Joining the Lab

We’re glad you’re interested in our research! Our group exists to train people to study genetics—especially evolutionary genetics, which is one of the most exciting areas of science—using quantitative approaches. Training in the lab happens primarily via research projects. Trainees carry out original research and present it in the form of publications, software/scripts, talks to scientific audiences, and outreach to diverse audiences and the general public wherever appropriate.

Lab members may come from a variety of backgrounds. As part of their work in the lab, lab members write code and/or do math (mostly probability, stochastic processes, calculus, matrix algebra, and statistics). They also analyze genetic datasets. However, one doesn’t need to know how to do all these things upon joining the lab; one of the main goals of time spent in the lab is to learn the relevant skills.

You can read about our lab culture and policies here.


Postdoctoral researchers: We are currently recruiting postdocs. Postdocs will be funded by an NIH grant targeted at understanding complex traits using population-genomic tools, as well as on the intersection of population genetics and genetic privacy. Postdocs will have latitude to design their own projects within these broad areas in collaboration with Doc. A PhD or equivalent degree is required, but we are open to a wide variety of expertise. Remote work is expected initially (due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) and negotiable afterward. The positions have a competitive salary and benefits. Interest areas that would fit particularly well in the lab include the population genetics of complex traits, genetic privacy, and forensic genetics. At the same time, we have broad interests within evolutionary genetics, and other focus areas are possible. The Edge lab is committed to fostering a welcoming, supportive lab environment, and members of groups that have been underrepresented in evolutionary or computational biology are encouraged to apply. Apply through the USC portal here. Please also send a CV and a cover letter that briefly describes your research experience and interests to date, your goals for your postdoctoral training, and how you think work in the Edge lab will advance you toward your goals to Doc at edgem [at] usc [dot] edu. Please also list 2-3 professional references and include any recent work you’d like to share. Informal inquiries are also welcome at the same email address. Review will begin October 9th, and applications will be considered until the positions are filled.

PhD students: People interested in doing a PhD in the lab should apply to USC’s Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CBB) program. During the first year of the program, students complete coursework in algorithms, statistics, and biology, and they also complete research rotations in up to three CBB-affiliated labs. Students interested in completing a PhD in the lab should arrange to do one of their rotations with us. CBB admissions are handled by the admissions committee and not by individual labs, but feel free to contact Doc with questions or statements of interest.

Undergraduates, Master’s students, and others: USC undergraduates interested in joining the lab should write to Doc with a CV, relevant course history, and statement of interest. We’ll arrange to meet and talk about available projects in the lab. Undergraduate research effort in the lab is compensated either in academic credit or hourly pay. QBIO undergraduates can apply to conduct honors thesis research in the lab. In cases of a compelling research fit, undergraduates or master’s students at other institutions may be able to arrange for paid summer or remote internships.



Zoom lab meeting in the time of COVID-19