HELIS Academy is an interregional and international project on education in health and life sciences for university graduates with focus on industry needs. The region involved is the southern part of the Netherlands and Flanders.
This vacancy is specifically about teaching and training in data management and data analysis, which is one of the pillars in HELIS (HEalth and LIfe Sciences) and the main pillar in which the Bioinformatics department from Maastricht University participates. The Bioinformatics department (BiGCaT) has a focus on integrated omics analysis for biological, often health related data. To better understand that data we not only use and develop data integration methods related to so called FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable data) we also structure existing knowledge so that it can be used to better understand the data. Core projects for this include WikiPathways and PathVisio, which are an online Wiki to create and curate biological pathways and a tool to use these pathways for integrated analysis. Training in the use of these and similar tools will be an important aspect of the training we expect to provide in the Helis Academy. You will therefore also collaborate intensively with other members of the department and project partners. The description of the department at the bottom of this vacancy text describes some other areas and application fields we are involved in.
In the project we will further:
- Define the education need for health and life sciences jobs in particular fields, for us Data Analysis and Data Stewardship. Next to the departments focus on integrative systems biology based, which includes bioinformatics methods like pathway and network analysis, linked data and ontologies the data pillar of the project also addresses data management. For both areas we have strong international collaborations.
- Collect and adapt existing teaching materials from the project members and in collaboration with project partners develop consistent course materials for HELIS academy.
- Collaborate with experts at the Department to develop new teaching material and courses if and as soon as necessary.
- Integrate the trainings developed in actual training programs (e.g. masters and post-doctoral programs at Maastricht University and at other partners) and provide short regional courses that can also be offered in a wider context (e.g. via the Dutch BioSB and the international ELIXIR training platforms).
- Proven background in science and-or science education (M.Sc., M. Ed., or Postdoctoral with a PhD in a relevant area)
- Background or proven interest in bioinformatics/data analysis/data stewardship
- Very good communication and organisational skills are a requirement, as well as the qualities to work within a team.
- Excellent teaching and presentation skills
- Creativity and skills to develop teaching material for online education
- Language skills: Fluency in English mandatory, in Dutch is a big benefit
Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 16,300 students and 4,300 employees. Reflecting the university’s strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.
NUTRIM – School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism
The department of Bioinformatics-BiGCaT is part of NUTRIM the school of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism. It was founded in 2001 by Prof. dr. Chris Evelo aiming at employing bioinformatics approaches in systems biology to integrate experimental data and data with current knowledge. Integrative Systems Biology is being developed and applied in various research fields. The department has four core research areas; 1) Metabolic diseases, 2) Micronutrients, 3) Toxicity and risk assessment and 4) Rare diseases. Within these areas different types of data, like transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and (epi)genomics data, are collected , integrated and combined with existing knowledge
Evelo’s BiGCaT group is involved in (inter)national initiatives to collect, share and integrate biological data . Moreover, in order to perform data analysis in a state-of-the art manner novel methods and tools are being developed. These include, i) high-throughput data analysis pipelines, ii) Semantic Web tools using RDF, ontologies and SPARQL, iii) cheminformatics software, iv) structuring and collecting biological processes in WikiPathways, v) pathway analysis in PathVisio and vi) network analysis in Cytoscape.
NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism initiates and catalyzes translational research into nutritional health benefits and risks focusing on metabolic and chronic inflammatory diseases. Through its research master and PhD programme NUTRIM aims to educate scientists of high academic excellence and ambassadors to support and develop the filed of nutrition, metabolism and toxicology within and outside the Netherlands. 16 Biomedical, clinical, and behavioural-science departments are incorporated within NUTRIM. The school is a partner in the national Top Institutes TI Food&Nutrition, TI-Pharma and the Centre for Translational Molecular Medicine (CTMM). These unique consortia of government, industry and research aim to stimulate the transfer of knowledge generated in fundamental research to Dutch industry and thus to strengthen its innovative power and competitive strength.