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
1003570
Closing Date
2 Dec 2018
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Dissecting quantitative, analogue, antisense-mediated transcriptional control
Expected/Ideal Start Date
28 Jan 2019
Months Duration
18

Main Purpose of the Job

Investigate chromatin switching mechanisms in the quantitative transcriptional regulation of FLC.

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 Dean group focuses on co-transcriptional regulation and epigenetic silencing mechanisms in plants.

Advert Text

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Scientist to join the Laboratory of Prof. Caroline Dean in the Cell and Developmental Biology department at the John Innes Centre.

The role:

The Dean Lab investigates chromatin switching mechanisms that involve co-transcriptional mechanisms and non-coding RNAs. This position is to characterise chromatin switching mechanisms mediating the FCA-regulated quantitative transcriptional regulation of FLC. The post-holder will analyse FLC-Venus expression in a range of fca mutants to investigate how antisense RNA processing establishes particular chromatin states at FLC. They will work independently to identify, plan and carry out experiments to meet the needs of the project. They will also prepare results for publication, attend conferences and contribute to the smooth running of the group.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates are required to have a PhD in molecular biology, with skills in plant molecular biology, as well as experience with RNA analysis and plant-environment interactions. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

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 full-time post for a contract of 18 months in the first instance.

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

The post-holder will report directly to Caroline Dean and Martin Howard but will interact on a daily basis with a modeller from the Howard group as well as several other postdocs in the Dean lab

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Investigate how FCA influences expression of Arabidopsis FLC. They will analyse FLC-Venus expression in a range of genotypes including weak fca alleles.
65
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
10
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
10
As agreed with the line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the post.
5
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
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

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in molecular biology
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Methods for transcriptional analyses in plants
Essential

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
RNA analysis
Essential
Plant-environment interactions
Essential
Experience in plant molecular biology
Essential

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated passion about their science
Essential
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Essential
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential
Ability to work independently
Essential
Ability to to use 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
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