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Assistant Project Scientist - Zhou Lab

Position overview

Salary range: The salary range for this position is $71,500 -$91,000 . “Off-scale salaries”, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions, qualifications, and experience.

Application Window

Open date: June 6, 2024

Most recent review date: Friday, Jun 21, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Friday, Sep 6, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description


Dr. Huaijun Zhou is looking to hire an Assistant Project Scientist

With supports from the USDA NIFA and FFAR, UC Davis is leading an effort on identifying causative genetic variants associated with economically important traits in farm animals by integrating “omic data” generated in Dr. Huaijun Zhou’s lab and collaborators’ laboratory worldwide and available in public database. Different bioinformatic and statistical methods need be utilized and developed in processing and analyze data. In addition, the project scientist will be involved in functional annotations of animal genomes supported by USDA. The Assistant Project Scientist will be responsible for coordinating data collection, data processing, bioinformatics pipeline, and statistical model development, data analysis, interpretation and manuscript writing within Dr. Zhou’s lab and among other collaborators’ laboratory at national and international level. The incumbent is expected to make significant and creative contributions to the research projects, and to possess the subject matter expertise and the creative energy necessary to function at a high level of competence. The appointee will participate in activities to increase, improve, or upgrade competency.
Appointees with Assistant Project Scientist titles may engage in University and public service. The appointee does not have teaching responsibilities. The Assistant Project Scientist is expected to work independently under the general guidance of Dr. Huaijun Zhou, and is not expected to develop an independent research program or reputation. He/she will carry out research with supervision by the Principal Investigator (Dr. Zhou). The Assistant Project Scientist does not usually serve as a Principal Investigator but may do so if needed.



Research activity (70%)
This position requires creative contributions to and collaborative development of an active research program investigating topics relevant to the research areas of epigenetic and epigenomic, bioinformatics and “omic” data integration in poultry and other livestock. The candidate will help to determine research goals in consultation with the Principal Investigator. He/she will design specific projects, including the selection of appropriate methods and techniques. The candidate will supervise graduate and undergraduate students, and postdoctoral researchers regarding the technical aspects of the research, including methods development, trouble-shooting problems, interpreting results and planning follow-up analysis.

Specifically, the Assistant Project Scientist will be responsible for supervising, and carrying out integrative “omic” data analysis. Genetic and epigenomic data will include ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, Hi-C, DNA methylation, whole genome sequencing, functional annotation of regulatory elements across tissues, human and farm GTEx data etc. Major responsibilities will include developing methodologies and bioinformatics pipeline and statistical modeling in processing, analysis and integrating results and writing peer-review manuscripts. The Project Scientist will also monitor data quality, supervise data entry and cleaning and data management, and reporting. The position requires continuous interaction with a team of researchers, and students and co-investigators of the USDA and FFAR programs, and the University of California Davis (UCD) and other partnering institutes.

Publication (10%)

The candidate will publish research results in peer-reviewed journals, books and other outlets either independently or in collaboration with the PI or other members of the research team.

Grant Acquisition (15%)
The candidate will prepare and assist in acquiring proposals for funding from federal and state agencies and other funding organizations. The candidate will prepare and assist in the preparation of reports as required by granting agencies. The candidate will interact with funding agencies and prepare modifications of budgets and other grant components as needed.


The candidate will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field and will serve as a reviewer of research proposals and scientific publications as appropriate. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups.

When appropriate, the candidate may coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings or educational functions.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• Ph.D. in animal breeding and genetics, or related field.
• 3+ years of postdoc experience in “omic” data analysis including but not limited to, long- and short-read whole genome sequences, bulk and single-cell RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, ChIP-Seq, and Hi-C.
• Excellent programming skills, with fluency in R, bash, and Python.
• 3+ years research experience on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems and building reproducible and scalable computational pipeline using tools such as Snakemake.
• Experience in comparative epigenomic analysis including farm animal species

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• At least 5 peer-reviewed publications in “omic” data analysis as a first author or senior author.
• In-depth knowledge in FAANG, Farm GTEx, and ENCODE analysis

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

• Communicates and collaborates well with lab members and colleagues in other labs and at other institutions.
• Experience supervising and training lab personnel in bioinformatics.
• Experience troubleshooting and optimizing methods for “omic” data integration.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, CA