Postdoctoral Researchers

To apply for this job please upload a single file (word or pdf format) containing the following information:

  • a full CV detailing professional qualifications, full employment history, latest remuneration and relevant achievements
  • plus a covering letter describing briefly how you meet the criteria in the Person Specification, why the appointment is of interest and what you believe you can bring to the role

Submit your application document together with your Personal details, Referees and Equal Opportunities Monitoring data

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.

Post Details

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researchers
Post Number
1003543
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Quantitative analysis of DNA methylation maintenance within chromatin
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Jan 2019
Months Duration
36

Main Purpose of the Job

Work on a project supported by the European Research Council to achieve a quantitative understanding of how nucleosomes, linker histones, and other chromatin components influence the accurate inheritance of DNA methylation patterns. Also explore how DNA methylation in turn regulates nucleosomes and other aspects of chromatin structure. Arabidopsis thaliana will be the primary model, and we expect the resulting ideas and insights to be highly relevant to transcriptional control across eukaryotes. Aspects of this project will involve genetic, genomic, biochemical, and bioinformatic approaches; candidates interested in using some or all of these techniques to explore DNA methylation-based epigenetics are encouraged to apply. This project will also entail a close collaboration with the Howard group at JIC to develop empirically supported mathematical models of DNA methylation-based epigenetic inheritance.

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 (https://zilbermanlab.net/) 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

Applications are invited for Postdoctoral Researchers 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 (https://zilbermanlab.net/) 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 candidates will work on a project supported by the European Research Council to achieve a quantitative understanding of how nucleosomes, linker histones, and other chromatin components influence the accurate inheritance of DNA methylation patterns, and how DNA methylation in turn regulates nucleosomes and other aspects of chromatin structure. Arabidopsis thaliana will be the primary model, and we expect the resulting ideas and insights to be highly relevant to transcriptional control across eukaryotes.

Aspects of this project will involve genetic, genomic, biochemical, and bioinformatic approaches; candidates interested in using some or all of these techniques to explore DNA methylation-based epigenetics are encouraged to apply. This project will also entail a close collaboration with the Howard group at JIC to develop empirically supported mathematical models of DNA methylation-based epigenetic inheritance.

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. Candidates should possess experience in molecular biology, as well as excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Prior experience in plant biology 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. Two full time posts are available, each for a period of 3 years.

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.

Key Relationships

Other members of the Zilberman group and potentially other experimental collaborators both within and outside JIC

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
50
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
15
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
10
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 requirements
5
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 opportunities
5
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
5
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

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Biological Sciences or related discipline
Essential
BSc or equivalent in Biological Sciences
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Molecular biology
Essential
Plant genetics
Desirable
Epigenetics
Desirable
Biochemistry
Desirable
Bioinformatics
Desirable
Genomics
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas [in area of…]
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Experience of oral research presentations
Essential
High quality publication record
Essential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Desirable
Preparing data / information for grant proposals
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
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 team
Essential
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Essential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
Essential
Attention to detail
Essential
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Essential
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