Senior Research Fellow in INFANT Metabolomic Biomarker Programme

Project: INFANT Metabolomic Biomarker Programme

The Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) is a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre hosted at Cork University Maternity Hospital, Ireland. INFANT focuses on fast-tracking discoveries to the bed-side and cot-side by serving as a hub for innovation. The creation of next generation devices to facilitate point-of-care and remote healthcare monitoring and diagnostics will transform pregnancy, neonatal healthcare and service delivery on a global level.

Prevention of perinatal complications and adverse outcomes will have health, economic and societal impact and will fundamentally change the delivery of perinatal care. The INFANT team is a diverse group of clinicians and scientists who are supported by selected industry partners, international collaborators and business and regulatory advisors. The Centre is funded by both national and international funding agencies, including EU, and INFANT Principal Investigators have a current research funding portfolio in excess of €40 million.

The Metabolomic Biomarker Discovery Programme is a key thematic research area in the INFANT Centre. This programme has led to several important discoveries including the development of a screening test for pre-eclampsia which is now undergoing phase IIa clinical trials ( An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Senior Research Fellow to join our team to drive this programme forward. Together with our industry partners, we are developing biomarkers and prototype algorithms for other adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes including pre-term birth. Supported by a dedicated team, including a mass spec technician, and with the opportunity to recruit new team members, the successful candidate will lead the development of this programme and will report directly to Professor Louise Kenny, INFANT Centre Director. INFANT houses extensive biorepositories including the SCOPE ( and BASEINE ( cohorts and which underpin the biomarker programme. In addition, INFANT houses state-of-the-art Mass Spectrometry facilities in a newly-constructed Mass Spectrometry Laboratory dedicated to the INFANT Biomarker Discovery Programme.

Post Duration: 4 years initially with the option to extend

Closing Date for Applications: 05 Jun 2015
Department: The Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT)
College: College of Medicine and Health
Contract Type: Fixed Term Whole-Time
Job Type: Research
Salary: €63,125 – €65,032 p.a.

 Role Summary

The highly prestigious and competitive Senior Research Fellow title would be awarded to individuals who have personally secured their own independent, external research funding, inclusive of salary, following an open, transparent and competitive selection process by the research funding body, or who have been appointed by the University following an open competition. The Senior Research Fellow would be completely independent with access to their own research infrastructure.

The Senior Research Fellow would have substantial experience in research and project management, a track record of high quality peer reviewed publications, and an excellent track record in obtaining research funding, including larger funds for research teams and infrastructure. Knowledge transfer and commercialisation experience should also be taken into consideration.

The Senior Research Fellow may also have some teaching and mentoring duties. Senior Research Fellows should be evaluated through a systematic and continuous professional development and appraisal system.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • The successful candidate will have full operational responsibility for and will and oversee the Metabolomic Biomarker Discovery Programme within INFANT.
  • Initially leading a team of four people, the post holder will focus on the development of biomarkers and algorithms to predict and stratify risk for pre-term birth.
  • The successful candidate will work with the Centre Director to develop a roadmap for expansion of this key thematic research area within the Centre into other clinical areas.
  • This will involve willingness to apply for external independent funding both as a Principal Investigator and in collaboration with colleagues through funding agencies such as H2020, SFI, EI, Wellcome Trust, Industry and other sources.
  • To have independently secured funding to conduct a research project as the Principal Investigator.
  • To manage and oversee research projects and to take responsibility for their overall success.
  • Will have full operational responsibility for a major project.
  • To supervise post graduate research students as supervisor or co-supervisor, as appropriate.
  • To take responsibility, either individually or in collaboration with others, for preparing bids for research funding.
  • To independently and proactively identify research projects to be carried out individually or by a team.
  • To act as the driver of research projects and outputs.
  • May contribute to teaching with the agreement of the Head of School/College.
  • Will raise significant R&D funds as a Principal Investigator and may be running an R&D activity.
  • The employee will be expected to carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post.

The list of duties detailed above is not intended to be exclusive or restrictive and may be adjusted dependent on the area of research.


  • A PhD qualification and extensive relevant research experience in Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, Chemometrics, Machine Learning, Computational Biology or a related discipline.
  • A first degree in a numerate subject (engineering, computer science, mathematics) with a strong practical background in computer/statistical programming (e.g. C, Python, Matlab, R, SAS, STATA) together with previous experience in multivariate data analysis and handling large biological/clinical data sets is essential.
  • A background in the following domains will be an asset for this post: biochemistry; pre-processing and analysis of metabolomic data; machine learning; feature selection algorithms; evolutionary computation and data visualization.
  • The successful applicant will have an international track record of high quality prestigious publications and be a self-motivated and confident person with demonstrable leadership skills or potential.
  • A track record of securing competitive funding and a willingness to compete for substantial research funding on an ongoing basis and driving a research agenda.
  • Experience of research student supervision
  • There is no formal teaching component to this post.
  • Experienced driver of research projects and outputs.
  • An international track record of high quality prestigious publications.
  • Should demonstrate scholarly excellence.
  • Should have a track record of securing competitive funding as a Principal Investigator and independently winning substantial research funding on an ongoing basis and driving a research agenda.
  • Demonstrable leadership skills.
  • Teaching experience with an academic environment.
  • Experience of research student supervision.
  • Track record of making contributions to professional bodies, national/international academic community, the University (as appropriate).
  • Significant experience in technology transfer (i.e. patents / licensing / spin offs) where relevant.

For Informal Enquiries on the post candidates should contact:

Name: Professor Louise Kenny

Title: Director, the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT)

Email Address:

Telephone: +353 (0)21 420 5023

How To Apply:

Please submit a short cover letter and C.V. using the reference ‘Senior Research Fellow Metabolomic Biomarker Programme’ to Amy Aherne, Email Address: ; Tel: +353 21 420 5023, on or before the closing date Friday 5th June 2015

Supplementary Information on the Department/Research Centre and the post is available at the following URL: