Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003650
Closing Date
10 Apr 2019
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,250 - £38,100
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Auxentric – a hormone-based mechanism to control chromatin state
Expected/Ideal Start Date
03 Jun 2019
Months Duration
23
Interview Date
25 Apr 2019

Job Description

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.

Key Relationships

Internal: Line manager, group members and, as necessary, other researchers, research support staff and students across the Institute.

External: Collaborators

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
60
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
10
Disseminate research findings though presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
5
Collaborate with colleagues within the Institute in the development of original and world-class research, including contributing to research proposals and grant applications
5
Liaise with industry and other external stakeholders
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
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

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in plant biology or related discipline
Essential
BSc or equivalent in biological science
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Strong background in plant genetics and molecular biology
Essential
Hormonal regulation in plant biology
Desirable
Experience with biophysical analyses of protein-ligand interactions
Desirable
Experience of chromatin dynamics
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas
Essential
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Experience of oral research presentations
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
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
Attention to detail
Essential

Who We Are

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.

Department

Crop Genetics

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.

Group Details

In the Østergaard lab, we study hormonal and genetic interactions during organ development. We use the female reproductive organ, the gynoecium, of members of the Brassicaceae family to understand tissue patterning, symmetry formation and the molecular pathways underlying these processes. Our work is based on developmental genetics approaches and we exploit and generate tools and resources in both model species, such as Arabidopsis and Capsella and in crops including oilseed rape.

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Postdoctoral Researcher

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Laboratory of Professor Lars Østergaard at the John Innes Centre based in Norwich, UK.

Background:

Organ formation in multicellular organisms depends on correct establishment of cell polarity to acquire specific function and exact shape. In plants, the hormone auxin directs growth and organ formation throughout development. The mechanism for canonical auxin signalling involves binding of the auxin molecule to TIR1 F-box proteins. This allows interaction with AUX/IAA transcriptional repressor proteins, which – in the absence of auxin – repress Auxin Response Factor (ARF) proteins. Interaction with TIR1 leads to AUX/IAA protein degradation thus relieving the ARF proteins from repression. We recently identified an alternative auxin-signalling mechanism whereby auxin directly affects the activity of a transcription factor (TF) complex towards its downstream targets without the involvement of TIR1.

The role:

This project will study how the alternative mechanism translates cellular auxin levels into developmentally-specific outputs. This mechanism involves auxin-sensitive transcription-factor complexes – including the atypical ARF ETTIN (ETT) – which mediate critically important polarity-switching processes during plant development. The candidate will use proteomics technology to identify and subsequently characterise auxin-controlled interactions between ETT and proteins regulating gene expression and chromatin state. In addition, the aim is to define the molecular mechanism by which auxin affects ETT-containing complexes through biochemical and biophysical studies.

The ideal candidate:

The preferred candidate will have a strong background in plant genetics and molecular biology, with a PhD in Plant biology or a related discipline.
Previous experience with plant hormone signalling, biophysical characteristics of protein-ligand interactions and/or chromatin dynamics will be a strong advantage

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 for a contract of 23 months.

Interviews will be held on 25 April 2019.

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 closing date for applications will be 10 April 2019.

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.