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John Innes Centre
The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology, carrying out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and making our findings available to society.
Our research makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences including; cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.
We pride ourselves 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. We are proud to hold a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award, recognising the impact of our work in promoting gender equality in science. 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.
- Job Title
- Postdoctoral Researcher
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 2 Aug 2018
- Starting Salary
- £31,250 - £38,100
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- Fruit shape establishment in the Brassicaceae
- Months Duration
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 Department of Crop Genetics undertakes fundamental research on the biology of cereals, brassicas and legumes to understand the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic variation. A major goal is to develop the technologies and knowledge base to provide a predictive framework that will underpin conventional and novel plant breeding strategies. This will enable high-yielding, stress and disease resistant varieties, with a particular end-use quality, suitable for an efficient but benign agriculture.
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Lars Østergaard at the John Innes Centre to work on the Fruit shape establishment in the Brassicaceae project.
Although individuals of the same species can exhibit natural variation with respect to size, colour or response to environmental stimuli, less variation is observed in organ morphology. Organs of both animals and plants develop consistently and robustly into specific shapes. By contrast, major variation in organ shape can exist between closely related species, as observed for fruits, leaves, insect wings or the outer ears of mammals.
In the plant kingdom, members of the Brassicaceae family - including several important model and crop species - exhibit an extraordinary diversity in fruit shape. Although the overall composition and organisation of fruit tissues is highly conserved, huge variation exists in their shape including cylindrical, disc-formed, spherical and heart-shaped structures. The goal of this project is to further our fundamental understanding of fruit-shape establishment and to develop technology for improving crop performance.
The successful candidate will be working on a project, which is closely aligned with our pipeline of model-to-crop translation. Specifically, we aim to understand genetic and hormonal regulation of organ development in plants and apply our findings to improve the performance of crop species.
This project will be part of a network with colleagues at JIC who also work on Brassica crop improvement. In this network, we try to understand overlapping and distinct roles of key regulators that control developmental transitions. To facilitate this work, we have developed a number of genetic and computational resources in Brassica and model organisms within the Brassicaceae family such as TILLING mutant populations, mathematical models and genome sequencing. These tools are allowing us to answer questions at a molecular and mechanistic level that we could not have dreamed about five years ago, and the successful candidate will therefore join an incredibly dynamic, dedicated and productive research team.
The ideal candidate:
The preferred candidate will have a strong background in plant genetics and molecular biology. Previous experience with plant hormone signalling will, moreover, be essential and it will be an advantage for the candidate to have experience working with plant stress responses.
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 6 months.
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.
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.
Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
- Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
- Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
- Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
- Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
- Ensure research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with good practice, Scientific Integrity and in compliance with local policies and any legal requirements
- 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
- Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
- 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 & Qualifications
- PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Plant biology or related discipline
- BSc or equivalent in biology or related discipline
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- Strong background in plant genetics and molecular biology
- Hormonal regulation in plant biology
- Experience of working with plant stress responses
- Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas
- Proven record in scientific writing
- Experience of oral research presentations
- Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
- Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
- Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
- Excellent time management and organisational skills
- Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
- Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
- Promotes equality and values diversity
- Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
- Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
- Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
- Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
- Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars