NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Vacancy information

Researcher (PDRA) - 32 month fixed term contract, commencing 1 April 2019

Reference number: T/350
Closing date: 27/02/2019
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Job details

We are seeking a highly motivated individual to play an important role in an exciting, new project entitled “Rooty-A root ideotype toolbox to support improved wheat yields”, funded by the International Wheat Yield Partnership, BBSRC and DFID. This new, fixed-term post in the Genetics and Breeding Department will be based at NIAB’s HQ in Cambridge. The responsibility of the post-holder will be to deliver NIAB’s work objectives in this project, in collaboration with partners at the University of Queensland, University of Bologna, Justus Liebig University, Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ), CIMMYT and the John Innes Centre. The work will involve root phenotyping in spring and winter wheat at the seedling level and in field trials, QTL discovery/validation, marker development and generation of novel germplasm. One aim of the project is to deliver a suite of genetic markers that can be used in various combinations to create an arsenal of root ideotypes to support high yields for a diversity of farmed environments, with a focus on backcrossing characterised root alleles into elite CIMMYT lines used by breeders. The post holder will interact with other members of the project team, including the PDRA for root phenotyping based at FZJ.

The essential requirements for this role are:

  • A PhD in plant sciences, plant breeding or agronomy;
  • Experience with QTL mapping;
  • Standard molecular biology laboratory methods (DNA extraction, PCR);
  • Intermediate statistical methods;
  • Willingness to work outdoors in field trials and getting dirty;
  • Ability to supervise students and technicians;
  • Ability to work independently;
  • Take own initiative; develop own ideas
  • Team player; motivated; good communicator (written and oral);
  • Hard working; shows attention to detail
  • A full driving licence and the willingness to travel within the UK and overseas as field trials will be conducted in the UK, Germany and Mexico.

Hands-on experience working with root measurements, field trials and glasshouse experimentation along with a knowledge of husbandry, growth and development of wheat crops are desirable as well as having knowledge of quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, advanced statistical methods, R-scripting, plant breeding and breeding techniques.

Our current research involves studies in crop physiology, genetic resources, agronomy, pre-breeding, crop genomics, wheat synthetics, association genetics and genomic selection. Work is commonly done in close collaboration with commercial breeders and members of the agricultural industry. NIAB is one of only a few public sector organisations demonstrating the strategic vision combined with the specialist knowledge and research skills to develop novel germplasm that will sustain yields under the twin challenges of reduced inputs and a changing climate.

Starting salary in the range of £30,042 to £39,640 pa, dependent on skills, experience and qualifications. Further details and an application form are available on our website: http://www.niab.com/vacancies/index/ or from the HR Office, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, Tel: 01223 342282. Email: jobs@niab.com.

Should you require any further information about this position you may like to contact Dr Eric Ober (eric.ober@niab.com).

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