Vacancy Details: Postdoctoral 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 Number1003408
Job TitlePostdoctoral Researcher
GradeSC6
Starting Salary£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week 37
Expected/Ideal Start Date 01 Apr 2018
Months Duration 24
Main purpose of the job The successful candidate will work to study DNA methylation in the fungus Ascobolus immersus. Lack of DNA methylation in popular model organisms, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, has greatly limited the scope of genetic analysis. The aim of this project is to establish Ascobolus as a genetic system for investigation of epigenetic inheritance and to determine the mechanisms that mediate the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation patterns.
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 Zilberman laboratory studies the inheritance, function and evolution of DNA methylation, a key epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene expression in plants, animals and other eukaryotes. Proper inheritance of methylation patterns is essential for human health and plant development. Our group has been at the forefront of DNA methylation research for over ten years, and we regularly publish in the most prominent multidisciplinary journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, eLife and PNAS. Several previous members of the Zilberman group now hold independent faculty positions.
Advert Text Postdoctoral Researcher

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the laboratory of Dr Daniel Zilberman at the John Innes Centre (JIC), an internationally-renowned plant and microbial biology research institute featuring state-of-the-art scientific facilities and infrastructure.

The Zilberman Group:

The Zilberman laboratory studies the inheritance, function and evolution of DNA methylation, a key epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene expression in plants, animals and other eukaryotes. Proper inheritance of methylation patterns is essential for human health and plant development. Our group has been at the forefront of DNA methylation research for over ten years, and we regularly publish in the most prominent multidisciplinary journals, including Nature, Science, Cell, eLife and PNAS. Several previous members of the Zilberman group now hold independent faculty positions.

The role:

The successful candidate will work to study DNA methylation in the fungus Ascobolus immersus. Lack of DNA methylation in popular model organisms, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, has greatly limited the scope of genetic analysis. The aim of this project is to establish Ascobolus as a genetic system for investigation of epigenetic inheritance and to determine the mechanisms that mediate the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation patterns.

The ideal candidate:

The successful candidates will have a PhD (awarded or expected within 6 months) in Biological Sciences with a high-quality publication record and demonstrable scientific success in previous roles. Prior experience with fungal genetics and epigenetics is desirable but not essential.

Additional information:

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

To be considered for this post, candidates must submit a CV and covering letter

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 1003408.

We are an equal opportunities employer, actively supporting inclusivity and diversity. As a Disability Confident organisation, 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 Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

Shortlisting will begin on 2nd March 2018 but the vacancy will remain open until the position is filled
Key relationships Other members of the Zilberman group and potentially other experimental collaborators both within and outside JIC
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project50
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media15
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings10
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications 5
Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements5
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
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders5
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 Biological Sciences or related disciplineEssential
BSc or equivalent in Biological SciencesEssential

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Fungal geneticsDesirable
EpigeneticsDesirable
BiochemistryDesirable
BioinformaticsDesirable
GenomicsDesirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideasEssential
Proven record in scientific writingEssential
Experience of oral research presentationsEssential
High quality publication recordEssential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and studentsDesirable
Preparing data / information for grant proposalsDesirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a teamEssential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skillsEssential
Excellent time management and organisational skillsEssential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholdersEssential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating ProceduresEssential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvementEssential

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to workEssential
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute Essential
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate Essential
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required Essential
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars Essential

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