Research Assistant Early Stage Researcher - James Hutton Institute UK

Seed and seedling phenomics of native plant species Limited Term Appointment for 36 months: 1 October 2014 until 30 September 2017 *Salary is calculated under the provisions of the EU for the ESR positions in the Marie Curie Actions and is detailed on enquiry.

Research Assistant Early Stage Researcher - James Hutton Institute UK

Seed and seedling phenomics of native plant species Limited Term Appointment for 36 months: 1 October 2014 until 30 September 2017 *Salary is calculated under the provisions of the EU for the ESR positions in the Marie Curie Actions and is detailed on enquiry.

The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will be based within the Agroecology Group of Ecological Sciences at the James Hutton Institute (Dundee site) and forms an important component of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network called NASSTEC (The Native Seed Science, Technology and Conservation). This is funded by the EU People Programme of Framework Programme (FP) 7, contract number PITN-GA-2013-607785; and will run from 1 April 2014 until 31 March 2018.

NASSTEC's aim is to ensure that future environmental mitigation and adaptation projects which utilise wild native species can have increased impact. The ESR will therefore integrate knowledge in geobotany, seed biology and agricultural botany via a dedicated research programme in native seed science and conservation.

Eligible candidates must satisfy the following criteria:

  • 1) hold a Masters Degree or an equivalent qualification or equivalent experience that may entitle you to embark on a PhD
  • 2) at the time of application be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research career from the date when they obtained the degree that formally entitles them to embark on this PhD (not considering career breaks at the closing date of this advert)
  • 3) have not resided or carried out activities (studies, work, etc.) in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the three years immediately prior to the closing date of this advert
  • 4) have not been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD)
  • 5) may be of any nationality, though applicants wishing to work within the UK must be entitled to do so before they can be employed
  • 6) register for the PhD Programme at the University of Pavia (Italy), submitting an application at the official opening of the Pavia PhD calls (expected in July 2014)
  • 7) hold a valid car driver’s licence
  • 8) have no pending military obligation.

The ESR will be responsible for: ecological surveys of key wild legumes types from key sites across Scotland and sampling of seeds (and root nodules). Phenotypic and molecular characterisation of seeds and seedlings traits which relate to nitrogen fixation will be characterised ex-situ. The project will also include three one month industrial secondments in Asturias (Spain), Trento (Italy) and a third of the ESRs choice. The ESR will also be funded to attend a series a network and training events held at various venues across Europe and throughout the term of their appointment.

Essential skills include: an interest in plant ecology and native seed of wild legumes; excellent technical expertise in a field and laboratory environment; proven capability in statistical analysis; highly developed written and verbal communication, as high-level scientific presentations and report writing as required, and; an exemplary team-player with excellent interpersonal skills.

Desirable skills include: typing wild legume and rhizobia diversity; plant identification; field work including wild plant surveys and seed sampling; environmental (GPS) and soil characterisation; glasshouse culture and whole-plant phenotyping (root, shoot and seed) at the phenotypic, physiological and molecular level. Potential candidates will be interviewed at that institution where the studentship is to be based and reasonable travelling and subsistence costs will be reimbursed.

Career development prospects and job opportunities after completion of the ESR assignment cannot be guaranteed, however it will be determined by each individuals resourcefulness and entrepreneurship.

The Interview Panel will be gender-balanced with a minimum of three members and during the selection process will consider: proficiency in English; a scientific and professional career suitable for the initial training and scientific research on the relevant research topic; any peer-reviewed publications on which the candidate is an author, the names and; experience in other European projects; mobility experience (periods spent in other countries or research settings); teaching experience; supervision experience; academic and professional qualifications, and; contribution to patents or inventions.

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