PhD Studentship Novel Computing Methods for Calculating Genomic Evaluations of Livestock

SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College, delivers comprehensive skills, education and business support for Scotland’s land-based industry founded on world class, sector leading research, education and consultancy. Our 1500 staff are located on 6 campuses and around 40 business units across Scotland and the North of England.

This joint project between SRUC and Genus plc will focus on developing novel calculation methodologies and algorithms that are specifically targeted at improving the speed and efficiency of computationally demanding steps in genomic evaluations of livestock. This includes genotype imputation and genomic breeding value (GEBV) estimation by enabling large matrix calculations, incorporation of large amounts of data and parallelisation of processes. Software will be developed and tested utilising an NVIDIA GPU-based parallel computing architecture (CUDA). Existing software for genotype imputation and GEBV estimation will be adapted to the new architecture. The final outcome will be a scalable, fast, reliable and flexible software platform for routine genomic evaluations utilising GPUs.

Applicants should have or expect to gain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in Animal Science or Computer Science (or similar discipline). Applicants should also have computer programming skills with C and/or Fortran. Postgraduate training in computational aspects of genomic evaluations, experience with parallel computing platforms and statistical analysis is desirable.

The successful candidate will be based at SRUC (Roslin Institute Building, Edinburgh) and interact with the SRUC Animal Breeding and Genomics team, the Edinburgh Genetic Evaluation Service, and the Genetics and Genomics team at the Roslin Institute. The student will also visit the home office of Genus plc in the USA for a period of training in a commercial environment. The student will be registered for a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and will have the opportunity to attend relevant courses as deemed essential.

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This 3.5 year studentship provides a stipend of £13,726 per annum. The studentship is also funded to pay the University of Edinburgh tuition fees for UK/EU students. Non-EU citizens will need to provide evidence that they can fund the difference between home and overseas University fees, amounting to approximately £11,850 per year.

The expected start date is 1 October 2013.

Online applications for this post can be submitted via our website, via the ‘Apply’ button below.

Alternatively application packs can be requested from  tel +44 (0) 131 535 4028 quoting reference SRUC/1027317/GB. Please note that CV’s will not be accepted without a completed application form.

To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Prof. Georgios Banos ( or Dr. Mike Coffey ( 

The closing date for the return of applications is 12 noon on 15 July 2013.

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