Research Leader – New Breeding Technologies and Biotechnology

We are seeking a scientist to play a leadership role in in the Genetics, Genomics and Breeding department (GGB at NIAB EMR, leading the research theme: New Breeding Technologies and Biotechnology. NIAB provides a vibrant, multi-disciplinary research environment with access to core facilities supporting bio-imaging, bioinformatics, as well as newly equipped molecular genetics, DNA sequencing and plant growth laboratories. This role represents an exceptional opportunity to develop a career in a highly dynamic and innovative research sector, with the chance to develop links with major UK and international organisations.

Similar to the picture across the whole of NIAB which achieved a 50% BBSRC responsive mode success rate (highest in the UK, 10/20 grants), against a national average of 20% in 2015-16, GGB has a strong track record of winning funding from BBSRC responsive mode, innovate UK responsive mode and commercial funding streams. You will be expected to make significant research contributions in the area of plant biotechnology, genomics and technology development, as demonstrated by recent papers in high quality journals and competitively awarded research grant income, or convincing potential to generate income.

You must have a PhD in a relevant field and an outstanding record of excellence in research that is reflected in your publications. A track record in horticultural crops is not required, but a keen desire to learn and apply cutting edge techniques to perennial (strawberry, raspberry, apple, cherry) and annual (tomato, cucumber, pepper) fruit crops is essential. Recent developments in genome sequencing and functional genomic tools open up the opportunity to explore fundamental research questions directly in crop plants and translate that research into practice through the development of new varieties and agronomic improvements.

Example research areas that a successful candidate could develop, in one or more crops, are highlighted below:

  • Single cell genomics using single molecule sequencing / other advanced technologies
  • Single cell CRISPR
  • Rapid and cost effective genotyping

You will work with a high level of personal initiative, utilising your strong analytical skills and expertise in molecular biology, technology development and genetics to win competitive grant funding. With industry partners, you will also have to opportunity to bid into the recently awarded BBSRC CTP for Fruit Crop Research for PhD students to support your research. You will work closely, interactively and collaboratively within and across departments in an interdisciplinary setting, so you will need excellent communication skills and the ability to build strong working relationships. You will also need to communicate your research through reports, publications and presentations both to academic and industry audiences. You will also need the flexibility and adaptability to respond quickly to priorities and meet funding opportunity deadlines at short notice.

Job Requirements and Person Specification

Attainments and qualifications

Essential Elements:

  • BSc in a relevant discipline (2.1 or above)
  • PhD in a relevant discipline

Desirable Elements:

  • Membership of professional bodies, evidence of recognition within research field through awards and committee membership.

Experience and Knowledge

Essential Elements:

  •  An established track record of high quality research output, with publications in high-impact factor journals.
  • Have research experience in the Department’s main research themes.
  • Supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.
  • Line management experience
  • PhD student supervision
  • Experience preparing successful and large bids for UK and EU funding bodies (e.g. BBSRC)

Desirable Elements:

  • Membership of boards and technical consulting experience.

Skills and Attributes

Essential Elements:

  • Excellent writing and communication skills evidenced through a substantial number of peer reviewed publications.
  • A creative research vision for development, implementation and delivery of successful research projects.
  • An ability to communicate complex conceptual ideas to widely divergent audiences.

Special Skills

Essential Elements:

  • Expertise in plant genomics, sequencing technology and molecular biology
  • Highly IT literate
  • Management and leadership experience.
  • Budget control experience
  • Working in an open and transparent way, providing information and communicating effectively with colleagues.
  • A positive contribution to Institute activities and initiatives including open days, workshops etc. and expectation to undertake administrative activities.
  • Collaborative working, particularly on interdisciplinary.
  • Continuous Professional Development

Desirable Elements:

  • Experience in a relevant horticultural crop.

Special Requirements 

Essential Elements:

  • Full UK driving license (required for commuting to Cambridge site and grower sites).
  • Ability to respond quickly to externally imposed deadlines.
  • Ability to travel at short notice and to work antisocial hours.

Personal Attributes 

Essential Elements:

  • Ability to work with plants, in greenhouse and controlled environment situations.

The appointment will most-likely be at Pay Band 5, £33,696 to £39,241 per annum or Pay Band 4, £42,379-£49,533 per annum, dependant on qualifications and experience. Eligibility for higher band appointment, will be contingent on a track record of securing income through competitive research funding. We offer 25 days annual leave plus 8 days public holidays, a pleasant working environment and a company pension scheme.

Further details and an application form can be obtained by e-mail from recruitment@emr.ac.uk.  Please include a detailed CV with your application.  Please contact Richard Harrison richard.harrison@emr.ac.uk for informal enquiries.  Closing date: 22nd September 2017.

 


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