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Research Assistant

Research Assistant

The Institute

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is an international biomedical research institute of excellence, based in Barcelona, Spain, with more than 400 scientists from 44 countries. The CRG shares principles of an interdisciplinary, motivated and creative scientific team that is supported by high-end and innovative technologies and a flexible and efficient administration.

In November 2013, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) received the 'HR Excellence in Research' logo from the European Commission. This is a recognition of the Institute's commitment to developing an HR Strategy for Researchers, designed to bring the practices and procedures in line with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers (Charter and Code).

Please, check out our Recruitment Policy

The role

We are looking to hire a research assistant to join the “Evolutionary Processes Modeling” group to work on a project analyzing cancer evolutionary dynamics using population genetics predictions and statistical modelling, together with computational analysis of cancer sequencing data.

About the lab

Cancer is a genetic disease, subject to population genetics forces like mutation, selection and stochasticity. Our lab has recently demonstrated that coding sequences of cancer tumors not only exhibit positively selected mutations that drive cancer (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-019-0572-y), but that there exist genes that the tumor cannot afford to lose to the mutational pressure (www.nature.com/articles/ng.3987). In addition to genes, we have also identified cancer driver loci in the non-coding part of the genome (www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-00100-x). Both coding and non-coding selection can act to promote cancer defense mechanisms against therapy, which can be unveiled through the analysis of time-sequence data of cell-free DNA and of patient survival data.

Our lab is particularly interested in how the evolution and survival of cancer cell populations relies on mutation influx and in the selection inference from allele frequency information. To this end, we develop mathematical and computational approaches to estimate mutation rates and selection. We use whole-exome sequencing and whole-genome data repositories to analyze selection on coding and non-coding sequences. In addition, we analyze cell-free DNA from tumors and their temporal evolution in response to therapy. Estimates of the strength of selection in cancer allow for a prioritization of genes and non-coding regions by their disease relevance, with the ultimate goal of promoting therapeutic advances.

The Evolutionary Processes Modeling lab was established in October 2018 and is part of the “Bioinformatics and Genomics” program at the CRG. Further information can be found at https://weghornlab.net/ and at www.crg.eu/en/programmes-groups/weghorn-lab.

Whom would we like to hire?

Professional experience

  • You are familiar with principles of population genetics and statistical analysis.
  • You have experience with computational analysis of sequencing and other biological datasets.

Education and training

  • You have a bachelor's degree or higher in population genetics, physics, statistics, genetics, bioinformatics, computer science or a related discipline.


  • You are fluent in English.


  • You have highly developed organization skills.
  • You have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

The Offer – Working Conditions

  • Contract duration: 6 months with the possibility to extend.
  • Estimated annual gross salary: Salary is commensurate with qualifications and consistent with our pay scales.
  • Target start date: 1 March 2020.

We provide a highly stimulating environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, and unique professional career development opportunities. To check out our training and development portfolio, please visit our website in the training section.

We offer and promote a diverse and inclusive environment and welcome applicants regardless of age, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion or sexual orientation.

The CRG is committed to reconcile a work and family life of its employees and is offering extended vacation periods and the possibility to benefit from flexible working hours.

Application Procedure
All applications must include:

  1. A motivation letter addressed to Dr. Donate Weghorn.
  2. A complete CV including contact details.
  3. Contact details of two referees.

All applications must be submitted online on the CRG Career site - https://recruitment.crg.eu/content/jobs/position/research-assistant

Selection Process

  • Pre-selection: The pre-selection process will be based on qualifications and expertise reflected in the candidates' CVs. It will be merit-based.
  • Interview: Preselected candidates will be interviewed by the Hiring Manager of the position.
  • Offer Letter: Once the successful candidate is identified the Human Resources department will send a Job Offer, specifying the start day, salary, working conditions, among other important details.

Deadline: Please submit your application by 25 February 2020.

Financial support of Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI), Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades (MCIU); reference number PGC2018‐100941‐A‐I00.