Vacancy Details: Post Doctoral Researcher

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John Innes Centre

JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology. Our mission is to carry out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and to make our findings available to society.

The scientific research at the Centre makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

The John Innes Centre prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive working environment for all. We have a diverse and multicultural scientific community and thrive on our European and international links. The John Innes Centre is proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. For more information, go to http://www.jic.ac.uk/training-careers/athena-swan/. We are also a proud member of the Stonewall Diversity Champion’s programme and, as a Disability Confident employer, guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Athena Swan

disability confident employer

   Stonewall Diversity Champion

Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003342
Job TitlePost Doctoral Researcher
Closing Date25 Oct 2017
GradeSC6
Starting Salary£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week 37
Project Title Postdoc in cytology and the evolution of meiosis
Expected/Ideal Start Date 03 Jan 2018
Months Duration 24
Main purpose of the job Postdoctoral Researchers work with limited supervision to carry out individual and collaborative research projects relevant to the overall needs of the research programme. The goal of this ERC-funded position is to investigate the functional divergence of meiosis genes in a polyploid lineage of Arabidopsis arenosa. The position will focus extensively on genetic and cytological characterization of allelic variation in the synaptonemal complex protein ZYP1 and its relationship with axis proteins ASY1 and ASY3. Experience in cytology, preferably on plants, is essential, as is experience with genetics and ideally also molecular biology (e.g. cloning, transgenesis).
Department Cell & Developmental Biology
Development continues throughout the life of the plant. While many linear pathways affecting development have been discovered and are illustrated by elegant genetic studies, the challenge of the future will be for us to understand how these developmental pathways are integrated, both with themselves as well as with environmental signals, to enable a mature plant to grow from a seed.  Guided by evolutionary principles, the Department uses its knowledge of biological processes obtained in laboratory organisms such as Arabidopsis to understand processes in crop plants such as Brassicas and cereals.  To study this interaction of the plant genome with internal developmental networks and the environment, the Department uses a combination of genetic, cell biological, molecular and evolutionary strategies. The insights we are gaining provide both an increasingly detailed knowledge of the proteins involved in diverse regulatory mechanisms and a conceptual framework in which this knowledge can be related and eventually integrated into a molecular description of plant cell function.   The knowledge the department is creating is relevant to agriculture. Genes that control plant stature, form, over-wintering responses and growth are potentially useful for improving crop performance.
Group Details The Bomblies lab works on understanding the mechanistic basis of the adaptive evolution of meiosis in response to both genome and habitat change. The main focus is currently on understanding the genetic basis of adaptation of polyploid lineages to their genome duplicated state, which seems to primarily involve a reduction in crossover rates. We are building on our prior discovery of several meiotic genes under selection in an autopolyploid lineage of Arabidopsis arenosa. The goal of the lab is to use cytology, genetics, and structural/biochemical/molecular approaches to understand how evolution solved the vexing problem of sorting chromosomes after whole genome duplication. Please see the lab website for more information.
Advert Text Post Doctoral Researcher


Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Bomblies laboratory at the John Innes Centre. The Bomblies lab works on understanding the mechanistic basis of the adaptive evolution of meiosis in response to both genome and habitat change. The main focus is currently on understanding the genetic basis of adaptation of polyploid lineages to their genome duplicated state, which seems to primarily involve a reduction in crossover rates. We are building on our prior discovery of several meiotic genes under selection in an autopolyploid lineage of Arabidopsis arenosa. The goal of the lab is to use a variety of approaches including cytology, genetics, and structural/biochemical/molecular approaches to understand how evolution solved the vexing problem of sorting chromosomes after whole genome duplication. This seems to involve a restructuring of core meiotic processes with the end result of reducing crossover rates, more distal localization of crossovers, and preventing formation of multivalent chromosome associations. Our prior analyses of genome evolution suggest a short list of cohesin, axis and synaptonemal complex proteins are key to the modified meiosis of polyploids. Our goal is to understand the causes and consequences of the evolutionary changes in these core proteins.

The goal of this ERC-funded position is to investigate the functional divergence of the synaptonemal complex protein ZYP1 in a polyploid lineage of Arabidopsis arenosa. Experience in cytology, preferably on plants, is essential, as is experience with genetics and ideally also molecular biology (e.g. cloning, transgenesis). The successful candidate will need to integrate well into the group to work with other lab members who investigate interacting proteins. The goal overall is to undertake largely independent research to understand how and why the synaptonemal complex proteins evolved the way they did in the tetraploid A. arenosa lineage.

The successful applicant will have a PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biology, Genetics, or a related discipline and have knowledge and skills in Cytology, Immunocytology and Molecular genetics.

Salary on appointment will be within the range£31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This post is for a contract of 24 months.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our web site http://jobs.jic.ac.uk or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk quoting reference 1003342.

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Silver Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The closing date for applications will be 25th October 2017.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.
Key relationships Internal: Kirsten Bomblies, members of the Bomblies lab, members of the bioinformatics core, and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.

External: Collaborators include Ian Henderson, Chris Franklin and others.
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project45
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications 20
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media10
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements10
Contribute to the smooth running of the group, including the effective use of resources, supervision of visitors to the laboratory and assisting with training others, encouraging scientific excellence 5
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities5
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings5
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post, for example, contributing to the work of Institute committees

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biology, Genetics, or a related discipline or related disciplineEssential

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Cytology, ImmunocytologyEssential
Molecular geneticsEssential
Plant growth and geneticsDesirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas in relation to the projectEssential
Proven record in scientific writingEssential
Experience of oral research presentationsEssential

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a teamEssential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating ProceduresEssential
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skillsEssential

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required Essential
Cover letter stating motivation for applicationEssential

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