HomeThree postdoctoral research fellowships: Making Genomic Medicine

HomeThree postdoctoral research fellowships: Making Genomic Medicine

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Published on Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The University of Edinburgh seeks to appoint three postdoctoral Research Fellows to work in the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies subject group, on a four-year Wellcome Trust-funded project entitled "Making Genomic Medicine".


Under the leadership of Dr Steve Sturdy, the project will examine the historical development of three key areas of genetic and genomic science and practice that have converged to give rise to the current ferment of activity in the field of genomic medicine. The three strands of this research will be: 1. Making genomic risk; 2. The rise of rare diseases; 3. Genomicising drug discovery and development. Each Research Fellow will take responsibility for researching and authoring high-quality publications on one of the three strands of the project.

Job Details

  • Job title: Research Fellow - Making Genomic Medicine
  • School: School of Social and Political Science
  • Unit: Science, Technology and Innovation Studies
  • Line manager: Dr Steve Sturdy, Principal Investigator

Job Purpose

Three full-time postdoctoral Research Fellows are sought to work with Dr Steve Sturdy on a four-year Wellcome Trust funded project entitled "Making Genomic Medicine". This project will examine the historical development of three key areas of genetic and genomic science and practice that have converged, since the 1960s, to give rise to the current ferment of activity in the field of genomic medicine. The three strands of this research will be as follows:

1. Making genomic risk

This strand will investigate the development of ideas of genetic and genomic risk, from a concern primarily with Mendelian ratios and the provision of reproductive advice in the 1960s, to the emergence of genome wide association studies for the identification and evaluation of genetic risk factors for common complex disorders in the early 2000s. It will consider, inter alia, the links with other areas of public health risk factor research, debates over screening for genetic disorders, and the stratification of populations for insurance purposes and for targeting public health interventions including diagnostic and treatment services.

2. The rise of rare diseases

This strand will examine how rare genetic conditions moved from the margins of medical interest in the 1960s to occupying an increasingly prominent position in policy by the early 2000s, while at the same time common disorders increasingly came to be fragmented into a growing number of relatively rare genetically-defined conditions. It will look in particular at the impact of orphan drug legislation from the early 1980s, at the consequences of such legislation for pharmaceutical industry business models, and at the role of patient organisations in promoting research and treatment for rare diseases.

3. Genomicising drug discovery and development

This strand will investigate how genetic and genomic methods became incorporated into the work of drug discovery and development from the 1970s to the early 2000s, with particular emphasis on the impact of such methods on clinical research. It will locate such developments in relation to changes in the regulatory environment for pharmaceutical and diagnostic innovations, and to the rise in industry and policy interest in so-called “targeted” or “stratified” medicine.

Under Dr Sturdy’s leadership, and with guidance from an Expert Advisory Committee, each Research Fellow will take responsibility for researching and authoring high-quality publications on one of the three strands of the project, including organising and editing the results of a Witness Seminar in connection with that research strand. Research Fellows will be expected to exercise independent scholarly judgement and initiative in developing the content of their own research and publications, within the overall framework of the project. It is anticipated that there will be significant areas of overlap between the three strands of the project; consequently, the Research Fellows will also be expected to work as a team, sharing and integrating their data and, where appropriate, producing co-authored publications.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


  • A PhD in a relevant area of the history and/or sociology of biomedicine
  • Ability to author high quality publications
  • Efficiency in managing tasks and meeting deadlines
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently
  • Well developed library and internet research skills
  • Well developed skills in word processing, bibliographic database and other research-oriented information technologies
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills


  • Experience of organising academic conferences and workshops
  • Experience of research-related public and policy engagement and impact

Application Procedure

All applicants should apply via our Vacancy Website. The application process is quick and easy to follow, and you will receive email confirmation of safe receipt of your application.

In addition to completing the online application form, applicants should submit:

  • a full curriculum vitae, including the names of at least two academic referees;
  • a covering letter, indicating which of the three research strands you would be interested in investigating (you may specify more than one strand), why you are particularly well qualified to pursue that strand, and how you would propose to set about researching it.

The vacancy website may be down for periods of time on 27 June 2013 for maintenance.

This will not affect any un-submitted applications which have been partially completed and saved by applicants. Once the site is back on-line candidates will be able to complete and submit applications.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

You will be notified by email whether you have been shortlisted for interview or not.

The closing date is 5pm GMT on 23rd July 2013.

For further particulars, and information on how to apply, see


Informal enquiries may be directed to Dr Steve Sturdy, email S.Sturdy@ed.ac.uk (but please note he shall be out of email contact from 7 to 18 July).

Eligibility to Work

In accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 the University of Edinburgh, as an employer, has a legal responsibility to prevent illegal working and therefore must check that all employees are entitled to work in the United Kingdom (UK).

To do so, the University of Edinburgh requires to see original documents evidencing right to work in the UK before commencement of employment and this is normally carried out at interview. Details will be provided in any letter of invitation to interview.

For further information on eligibility to work please visit our eligibility to work website

If you are not currently eligible to work in the UK, it may be possible for the University of Edinburgh to sponsor you to obtain a Tier 2 (General) visa to enable you to take up the appointment should you be successful at interview.

For applicants interested in sponsorship information is available on our Working in the UK website

However, if you have previously been sponsored by an employer within the UK but your leave has expired or lapsed and you are no longer in the UK, according to UK Border Agency rules you cannot apply for sponsorship under any category of Tier 2 for a period of 12 months after the date your visa expired and/or you left the UK.

Conditions of Employment

This role is grade UE07 and therefore the post holder is automatically included in membership of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), subject to the USS membership criteria, unless they indicate that they choose not to join the Scheme.

For further information please visit our Pensions website.

The role is grade UE07 and attracts an annual salary of £30,424 to £36,298 for 35 hours each week. Salary is paid monthly by direct transfer to your Bank or Building Society account, normally on the 28th of the month. Salaries for part-time staff are calculated on the full-time scales, pro-rata to the Standard Working Week.

The University reserves the right to vary the candidate information or make no appointment at all. Neither in part, nor in whole does this information form part of any contract between the University and any individual.

These are full time, fixed term posts of 48 months available from 1 October 2013.


  • Edinburgh, Britain


  • Tuesday, July 23, 2013


  • genomic risk, rare disease, genetic, biomedecine


  • Steve Sturdy
    courriel : s [dot] sturdy [at] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Steve Sturdy
    courriel : s [dot] sturdy [at] ed [dot] ac [dot] uk


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Three postdoctoral research fellowships: Making Genomic Medicine », Scholarship, prize and job offer, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, https://calenda.org/254211

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