Soil Microbiology Group Leader
Post Details
Job Title
Soil Microbiology Group Leader
Post Number
1004555
Closing Date
15 Dec 2023
Starting Salary
Competitive salary
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Soil Microbiology Group Leader
Months Duration
Indefinite

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Working collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders, to create, develop and lead an internationally excellent independent research programme that enhances the Institute’s research and capabilities.

Key Relationships

Internal: All levels of staff within the Institute.

External: Staff on the Norwich Research Park, national and international scientific collaborators, funding bodies, Government and other stakeholders.

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Lead and manage an internationally recognised, high profile innovative research programme.
Make significant contributions to strategic thinking and planning of research.
Lead and manage a research team, taking responsibility for its outputs and impact. This will include selecting, supervising, mentoring, training and providing wellbeing support for postdoctoral researchers, technicians, students and visitors, supporting effective career development, maintaining high levels of performance in the team, and maintaining a positive research culture.
Disseminate research findings through the publication of peer-reviewed research papers, and consolidate the Institute’s international scientific reputation through participation in national and internal conferences and provision of expert commentary in a variety of media.
Submit grant proposals, if possible across a broad range of potential funders, securing substantial research funding to support the research programme.
Ensure that research and record keeping is carried out in accordance with best practice, Institute Policies and Procedures and legal requirements.
Ensure that the research team complies with health and safety policy and guidance documents, and with quality assurance and data management procedures.
Manage the research team’s budgets in accordance with grant conditions and requirements and good financial practice, making cost-effective use of resources and minimising waste.
Contribute to the effective leadership and management of the Institute through additional Institute responsibilities, including supporting scientific training and serving on institute committees, as and when required.
Enhance the wider social and economic impact of the Institute’s research through influencing and developing partnerships and commercial opportunities with government, industry and other external parties.
Commit to Public Engagement/Science Communication activities that raise the Institute’s profile and public awareness of science.
Any other duties that may be required which are commensurate with the role of Group Leader.

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
PhD or equivalent and substantial postdoctoral research experience.
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
Significant track record of internationally-competitive research achievement, supported by a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.
Essential
Ability to formulate a research programme that will deliver innovative, world-class science on a topic of major fundamental or strategic importance.
Essential
Deep and broad understanding of the scientific background of the proposed research programme.
Essential
Capacity to envisage and articulate the longer-term objectives and impact of the proposed research programme.
Essential
Knowledge base in Soil Microbiology. Particularly related to the understanding of soil health, the role of microbes in nitrogen cycling and climate change or the soil microbiome and its interaction with plants and the exploitation of new technologies which allow the study of soil communities.
Essential
Knowledge of JIC/NRP research fields, underpinning an explanation of the benefits of locating the proposed research programme at JIC.
Essential
Measures of esteem such as international invited talks, editorial appointments, membership of external grant or appointments panels etc (essential for Tenured appointments).
Desirable
Effective presentation skills.
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
Demonstrated ability to plan and prioritise to ensure scientific ideas translate into delivery of research outcomes.
Essential
Demonstrated commitment to the highest levels of integrity and best practice in science and scientific management.
Essential
Evidence of winning external support for the maintenance of a successful research team (essential for Tenured appointments).
Desirable
Experience of motivating, managing and mentoring team members, including objective setting and regular informal and formal reviews of progress (essential for Tenured appointments).
Desirable
Research project leadership and management experience in stand-alone and collaborative projects (essential for Tenured appointments).
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Development and articulation of innovative approaches and cohesive scientific plans.
Essential
Strong team player: working with others with different skill sets to reach a common goal, sharing information and supporting colleagues.
Essential
Creation and fostering of collaborative research networks (essential for Tenured appointments).
Desirable
Open-minded, determined and resilient approach to scientific planning and management.
Desirable
Effective and appropriate communication with all people at all levels both inside and outside the Institute.
Desirable

Additional Requirements

Requirement
Importance
Attention to detail
Essential
Ability to travel nationally/internationally to facilitate collaborations and/or present seminars. (Reasonable adjustments will be considered. The Institute recognises the need for work-life balance/the need to support those with caring responsibilities).
Essential
Exhibits a high level of motivation combined with a flexible approach.
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
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
Exhibits enthusiasm for an immediate or future role in leading and developing JIC science and values, both within the Institute and wider.
Desirable

Who We Are

John Innes Centre

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

Molecular Microbiology

Our holistic approach integrates cellular physiology, molecular genetics (including functional genomics), biochemistry and structural biology. In the Department of Molecular Microbiology we study bacterial metabolism, physiology, gene regulation and development, and plant-bacterial interactions. Major themes of our work on Gram-negative bacteria are the molecular basis of signal transduction in response to various environmental signals and studies on the biology of ammonia channel proteins which are conserved in all domains of life.

The Department's comprehensive Streptomyces programme, studying antibiotic production, morphological differentiation and stress responses, is underpinned by the newly-acquired genome sequence of the model species S. coelicolor, and cutting-edge techniques in functional genomics. Another major research area is the Rhizobium-legume symbiosis where our studies range from bacterial quorum-sensing and plant-bacterial signalling interactions to the developmental responses of plants to their microbial symbionts.

The Department capitalises on the John Innes Centre's emerging strengths in functional genomics, structural biology and advanced cytological techniques, as well as exploiting novel links between research on bacterial and plant processes.

Living in Norfolk

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Soil Microbiology Group Leader

The John Innes Centre (JIC) is looking for microbiologists interested in understanding how bacteria or fungi impact soil and plant health, such as the role of microbes in nitrogen cycling and climate change, microbial communication, competition and development in the soil, or the soil microbiome and its influence on and interaction with plants. Scientists working on, or interested in working on, microbiome formation in crop plants such as wheat, barley and pea are particularly encouraged to apply given the genetic resources and plant growth facilities available at JIC.

The successful applicant will be offered immediate tenure, or for applicants with less experience, a six-year post in the first instance, with tenure subject to review. You will also receive substantial support in the form of a research assistant, laboratory support and access to the cutting-edge technology platforms at JIC. These state-of-the art technology platforms support Group Leaders and their groups across all scientific disciplines, including bioimaging, biomolecular analyses, genomics and bioinformatics, as well as field, horticultural and (quarantine) entomology services. We also have a new purpose-built 110-hectare field experimentation station, bringing together labs and field research in one location.

It is an exciting time to join JIC as we progress our ambitious vision for Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet (HP3) and plans for new cutting-edge, future-proofed facilities that will create a UK hub for plant and microbial research.

You will work alongside researchers covering a vast breadth of areas. The collegial environment that we foster at JIC encourages strategic input at all levels and appointments come with significant support (professional development, research and administrative). Start-up research funding is negotiable. 

Interested applicants are invited to submit a description of (i) current research activities and (ii) short and longer-term research aims and potential strategic goals (each ~2-3 pages). Please combine this with your CV together with a cover letter stating what motivates you to apply for a Group Leader position at JIC and submit this by 15th December 2023.

It is proposed that interviews will take place in early 2024.

JIC is committed to equality of opportunity for all employees and will consider applications on the criteria above regardless of gender, ethnicity or other personal characteristics, beliefs and backgrounds. The Institute holds a prestigious Athena SWAN Gold award in recognition of our inclusive culture, commitment and good practices towards advancing of gender equality. We are also a Disability Confident Employer and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.  We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family friendly workplace. We welcome applications from candidates seeking full-time, part-time or other flexible working arrangements.

We strongly encourage applications from women and ethnic minorities.

The closing date for applications will be 15th December 2023.

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.