Internship in Computational Biology

Massey University - IMBS
Job Location: 
Palmerston North, New Zealand

Payment of plane tickets and a generous tax-free stipend are guaranteed for up to six months.

Job Description: 

We are looking for a motivated and autonomous intern to study gene expression in hybrid organisms. The student will work on natural hybrids of two or three different species of fungal endosymbionts of grasses. The pupose of this project is to build software allowing us to identify the genomic origin of expressed genes. To do that, the intern will have to analyze expression data (from RNA-seq) to find SNPs on the sequenced mRNAs allowing to identify from which of the parental genome the expressed gene come from. The data will have to be saved in a database using the standard BioSQL schema.

This job will allow the intern to become more familiar with new biological and bioinformatics tools like next generation sequencing, RNA-Seq data analysis and comparative genomics.

To apply for this position, send the following documents (in PDF format) to Dr Pierre-Yves Dupont (email

1. A short cover letter.
2. A curriculum vitae, with transcript details.
3. The names and contact details of two referees willing to provide a confidential letter of recommendation upon request.

Informal enquiries are welcome. Formal applications are due by Sunday 2nd December 2012.


This position requires a good understanding of genetic problems, a good command of at least one scripting language (Perl, Python...), a basic knowledge of MySQL or any relational database management system. Knowledge in biological programming libraries (BioPython, BioPerl, BioRuby...), Java, C++ or any compiled language is an asset but not required. Undergraduate or Master degree is required.

Contact Information: 

Dr. Pierre-Yves Dupont
Institute of Molecular BioSciences
Massey University
Private Bag 11 222
Palmerston North 4442

About Our Organization: 

The position will be based in the Computational Biology Research Group lead by Associate Professor Murray P. Cox (email, at Massey University, New Zealand. The research team has a strong high-impact publication culture, and is firmly embedded in the international scientific community, with extensive collaborative links to the United States, France, Australia and Indonesia. Nevertheless, this position also offers a rare opportunity to experience New Zealand’s unique natural and cultural environment. Palmerston North, a university town with a large international community, offers a full range of social and cultural amenities. The city is located close to mountains and the sea, and presents regular opportunities for hiking, skiing, surfing, and adventure sports.

Information about the Institute of Molecular BioSciences ( and the Computational Biology Research Group ( is available online. For more information about the position, you can contact Dr Pierre-Yves Dupont (email