The laboratory is located in beautiful La Jolla, California. We are part of the Scripps Research Institute at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, as well as the Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology. We are also affiliated with the Scripps Translational Science Institute, The Center for Viral Systems Biology, The Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, The Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium, and The Global Virus Network.
Partners & Funding
Postdoc – Computational Biology:
We are looking for a computational postdoc to lead new projects developing and using data mining, machine learning and Bayesian phylodynamic approaches to investigate the spread and evolution of emerging viruses, including Lassa and Ebola. This position is part of a larger initiate with the recently established Center for Viral Systems Biology.
- Ph.D. in computational biology, computer science, mathematics, physics, or equivalent.
- Programming skills in two or more languages (C++/Java/Python/R/MATLAB).
- Experience with data mining and machine learning is highly desired.
- Data visualization in Python/R/d3js is a plus.
- Experience with HPC preferred.
- Deep knowledge of Bayesian statistics, in particular Bayesian phylogenetics is a big plus.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with and mentor junior scientists and students.
Interested candidates should submit their CV with links to code repositories (Github/Bitbucket) or online demos and cover letter to [email protected]. Please have at least three referees email their references directly to [email protected]. Read more here.
Do you take graduate students?
Only in exceptional circumstances can we consider graduate students on an individual basis. TSRI has a graduate school and offers highly competitive (paid) graduate positions. Interested students should apply directly via this program – read more about the program on the website. Please note that we are currently not anticipating taking any new graduate students in the lab.
Do I need publications to be successful for a postdoc position?
Not necessarily, however, it is very hard to judge research productivity without publications (that’s not to say it’s easy to judge with publications either!). We honestly couldn’t care less which journal your research is in, but it is important to show that you have successfully driven productive projects from the initiation stage to the finish line. In line with this, we’re unfortunately unable to judge publications ‘in preparation’ or ‘under review’ – if you want us to take these under consideration, then make sure they’re on the bioRxiv (or similar) and link to them. If you have very few or no first-author publications, then please explain why that is the case in your email / cover letter (we understand science is unpredictable and sometimes things don’t work out).
Do you sponsor visas?
Yes, we are able to consider candidates requiring a visa.
Do you sponsor green cards?
Unfortunately we do not. You would have to apply for an EB-1A and self petition.
Do you consider international candidates?
We do. However, since an interview is required for candidates that are being considered, it unfortunately makes it complicated for us to consider candidates that are very far away – we just don’t have the funds to sponsor travel for long trips. If you currently reside far away from the U.S. (e.g., Asia, Oceania, parts of Africa and Europe), please mention in your cover letter/email if you have access to travel funds and/or if you have other interviews scheduled in the U.S.
Am I required to get/have my own fellowship?
This is not required, however, it is always expected that candidates apply for fellowships. Successfully applying for independent funding is also going to be tremendously helpful for your future career prospects.
What are you mostly looking for in a candidate?
Brilliance and humor combined with an unquenching thirst for great science! Plus you gotta work well as part of a team.
I applied – what’s next?
Please have your referees email their references directly. We get many applications, so we are unfortunately unable to get back to everybody who apply. If you haven’t heard back from us within a week, but you think you’re a great fit, please email us again since things sometimes get lost in the ether. If we like you as a candidate and you have great references, then we’ll set up a conference call where we can chat more and you can ask all to questions you might have. After that, we have candidates come to La Jolla to check out the lab and to present their current and future work.
Do I really have to have my referees email you at this point?
Preferably. It shows you’re committed and really want to do this – we typically get 5-10 applications a week so it’s important to show that you really want to be part of our group. We of course understand that under certain circumstances it may not be convenient or possible for you to get your references – if that is the case, please explain it in your email/cover letter.
How long will my postdoc take?
Typically 3-5 years. However, this all depends on your future career choices and how productive you are. If you want to go for a tenure-track faculty position, then usually your postdoc will be longer than if you aim for industry or staff scientist positions. The reason for this is that for you to be competitive for a faculty position, you will need to show independence with a well laid out future research program in mind. For most people that takes a lot of time. Applying for faculty positions is also a very long process – typically 6-9 months.
Any tips on writing a strong cover letter for a postdoc position?
Be concise and accurate. In a sentence, why are you so awesome? And your research? Why do you fit so well into our lab? Learn about what we do and what our needs are. Also, if you incorporate a reference to the number 42 (and you understand why…) then we know that (a) you took the time to read this FAQ and the website, and (b) you’re clearly a nerd – that’s a promising start.
Is it fun to be part of the Andersen Lab?
Of course! Great colleagues, important and exciting science. Plus San Diego is awesome for science, biotech, beer, and outdoor fun.