Postdoctoral Research Associate- Public Health

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Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Lowell
Department: Department of Public Health
Pay Grade: PD
Categories: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Public Health

General Summary of Position:

Dr. Natalia Palacios’ group at the Department of Public Health, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences at the University Massachusetts Lowell is seeking a Post-doctoral Research Associate to work on studies of the gut microbiome, metabolomics, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive decline. Experience in the analysis and interpretation of metagenomics sequencing data in the context of epidemiolocal research is required.  Experience analyzing untargeted metabolomics data is strongly preferred.

The principal role of the Post Doctoral Research Associate is to work on projects alongside the Principal Investigator. A critical feature of the role of the position will also be to a) analyze metagenomics data from studies focused Parkinson’s disease and the gut microbiome and b) analyze untargeted metabolomics data in relation to various neurological outcomes (cognitive decline, depression, etc.) and c) assist in writing the related manuscripts, present results at conferences d) develop and write research proposals and form collaborations to support future research.  There is opportunity for collaboration with our collaborators at University of Massachusetts and the Harvard School of Public Health.


  1. Working on Research Projects: Perform duties with and under the supervision of the Principal Investigator.
  • This role will specifically involve:

    - Analysis of metagenomics data from studies of human gut microbiome and Parkinson’s disease (metagenomics).

    - Analysis of untargeted metabolomics data

    - Writing of manuscripts and preparing presentations based on the results of data analysis.

    - Presentation of research results at professional meetings.

  • Ensuring all project-related activities are conducted on time and to the highest standard.
  • Prepare monthly status reports and deliverables in collaboration with the project’s staff and under the direction of the Principal Investigator.

Ensuring all deliverables are delivered on time and to the highest standard

2. Take a lead role in developing future research: The Post Doctoral Research Associate will be involved in identifying, applying and securing new research funding.  This will involve:

  • Developing research ideas, identifying relevant data sources and proposing suitable methodologies and data analysis techniques.
  • Identifying relevant funding agencies, and sourcing relevant calls for research
  • Where relevant, identifying potential collaborators.
  • Writing and submitting proposals to secure funding. 

All of the above activities will be done alongside and under the supervision of the Principal Investigator.

3. Undertake activities to develop your own research: The Post Doctoral Research Associate will be expected to dedicate time to their own research and writing activity. It is expected that these activities will also support the wider development of the Palacios group and be in accord with the mission of the Palacios group, department and University. Example activities include:

  • Writing briefs and research publications
  • Attending conferences and presenting results of research findings
  • Developing and engaging in discussions of future directions of research

Minimum Qualifications (Required):

  • Doctoral degree in computer science, bioinformatics, quantitative biology, biostatistics or related field by the time of the appointment
  • Experience with microbiome metagenomics data analysis required
  • Experience proficiency with Linux/Unix command line and research environments 
  • Working knowledge of R
  • Basic familiarity with scientific software management and cloud computing environments
  • Excellence in research, communication and collaboration skills, as evidenced by publication record
  • Prior experience with the analysis of gut microbiome metagenomics data in the context of human epidemiological research
  • Experience with collaborative interdisciplinary research
  • Ability to effectively communicate, both verbally and writing

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Only current UML Employees within the Grants & Contracts (MTA/GRACE) bargaining unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting. All other candidates will be considered after that period.

Initial review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. However, the position may close when an adequate number of qualified applications are received.   

This position is contingent upon funding.  The initial appointment will be for one year with a possibility of renewal based on productivity and performance and the availability of funding.

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application. Names and contact information of three references will be required during the application process.  

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.