Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Researcher
Post Number
Closing Date
15 Jul 2020
Starting Salary
£31,625 - £38,575
Hours per week
Expected/Ideal Start Date
01 Sep 2020
Months Duration

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

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
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
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

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

PhD (full award or expected within 6 months) or equivalent in plant biology, evolution, pathlogy microbiology or a related discipline

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

A core subset of skills and proficiencies in plant molecular biology. This includes tissue culture, transformation, cloning, gene/protein expression analyses, microscopy, etc
Strong grasp of standard microbiological practices
Plant pathology experience (candidates interested in plant-microbe interactions having strong molecular biology/microbiology backgrounds are very much encouraged to apply).
Expertise in computational approaches to study molecular evolution (phylogenetics, proteome-wide orthology analyses) and competency in generating/analysing large-scale omics data (i.e. RNA-seq).
Experience cultivating and manipulating in some of the following systems: Arabidopsis, Nicotiana, other non-standard model systems, and early divergent land plant lineages like bryophytes (liverworts, mosses, hornworts) or seedless vascular plants.

Relevant Experience

Demonstrated ability to perform research and develop novel ideas in the areas of host-microbe interactions, molecular genetics and/or evolution
Proven record in scientific writing
Experience of oral research presentations
Experience of supervising, training and mentoring visitors and students
Preparing data / information for grant proposals

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work as part of a team
Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
Excellent time management and organisational skills
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
Ability to follow instructions/Standard Operating Procedures
Promotes and strives for continuous improvement

Additional Requirements

Promotes equality and values diversity
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute
Ability to maintain confidentiality and security of information where appropriate
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Attention to detail

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

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).


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.


Advert Text

Postdoctoral Researcher
Salary:            £31,625 - £38,575 depending on qualifications and experience.
Contract:        23 months, full-time
Location:        John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK.
Closing date: 15 July 2020
Reference:     1003900

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Philip Carella Group at the John Innes Centre, working on cutting-edge science in the field of Evolutionary Plant-Microbe Interactions.

About the John Innes Centre:

The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology. We nurture a creative, curiosity led approach to answering fundamental questions in bioscience, and translate that knowledge into societal benefits.

Our employees enjoy access to state-of-the-art technology and a diverse range of specialist training opportunities, including support for leadership and management. Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

About the Carella Group:

We are establishing a curious, enthusiastic, and innovative team that will explore the diversity of defence responses that evolved to protect land plants from pathogen infection. Using comparative macroevolutionary and molecular genetic approaches, our group explores widely-conserved and lineage-specific aspects of plant defence that will inform future efforts to protect plants from harmful pathogens.

The role:

Working as part of a team led by Philip Carella, you will perform key experiments aimed at identifying core principles underpinning host-pathogen interactions shared across land plants using distantly-related models like the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha and the angiosperm Arabidopsis thaliana.

This diverse role will provide you with a broad range of stimulating activities, including:
- Accelerated genetic analysis of disease resistance in model liverworts
- Macroevolutionary comparisons of infection processes across land plants
- Examination of convergent virulence mechanisms in various phytopathogens

In this role, you will have the opportunity to develop your skills in plant-microbe interactions and evolution. You will also work with world leading scientists who are experts in their field.

The ideal candidate:

You will have a PhD in Molecular Biology or a related field. You will have in-depth knowledge of organismal biology or host-microbe interactions and demonstrable experience in molecular biology/microbiology.

Additional information:

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. We are proud to hold a prestigious Gold Athena SWAN award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. The Institute is also a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.