Plant Science Research Assistants

NIAB is a dynamic, research led and market driven plant bioscience organisation, with an emphasis on innovative applications for end-users in the agricultural, horticultural and food sectors. NIAB EMR, based in Kent, focuses on perennial fruit crops with over 100 years of innovative, strategic, and applied research in this sector working closely with a range of stakeholders including industry.

We wish to appoint Research Assistant(s) to provide high-grade technical capability for our Crop Science and Production Systems department based at East Malling in Kent across several projects, particularly relating to precision fertigation, plant environmental physiology, resource use efficiency and crop phytochemical content.

The successful applicants must have a BSc or other relevant experience/qualification. You must also have an interest in developing and deploying precision technologies in horticulture and/or agriculture and so a working knowledge of such systems is desirable. You will assist in the setting up of experimental areas both at NIAB EMR and on commercial grower trials, including the installation of sensor/logger technologies used for precision growing. The job requires someone who is meticulous, proactive, and highly organised. Good judgment and common sense as well as critical thinking and attention to detail are required. You will assist in monitoring, measuring, recording and reporting trials. Building effective working relationships within the CSPS team, the NIAB EMR farm and glass teams, and with staff at commercial grower trials will be an important part of your role.

An understanding of experimental design, replication, and blocking, and experience of using statistical and graphic packages is desirable although on-the-job training in these areas will be provided. A full UK driving license will be needed for occasional visits to our grower partners’ sites.

The successful candidate(s) must be prepared to work flexibly with occasional out of hours work. You must also be able to work in glasshouses/polytunnels on commercial-scale experiments, and should have some experience of supervising, motivating and mentoring staff. The ability to quickly acquire new skills through on-the-job training and independent research is also essential.

The salary for these roles is in the range of £19,920 to £23,060  per annum, dependent on skills, experience, and qualifications.

Further details and an application form are available at: or from the HR Office, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ, Tel No. 01732 523797, Email:, quoting Ref No. SV/A1306

Closing date for applications:  3 December 2021


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