Junior research scientist in epidemiological genetics for farm animal health


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will join the INRAE “Animal Genetics and Integrative Biology” joint research unit (GABI, 130 permanent staff members, “Animal Genetics” GA Division), whose research aims to understand and exploit the genetic variability of domestic animals to analyze the construction of phenotypes, interactions with microbial ecosystems and the environment in the broad sense, in a context of agroecological transition. Within GABI, you will join the GeMS team: "Genetics, Microbiota, Health" (7 researchers, 2 engineers, 5 technicians). The team studies the combined impact of host genetics, intestinal microbiota, and immunity and their interactions on pig and chicken health. The team studies the genetic determinism of resistance to specific pathogens and develops integrative biology approaches to identify predictive biomarkers or signatures of good health that can be used on farms and/or for selection. You will broaden the current approaches by developing a new genetic epidemiology strategy. You will also contribute to the study of the genetic architecture of immune and immunocompetence traits. In outdoor and cage-free breeding systems, currently under development, animals are more exposed to environmental constraints, pathogen pressure may be greater and contact between animals is more frequent. These multiple host-host and host-pathogen interactions make health management more complicated. Until now, health improvement strategies only considered individual animal responses to infections. You will first contribute to renewing concepts by developing new models in genetic epidemiology, taking into account these interactions and the infection dynamics, in addition to individual genetic variability.

You will first develop your research on a “chicken-coccidiosis” model, a major parasitic disease in poultry, using available data on individual responses (genetic markers, gene expression levels, vaccine responses). You will design experiments necessary to validate your model and estimate the genetic parameters of traits related to infectiousness and the ability to transmit disease. The integrative analysis of the new data generated will improve understanding of the genetic architecture of the traits studied. In a second stage, you will expand your research to other pathogens of interest in poultry and/or pig production, and develop your research to contribute to the development of new selection strategies for improving animal health and for an efficient agroecological transition, in collaboration with professional actors in the field. You will benefit from the team's expertise in computational biology, immunophenotyping, and genomics, as well as that of the unit's researchers in bioinformatics and biostatistics. You will benefit from a dynamic network of inter-disciplinary collaborations within INRAE (especially Animal Health division), with ANSES, INSERM, and well-established partnerships with professional organizations in the avian and porcine sectors. You will have access to several infrastructures (resource centres, technological platforms, and experimental units). You will join a collaborative network in modelling within the Animal Genetics Division, and you will develop your own network at INRAE and international level with recognized research teams in this field.

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
A PhD (or equivalent) in quantitative genetics is highly recommended, as well as a strong interest in modelling of biological data, genetic epidemiology, heterogeneous data integration, and the genetic determinism of health traits. Knowledge in health and/or immunology and/or epidemiology would be highly desirable.
Candidates should have a good command of English (both written and spoken), and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

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INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2023-GA-2
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 24
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