Postdoctoral Researcher

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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.

Post Details

Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003562
Closing Date
22 Nov 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Understanding Starch Granule Formation in Arabidopsis Leaves and Wheat Endosperm
Months Duration
23

Main Purpose of the Job

The successful candidate will have two main roles.

Firstly, they will contribute to research that aims to identify and characterise key components involved in starch granule synthesis in Arabidopsis leaves and cereal endosperm. The postholder will have their own project, and will be expected to plan, execute and interpret their experiments with advice from the Project Leader where appropriate. The postholder will work independently on a day-to-day basis, and will be expected to exercise creativity and problem-solving skills, and acquire new skills as required.

Secondly, together with the Project Leader, they will participate in the mentoring of less-experienced lab members, providing training in techniques routinely performed in the lab and hosting mini-projects for visiting students. The postholder will also spend a small proportion of their time ensuring the smooth operation of laboratory (e.g.: ordering and maintaining lab stocks).

Department

Metabolic Biology

The aims of research in the Department of Metabolic Biology are to understand the basis of diversity in plant metabolism, and the interplay between metabolism and plant nutrition, development and responses to disease and stress. This information underpins the development of sustainable agriculture and bio-based industries.

Group Details

Our research aims to develop a full molecular understanding of how plants make starch granules. We focus on aspects of starch synthesis that are currently poorly understood - in particular how the starch polymers assemble into semi crystalline starch granules - and combine molecular genetics, biochemistry, proteomics, and cell biology-based approaches to develop this understanding. We are also using this knowledge to develop new strategies to improve the quality of starch crops - particularly wheat.

Our research projects originate from the work established by David Seung when he was a BBSRC Future Leader Fellow at JIC, working in the laboratory of Professor Alison Smith. We will officially begin as an independent laboratory on January 2019.

Our research is done in close collaboration with Prof. Alison Smith (JIC), Prof. Cristobal Uauy (JIC) and Dr. Fred Warren (Quadram Institute), as well as several external collaborations within the UK and abroad.

Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Dr David Seung at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.

The Seung Group:

Our research aims to develop a full molecular understanding of how plants make starch granules. We focus on aspects of starch synthesis that are currently poorly understood - in particular how the starch polymers assemble into semi crystalline starch granules - and combine molecular genetics, biochemistry, proteomics, and cell biology-based approaches to develop this understanding. We are also using this knowledge to develop new strategies to improve the quality of starch crops - particularly wheat.

Our research projects originate from the work established by David Seung when he was a BBSRC Future Leader Fellow at JIC, working in the laboratory of Professor Alison Smith. We will officially begin as an independent laboratory on January 2019.

Our research is done in close collaboration with Prof. Alison Smith (JIC), Prof. Cristobal Uauy (JIC) and Dr. Fred Warren (Quadram Institute), as well as several external collaborations within the UK and abroad.

The role:

The successful candidate will have two main roles:

Firstly, they will contribute to research that aims to identify and characterise key components involved in starch granule synthesis in Arabidopsis leaves and cereal endosperm. The postholder will have their own project, and will be expected to plan, execute and interpret their experiments with advice from the Project Leader where appropriate. The postholder will work independently on a day-to-day basis, and will be expected to exercise creativity and problem-solving skills, and acquire new skills as required.

Secondly, together with the Project Leader, they will participate in the mentoring of less-experienced lab members, providing training in techniques routinely performed in the lab and hosting mini-projects for visiting students. The postholder will also spend a small proportion of their time ensuring the smooth operation of laboratory (e.g.: ordering and maintaining lab stocks).

The ideal candidate:

The candidate must have a PhD or equivalent in molecular plant biology or related discipline. Good knowledge of plant metabolism and molecular biology methods are essential. Previous research experience in plant biochemistry or metabolism is desirable.

The position is particularly ideal for a scientist who enjoys laboratory work and making new discoveries, and has a passion for working with students.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,250 to £38,100 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a fulltime post for a period of 23 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 1003562.

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

Internal: Line manager (David Seung) and group members (particularly postgraduate students and visiting undergraduate students), and as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.

External: National and International collaborators.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
65
Mentor/supervise less experienced researchers, encouraging scientific excellence and provide guidance and training on specialised items of equipment
15
Undertake administrative tasks, such as maintenance of laboratory supplies and stocks
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
Continually strive for excellence, seeking out and acting on feedback and relevant learning and development opportunities
5
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post
5

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD or equivalent in molecular plant biology or related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Understanding of methods and experimental approaches in molecular biology
Essential
Good knowledge of plant metabolism
Essential
Understanding of methods and experimental approaches in bioimaging
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Ability to generate high quality data in plant biochemistry or molecular biology, demonstrated through publications/thesis
Essential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring of visitors and students
Desirable
Participating in the preparation grant proposals and publications
Desirable
Experience in working with Arabidopsis
Desirable
Experience in working with cereals
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

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Promotes equality and values diversity
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
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Essential