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Postdoctoral Research Fellow

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Please see Special Instructions for more details.

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number F272Az at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

Position Information

Position Information

Department Provost
Alternate Department Description

Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

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Restricted Position?
Job Category Research Faculty
Role (State) Job Title Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Working Title Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Job Type Full-Time
Position Number F272Az
Recruit Number Faculty - 7294
Working Hours
Location Front Royal, VA
Other Location
Pay Band
Salary $48,000
Web Announcement

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

The Smithsonian Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position for a (12-month appointment, renewable up to 3 years) The position will be based at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, VA. George Mason University has a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of excellence and diversity among its faculty and staff, and strongly encourages candidates to apply who will enrich Mason’s academic and culturally inclusive environment.

SMSC is a pioneering collaboration between George Mason University (Mason) and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) that addresses the emerging imperative to provide hands-on, integrated, skills-based learning experiences for students interested in environmental conservation. SMSC and its programs capitalize on the significant strengths of both institutions. Mason is known for its leadership in transdisciplinary educational innovation and brings a portfolio of academic excellence and respected faculty in focal areas crucial to a world-class conservation training program. SCBI plays a leading role in the Smithsonian Institution’s global efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists. SMSC reflects the broad recognition that threats to biodiversity are dramatically increasing and an urgent need exists to develop a critical mass of dedicated individuals trained in all areas of conservation biology and research to address them.

The successful candidate will contribute to ongoing cutting-edge research on the conservation genomics of the critically endangered African antelopes. The research will include assembly and annotation of the genomes, generation of whole genome sequences from additional individuals, and analyses related to patterns of genome-wide diversity, inference of historical demography, and comparative analyses of closely related species. The position involves focused research on developing novel approaches to establishing self-sustaining populations of endangered ungulates ex situ, developing genomic tools for managing small populations, and creating and facilitating networks of people across sectors taking action for conservation. The incumbent will have office space, access to SI’s Hydra computing cluster, and a post-doctoral level salary supplemented by excellent state employee benefits.


  • De novo assembly, annotation of genomes, and analysis of transcriptomics data;
  • Quality filtering and mapping of reads from low coverage whole genome sequences of additional individuals for SNV and SNP calling;
  • Analyses of patterns of genome-wide diversity (e.g., heterozygosity, runs of homozygosity, genetic structure); inference of demographic history;
  • Comparative genomic analyses of closely related species;
  • Carry out laboratory work to generate additional data through low coverage whole genome sequencing, exome sequencing or species-specific SNP arrays; and
  • Preparation of research manuscripts and presentation to disseminate research results through peer-reviewed scientific journals, conferences and public outreach events.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a relevant field (genetics, bioinformatics, computational biology);
  • A strong background in bioinformatics and good programming skills (Python, Perl, and/or R);
  • Experience with managing and integrating genomic-scale data sets;
  • Experience with DNA and RNA isolation, genomic library preparation and next generation sequencing (e.g., Illumina MiSeq or HiSeq);
  • Ability to develop new tools or metrics to integrate genomic data into population models;
  • Ability to work well as part of a collaborative team of diverse scientists from fields such as conservation biology, reproductive biology, cryobiology, and genomics; and
  • Good communication skills, written and verbal, both to facilitate effective communications with other team members and to communicate with external collaborators and the public.

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration, applicants must apply for position number F272Az at; complete and submit the online application; and upload a cover letter, resume, and a list of three professional references with contact information.

For Full Consideration, Apply by: April 1, 2018
Posting Date 03/01/2018
Job Close Date
Open Until Filled? Yes
Telework Friendly? No
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Equity Statement

George Mason University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, committed to promoting inclusion and equity in its community. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

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Supplemental Questions

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Required Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. List of Professional References
Optional Documents