Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
1003856
Closing Date
23 Feb 2020
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£31,625 - £38,575
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Functional characterisation of putative wheat rust susceptbility genes
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Apr 2020
Months Duration
24

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Saunders Group at the John Innes Centre. The appointee will carry out functional characterisation of putative wheat rust susceptibility genes to identify the underlying mechanisms that enable successful colonisation by the the wheat yellow rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis, which is a major threat to cereal crops and grasses worldwide.

Key Relationships

The appointee will work closely with other members of the Saunders Lab and interact with other researchers working on wheat rust diseases at the John Innes Centre.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Percentage
Identify, plan, carry out and modify experiments to meet the objectives of the project
70
Prepare results, reports and manuscripts for publication in leading scientific journals and other relevant media
10
Disseminate research findings through 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
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
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
5

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in Plant-Microbe Interactions or wheat genetics
Essential
BSc or equivalent in Biological Sciences
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Expertise in molecular and cellular biology
Essential
Proven skills and experience in gene editing
Essential
In-depth knowledge and experience of wheat genetics
Desirable
Background in plant pathology or related field
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Proven record in scientific writing
Essential
Experience of oral research presentations
Essential
Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas
Essential
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
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 follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Essential
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement
Essential

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
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

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. 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

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

The Saunders Lab focuses on studying (re-)emerging plant pathogens that pose significant threats, particularly to UK agriculture. We use an array of different approaches, integrating molecular genetics, microbiology, plant pathology, population genetics, genomics and data mining to improve our understanding of how pathogens cause disease. For instance, we have numerous projects studying the wheat yellow rust pathogen, Puccinia striiformis f. sp tritici that is a substantial threat to wheat production worldwide and more recently re-emerged as a major constraint on UK agriculture.

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

Background:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology.

The Saunders group focuses on studying (re-)emerging plant pathogens that pose significant threats to UK agriculture. They use an array of different approaches, integrating molecular genetics, microbiology, plant pathology, population genetics, genomics and data mining to improve our understanding of how pathogens cause disease.

The role:

The appointee will functionally characterise a series of putative wheat rust susceptibility genes and determine their role in relation to the obligate biotrophic pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of yellow rust disease. The main purpose of this post is to identify the underlying mechanisms that enable successful colonisation by the yellow rust pathogen. The appointee will utilise a series of wheat mutants to explore the function of putative wheat rust susceptibility genes involving an array of techniques in molecular, biochemical and cellular biology.

This is a very exciting opportunity for the applicant to join a large multi-disciplinary research group to generate potentially new sources of resistance for one of the most economically damaging diseases of wheat worldwide.

The ideal candidate:

Applicants should possess a PhD in plant-microbe interactions or wheat genetics. Expertise in molecular and cellular biology is essential, as is experience in gene editing. A background in plant pathology would be ideal. Applicants should also have a proven record in scientific writing and experience of delivering research presentations.

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 fulltime post for a contract of two years 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.