Available Positions

Honours undergrad research students, and graduate students interested in any of our projects should contact Fiona Brinkman directly at brinkman@sfu.ca.

For other positions listed below, see the instructions associated with each position. See also further information below for applicants.

The Brinkman lab is committed to providing a positive research/working environment supporting growth and flexibility. Simon Fraser is located in a beautiful conservation area in metro Vancouver with access to a wide range of recreational opportunities. Contact us to learn more.

Postdoctoral positions (applications invited starting August 28th, 2019)

Associated with the new Omics Data Science Initiative at Simon Fraser University, and significant new funding recently obtained, we are looking to fill multiple postdoctoral positions associated with our international IRIDA.ca and GenEpiO.org consortiums, and the National CHILD Study / CHILDdb.ca project, in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, Sick Kids Hospital, and universities across 7 provinces.

Please quote the job code below in the subject line of any email you send regarding a position. For more customized potential projects based on the larger range of research projects we have, you may quote the more general ODSI-2019PD.

“BRI-2019ARETE1” - The Genome Canada ARETE project, co-led by Fiona Brinkman, with researchers across Canada, is using rich microbial genomics and metagenomics datasets from the Public Health Agency of Canada, combined with improved prediction of gene mobility, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes, to better track AMR transmission between key habitats of clinical and agricultural interest. See ARETE-AMR.ca. More specifically, this position would involve improving analyses of mobile sequences (particularly genomic islands) and analyzing AMR mobility in select microbial datasets (Salmonella, Enterococcus, Pseudomonas, or Burkholderia spp.) where we have a mix of environmental, animal and/or clinical samples, their antimicrobial susceptibility profile, and other data about the isolates (location of isolation, virulence phenotypes). This position would include potential opportunities to gain leadership experience with the international IRIDA consortium project and contribute to IRIDA.ca development, which is the primary tool now used by the Public Health Agency of Canada (and select international groups) for infectious disease outbreak investigations using microbial genomic data.

“BRI-2019CHILD1” - CIHR/European Commission/Genome Canada CHILD Study and CINECA projects, led by Fiona Brinkman with National CHILD Study researchers, and researchers in the Europe and Africa, are aiming to harmonize components of microbiome and genome data and metadata in birth cohorts - linking microbiome data better to environmental exposure variables and health outcomes related to allergic disease. See CHILDdb.ca for more information about the CHILD study, the largest richly phenotyped birth cohort in Canada. See also the overview description of the larger CINECA project which aims to integrate CHILD with other cohorts in Europe and Africa. This project is suitable for a researcher with strong leadership and organizational skills, and either microbiome analysis or ontology development experience, who is interested in enabling analyses of very diverse birth cohort data, in collaboration with a team of database developers, and specifically leading select, targeted analyses of the data.

Qualified applicants will have a Ph.D. in a relevant biological, bioinformatics, or computational biology discipline, plus demonstrated experience in relevant research. They will have the opportunity to work with an exceptional, team-based group of interdisciplinary researchers located at SFU, and partner organizations across Canada and internationally.

Salary is based on experience and is very competitive. If you are interested, please forward a cover letter with a copy of your CV, noting start date(s) you’d prefer and contact information for two references, to the following email address, quoting the job code in the subject line of your email (“BRI-2019ARETE1” or “BRI-2019CHILD1” or “ODSI-2019PD” for a more customized position).

Email brinkman-jobs@sfu.ca.

We thank all applicants and regret that only those selected for an interview may be contacted further.

Front End Web Developer

Would you like to play a key role the development of web-based bioinformatics applications to be used internationally for disease research and public health investigations? The Brinkman Laboratory at Simon Fraser University (Metro Vancouver, BC) has two openings for front end web developers with solid web design skills (one contract and one full time position) who will work in collaboration with software developers and infectious disease researchers in our group and with our national and international collaborators.

The successful candidates will work as part of an interdisciplinary team of software/database developers, bioinformaticians and biologists/microbiologists to develop new visualizations for our IslandViewer/IslandCompare software and other visualization tools associated with the national IRIDA.ca and CHILDdb.ca projects. Tasks will focus on development of web-based visualization tools, web interfaces with modern/responsive layouts and maintenance of select web-based bioinformatics tools that support research projects in our group. The qualified applicant will have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and and experience using JavaScript technologies (e.g. React/Vue.js, Node.js, JQuery, and/or D3.js), SVG and HTML/CSS. Some minimal work on the server side may be required and additional knowledge of version control systems (Git) would be an asset.

Please quote “position FEWD2019-2” in the subject line of your email if you are interested in this position and email your resume with a cover letter to: brinkman-jobs@sfu.ca (Do not reply directly through any web-based job application system)

We thank all applicants and regret that only those selected for an interview may be contacted further. Note: In accordance with immigration requirements, preference will be given to Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and permanent residents of Canada.
The Brinkman lab is committed to providing employees with a positive working environment supporting growth and flexibility. Simon Fraser is located in a beautiful conservation area in metro Vancouver with access to a wide range of recreational opportunities. Contact us to learn more.

More information for potential applicants

The Brinkman Laboratory comprises an interdisciplinary computer lab and molecular microbiology lab environment, with access to notable additional resources, including our Computing Cluster (“Buster the Cluster”), Compute Canada resources (including the largest academic cluster in Canada: CEDAR, which is hosted at SFU, and new SFU-hosted Cloud resources), and departmental facilities. The Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (MBB) at Simon Fraser University is housed in the South Science Building. MBB and the institute it formed from, and the Brinkman lab, has produced a significant number of prominent bioinformaticists/genomicists who have gone on to become a coordinator of NCBI’s Genbank, coordinator or instructor of the Canadian Bioinformatics Workshop, or play leadership roles in international pharmaceutical companies, public health agencies, genome sequence centres and other genomics/bioinformatics facilities. In addition to the department’s interest in genomics and bioinformatics, the university has also indicated its strong interest in fostering interdisciplinary health-related research: It formed an interdisciplinary Faculty of Health Sciences, the IRMACS (Integrated Research in the Mathematics and Computing Sciences) facility and Big Data Hub (part of our research group is located there) and SFU recently further strengthened its mandate to support interdisciplinary, engaged research through its strategic vision.

Simon Fraser University is located within wonderful greenspace within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, approximately 5 km from the edge of the city of Vancouver (and a three hour drive north of Seattle, Washington, in the US). SFU has been consistently ranked by respected national surveys, such as Maclean’s, as one of Canada’s top three comprehensive universities for over 20 years. In the past few years SFU was listed among Canada’s top 100 employers (Mediacorp Canada); named one of Canada’s top 10 family-friendly employers (Today’s Parent magazine) and has won the YWCA’s Innovative Workplace of the Year award, among others. Note that Vancouver has been chosen as the world’s “Most Liveable City” the majority of times in the past decade by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Please see Student Central, the MBB website and SFU Bioinformatics for more information regarding graduate student admissions, M.Sc./Ph.D. degree requirements, etc. For those interested in interdisciplinary work, note that the MBB graduate program is flexible, allowing (with permission) students to take courses for their degree from other departments and even other institutions. Students interested in bioinformatics have a few options including getting accepted in the competitive SFU/UBC bioinformatics graduate program (which includes an internship program). Another option, suitable for those interested in starting on thesis work right away with a specific thesis supervisor, involves completing bioinformatics training through the MBB graduate program or newly forming Bioinformatics program, which several very high caliber students have successfully done (like Jennifer Gardy, Brinkman Lab Ph.D. student, Governor General’s Gold Medal winner for top graduate student across all SFU faculties in 2006, who is now a Deputy Director, Surveillance, Data, & Epidemiology, Gates Foundation, and occasional host of major science shows like CBC’s The Nature of Things - yeay Jenn!).

The city of Vancouver
The city of Vancouver