Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003742
Closing Date
27 Aug 2019
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,625 - £38,575
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Novel gene targets for iron and zinc biofortification of bread wheat.
Months Duration
18

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Enhance our research programme on iron biofortification of wheat, in which we are exploring different approaches to increase iron in the white flour fraction.

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

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 through presentations to various audiences at internal, national and international meetings
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
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

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD in Biology, Biochemistry or related discipline
Essential
BSc or equivalent in Biology or related discipline
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Standard molecular cloning techniques
Essential
RNA isolation and quantitative RT-PCR
Essential
HPLC and LC-MS
Desirable
Bioinformatics (RNA-seq analysis)
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to perform research and obtain publishable results
Essential
Plant growth and phenotype analysis
Essential
International collaboration
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.

For more information about working at the John Innes Centre, please click here.

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, appointing staff from across the world. We expect this to continue post Brexit. However, any candidate who would like further information on current or anticipated immigration requirements can contact the HR Team on +44 (0)1603 450888 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk.

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, a founding signatory of the Tecnician Commitment 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).

Department

Biological Chemistry

The Biological Chemistry Department at the John Innes Centre carries out fundamental research on molecular processes in plants and microbes. With activities ranging from determining DNA topoisomerase structure to mechanism and the generation of novel functional nanostructures from engineered viruses, we employ a multidisciplinary approach that embraces contemporary aspects of enzymology, structural and molecular biology, bionanotechnology, carbohydrate and natural product chemistry. Coupled with state-of-the-art platform technologies for structural, proteomic and chemical genomic analysis, the Department bridges the gap between molecular science and cellular and systems biology. Collectively these studies provide key information with which to manipulate and control molecules, pathways and processes of agronomic, environmental and industrial importance.

Group Details

The group of Janneke Balk is interested in iron homeostasis in plants, with a focus on iron cofactors and intracellular transporters. We use genetics, cell biology and biochemical approaches to understand the function of proteins involved in basic processes, such as mitochondrial respiration and nitrogen fixation. The basic knowledge we gain can be used for improving plant nutrition, including enhancing the iron levels in plant foods through molecular breeding, a process known as biofortification. We work closely together with the group of Cristobal Uauy on increasing iron in wheat grain, and collaborate with Hong-Qing Ling in the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing, on putative iron-sensing proteins.

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

Background:

The group of Janneke Balk is interested in iron homeostasis in plants, with a focus on iron cofactors and intracellular transporters. We use genetics, cell biology and biochemical approaches to understand the function of proteins involved in basic processes, such as mitochondrial respiration and nitrogen fixation. The basic knowledge we gain can be used for improving plant nutrition, including enhancing the iron levels in plant foods through molecular breeding, a process known as biofortification. We work closely together with the group of Cristobal Uauy on increasing iron in wheat grain (Connorton et al., Plant Physiol 174, 2434-44), and collaborate with Hong-Qing Ling in the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Beijing, on putative iron-sensing proteins (Rodriguez-Celma et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA in press).

The role:

The Postdoctoral Researcher will enhance our research programme on iron biofortification of wheat, in which we are exploring different approaches, GM and non-GM, to increase iron in the white flour fraction. The project addresses fundamental questions of iron distribution and transport in developing wheat grains and aims to identify novel genes in these processes.

The successful candidate will prepare samples for RNA-seq and analyse the results, followed by selection of genes regulated by iron for functional studies in yeast and Arabidopsis. They will also investigate newly developed wheat lines for changes in iron distribution and the levels of endogenous iron chelators.

The ideal candidate:

Candidates should have a PhD in Biology, Biochemistry or a related discipline, with previous experience in carrying out laboratory research in standard molecular biology techniques and bioinformatics. Experience with chromatography (HPLC) is also desirable. Good communication in English and organisational skills with the ability to work independently is essential.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full time post for a contract of 18 months, starting 1 October 2019, and is a collaboration between the labs of Janneke Balk and Cristobal Uauy at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, and Hong-Qing Ling at the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology in Beijing.

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.