Research scientist position in statistical genomics

Research scientist position in statistical genomics

Published Deadline Location
20 Dec 17 Feb Nijmegen

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Job description

This 3-year Postdoctoral Research Scientist Position is embedded within the EU-funded project “Risk and Resilience in Developmental Diversity and Mental Health” (HORIZON-HLTH-21, R2D2 consortium). R2D2 adopts a new approach to improve the well-being of individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions (NDCs), especially autism, by studying both risk for and resilience towards mental health problems.

Research at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Psycholinguistics, as part of R2D2, will focus on modelling the genomic influences underlying human behaviour, especially social behaviour. Analyses will include information from population-based cohorts (e.g. the EAGLE consortium) and clinical collections (e.g. samples from the Simons Foundation) to broaden the understanding of the dimensional nature of NDCs. Methods will include a wide range of structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques applied in the 'Genomics' field, including lavaan and genomicSEM.

The successful applicant will work closely with Beate St Pourcain as part of the population genetics of human communication group at the MPI for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.


Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics


The successful applicant will hold, or shortly expects to obtain, a PhD qualification in Statistical Genomics, Genetic Epidemiology, Medical Statistics, Biostatistics, Bioinformatics or a related quantitative discipline involving the interrogation of 'omics' datasets. A strong computational background with knowledge of shell, R, Python, Perl or another programming language is required, and familiarity with structural equation modelling software (e.g. lavaan) or twin modelling approaches (e.g. OpenMx). Knowledge of one or more of the following data-analytical approaches is an advantage:

  • 'Genomics' methods to analyse the genetic architecture of human phenotypes
  • Integration of biological information from a wide range of (publicly available) data resources

Familiarity with the genetic architecture of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a further advantage.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 jaar.

  • Full-time position (39 hours per week) with a term of appointment of 3 years. The proposed starting date is 1 March 2024, though the start date is negotiable.
  • The salary is determined according to the German TVöD (Tarifvertrag für den öffentlichen Dienst) and is classified in salary group/level E13.3 (early career Postdoc). The current gross monthly salary (until February 2024) is EUR 4,911.44, plus a holiday bonus of 8% of the gross salary (EUR 63,652.26 gross per year, including holiday bonus). For the salary table from 1 March 2024, please click the link (gross amounts excluding the 8% holiday bonus).
  • Integration into one of the leading international consortia on mental health research (R2D2)
  • Access to state-of-the-art research and training facilities and a generous conference and travel budget
  • 30 days annual leave (based on full-time employment) as well as German and Dutch public holidays.
  • A nice team


The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is a world-leading research institute devoted to interdisciplinary studies of the science of language and communication, including departments on genetics, psychology, development, neurobiology and multimodality of these fundamental human abilities.
We investigate how children and adults acquire their language(s), how speaking and listening happen in real-time, how the brain processes language, how the human genome contributes to building a language-ready brain, how multiple modalities (as in speech, gesture and sign) shape language and its use in diverse languages and how language is related to cognition and culture, and shaped by evolution.
We are part of the Max Planck Society, an independent non-governmental association of German-funded research institutes dedicated to fundamental research in the natural sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunities employer. We recognise the positive value of diversity and inclusion, promote equity and challenge discrimination. We aim to provide a working environment with room for differences, where everyone feels a sense of belonging. Therefore, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified candidates.

Our institute is situated on the campus of Radboud University and has close collaborative links with the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour and the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University. We also work closely with other child development researchers as part of the Baby & Child Research Center.
Staff and students at the MPI have access to state-of-the-art research and training facilities.


The population genetics of human communication group is led by Dr Beate St Pourcain and embedded within the Language & Genetics Department at the MPI. Research within the group focuses on (i) studying the genetic basis of social communication, language and interaction in population-based and clinical cohorts and (ii) developing statistical modelling approaches.


  • Postdoc
  • Behaviour and society; Health
  • PA MAX 20232012


Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

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Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD, Nijmegen

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