NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Vacancy information

iCASE PhD Studentship (4 year fixed term contract, start September 2018)

Reference number: T/337
Closing date: 24/11/2017
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Job details


NIAB, with enrolment through the University of Cambridge, invites applications for a funded four year BBSRC iCASE PhD Studentship in wheat breeding for improved milling and nutritional quality in The John Bingham Laboratory. The project, co-supervised by Dr Alison Bentley & Dr Keith Gardner is in collaboration with the UK crop breeding company DSV United Kingdom Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Saatveredelung AG (DSV), Germany.

The project will focus on wheat, Europe’s main crop in order to identify and characterise genetic regions underlying milling and nutritional quality. Genomic tools are now sufficiently advanced to allow the detailed dissection and mobilisation of novel milling and nutritional quality traits. The student will work on pre-breeding and advanced breeding material within the DSV breeding program aiming to develop molecular markers that could lead to improved ease and accuracy of selection of these traits in breeding programmes. They will also mine novel protein, nutrient and micro-nutrient attributes in diverse wheat germplasm relevant to improving the nutritional status of UK, supporting dietary health. The partnership with DSV United Kingdom is integral to the project. The successful applicant will work closely with wheat breeder Dr Matt Kerton and conduct the majority of their field work in the DSV breeding programme and will access state-of-the-art testing facilities at DSV.

The successful application should have a background in biological science and an interest in applied plant science and crop breeding. Knowledge of quantitative genetics, or a willingness to develop the relevant skills, will be an essential requirement. The successful applicant must be willing to work in a range of conditions, including in the field, and previous experience working with cereal crops is desirable. The student must be willing to work independently and collaboratively, with flexible working at peak times.

This BBSRC funded studentship is open to UK and EU citizens who meet the UK residency requirements set out by the BBSRC for the full studentship:

If you have any queries about your eligibility please contact Sarah Fahle, DTP Co-ordinator at

Please send a covering letter expressing your interests in the PhD position and relevant expertise and a 2-page CV to, quoting Ref No. T/337. Closing date for applications: 24 November 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview at NIAB, Huntingdon Road on Wednesday, 6 December 2017. If you are not able to make this date, please specify this in your covering letter.

Further details on the University of Cambridge DTP Programme can be found at:

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