhD students with their projects. The availability of long-read sequencing data also offers the opportunity to contribute to endeavors with regard to the de novo assembly of breed-specific reference genomes.

While we are primarily recruiting for a computational genomics-oriented scientist, candidates with a wet-lab background and some bioinformatics experience might also be considered if their future research interests align well with our group. Active participation in international conferences and scientific writing are very much supported. The position is available for 2 years with an anticipated start date of March 1st, 2020 (negotiable, extension beyond 2 years is possible). The position is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The successful candidate will join the Animal Genomics group led by Hubert Pausch.

Your profile

The successful candidate should have a strong research interest in statistical genomics, computational biology, animal genetics or animal breeding. Experience with a programming/scripting language (e.g., python, R) is required as well as proficiency in using high-performance computing clusters. Applicants should hold a PhD (or should be close to the completion of the PhD thesis) in genomics, computational biology, bioinformatics, genetics, agricultural sciences, animal sciences or disciplines related to the PhD position. Affinity to computational genomics, bioinformatics and statistics is required. The writing of scientific papers and participation in international conferences requires good knowledge of English.

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich Link icon


We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • A Cover/motivation letter (not longer than one page) that demonstrates a) your suitability for the offered position and b) provides information about the research questions you would like to address
  • A detailed Curriculum vitae including a publication list, complete academic record, and copies of Bachelor and Master degrees
  • Name and contact information of two references

Please note that we only accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

The deadline for applications is 20 December 2019.

Further information about the Animal Genomics group can be found on our website For questions about the position, please contact Hubert Pausch via email (no applications).

Your workplace