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Research Opportunity Description

Research Computational Biologist
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Ames, IA


Project Description:

A research computational biologist postdoctoral associate opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Swine Viral Diseases Pathogenesis and Immunology project in the Virus and Prion Research Unit (VPRU) of the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) in Ames, IA.   Scientists in this unit maintain a comprehensive IAV research program including investigation of virulence mechanisms, vaccinology, immunology, and virus evolution.

The selected applicant will be responsible for characterization of the genetic and antigenic evolution of influenza A viruses (IAV) in swine in support of a contract between USDA-ARS and NIH-NIAID.  Specific goals are to quantify antigenic evolution of IAV from swine and define the global relatedness of swine influenza viruses through computational analyses with IAV sequences in the context of contemporary and historical isolates for determination of phylogenetic relationships, lineages, interspecies transmission, epidemiologic patterns, and antigenic drift or shift.  The selected applicant will utilize database(s) for efficient management and analysis of swine IAV sequence data.


To be eligible, applicants must have received a doctorate degree with emphasis on the disciplines of bioinformatics and computational evolutionary biology within five years of the desired starting date.

The ideal candidate will be skilled in scripting language(s), sequence analysis, use of biologic databases and various bioinformatics tools, technical writing and peer-reviewed publications, public speaking, and possess good interpersonal skills to work in a team environment.  Additional knowledge of statistical inference methods, virology, molecular biology, and/or genetics is preferred.

Additional Information:

The appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed upon recommendation of the ARS and availability of funding. The year one annual stipend rate for this position is $65,009. A stipend supplement is included in this rate to cover the cost of an individual or family health insurance plan. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE. The rate also includes a travel allowance of $2,000 per year to reimburse travel-related expenses to scientific and professional development activities. Funding is not available for relocation expenses. The participant does not become an employee of the ARS or ORISE.

While participants will not enter into an employment relationship with ARS, this position requires a pre-employment check and a full background investigation.

This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) and foreign nationals.

This is an equal opportunity program open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

For additional information about the ARS Postdoctoral Research Program, please visit

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Please reference Project #ARS-VPRU-2014-0020-02 in your application and when calling or writing for information.