- Job Title
- Postdoctoral Research Scientist
- Post Number
- Closing Date
- 12 Jan 2023
- Starting Salary
- £33,050 - £40,750
- Hours per week
- Project Title
- Cell-type specific responses to changes in the environment.
- Expected/Ideal Start Date
- 03 Apr 2023
- Months Duration
Main Purpose of the Job
Understanding and engineering complex plant traits, such as growth in response to nutrient availability, require a detailed understanding of the regulatory networks that underpin them. Single-cell transcriptomics data has revealed that the expression of certain network genes is limited to a few cell types. In recent work, we have characterised a transcriptional regulatory network involved in modulating the architecture of root systems in response to changes in nutrient availability. This project will investigate how this network functions across cell types and examine how cell-type-specific responses to changes in the environment mediate developmental plasticity. This knowledge will be used to inform and enable cell-type specific engineering with the aim of predictably modulating plant responses to nutrients. The successful candidate will be responsible for the production and analysis of single-cell sequencing datasets and the construction and characterisation of engineered plants.
Internal: Group Leader, EI’s Deputy Directors, Director and Senior Management Team. EI’s Science Faculty and Research Teams.
External: Senior visitors to EI, collaborators, conference attendees, BBSRC and other key stakeholders
Main Activities & Responsibilities
- Conduct individual and collaborative research projects according to the overall needs of the research program
- Assist in the supervision of postgraduate students
- Attend collaboration, department meetings and conferences; prepare presentations, reports and manuscripts
- As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role
Education & Qualifications
- A PhD in molecular biology, systems biology, plant biology, or a related subject
Specialist Knowledge & Skills
- A thorough understanding of gene expression and knowledge of the techniques and approaches used in its study
- Knowledge and understanding of techniques used to engineer plants and plant genomes
- Knowledge of techniques used to reconstruct regulatory networks
- General molecular biology protocols e.g., purification of DNA/RNA, PCR etc.
- Molecular cloning/DNA assembly
- Production and/or analysis of transgenic and/or genome-edited plants
- Tools and software used for analyses of DNA sequences/construct design
- Excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to solve problems with numerous and complex variables
- Analysis of transcriptomic datasets
- Preparation of samples and libraries for next-gen sequencing
- Preparation and transfection of plant protoplasts
- Experience in light and/or confocal microscopy
- Methods used to validate or quantify protein-DNA interactions.
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
- Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
- Excellent time management and organisational skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work as part of a team
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, using initiative and applying problem solving skills
- Ability to prioritise to meet the demands of the group
- Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
- Attention to detail
- 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
- Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
- Ability to undertake occasional travel (national and international) related to collaborations and/or seminars
Who We Are
About the Earlham Institute
The Earlham Institute is a hub of life science research, training, and innovation focused on understanding the natural world through the lens of genomics.
We are building a future where the biology of any organism can be understood by analysing its genome. Our mission is to decode the scale and complexity of living systems so we can understand, benefit from, and protect life on Earth.
The Earlham Institute is based on the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from the UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC).
Earlham Institute scientists specialise in developing and testing the latest tools and approaches needed to decode living systems and make predictions about biology.
We are home to state-of-the-art facilities and technology, creating a unique combination of expertise and infrastructure. We have dedicated laboratories for genome sequencing, single-cell analysis, engineering biology, and large-scale automation; as well as one of the largest supercomputing facilities for life science research in Europe. Our Advanced Training team also provides access to specialised scientific training to upskill the next generation of research and technical staff.
The Earlham Institute champions 'team science'. Our collegiate and innovative research environment comes with significant support, including a commitment to your professional development, research and administrative assistance, and opportunities to build collaborations with scientists and industry on the Norwich Research Park, across the UK, and internationally.
The Institute is also home to talented technical and operational staff, whose invaluable contributions enable our science to have the maximum impact. We aim to recognise, reward, and develop all staff and students so that every individual feels able to achieve their best with us.
We work hard to nurture an engaged and positive workplace, centred on core values that include openness, technical excellence, and collaboration. We attract staff from around the world who contribute to - and benefit from - an environment that enables them to deliver world-class science alongside a supportive and social community.
The post-holder will work within the Patron Group at the Earlham Institute with access to a modern, well-equipped plant molecular biology lab. In addition, they will be able to access the facilities and expertise at the Earlham Institutes Platforms for Transformative Genomics and Biofoundry.
The mission of the Earlham Institute is tackling global challenges through life science research. EI's research brings together a wealth of expertise in biosciences, bioinformatics, high performance computing and biotechnology to understand complex biological systems in plants and animals and their interaction with the environment. The Earlham Institute is supported by the BBSRC to ensure that biological science in the UK has access to a skill base in genomics technologies and bioinformatics to deliver programmes leading to improved food security, advances in industrial biotechnology and improved human health and wellbeing.
The Earlham Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park (NRP), which has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health.
Living in Norfolk
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to join the Laboratory of Dr Patron in the Engineering Biology Programme at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.
Dr Patron’s lab works on plant gene regulatory networks and metabolism, applying engineering approaches to understand biological complexity and advance plant biotechnology. In recent work, we have characterised a transcriptional regulatory network involved in modulating the architecture of root systems in response to changes in nutrient availability.
This project will investigate how this network functions across cell types and examine how cell-type-specific responses to changes in the environment mediate developmental plasticity. This knowledge will be used to inform and enable cell-type specific engineering with the aim of predictably modulating plant responses to nutrients. The post holder will be responsible for the production and analysis of single-cell sequencing datasets and the construction and characterisation of engineered plants. They will also contribute to the development of single-cell sequencing methods and assist in the training and development of PhD students.
You will work in collaboration with other scientists at the Earlham Institute, including the EI single-cell genomics team, and with the Brady Lab (UC Davis). We provide a supportive research culture with an emphasis on openness, training, and development. We expect the successful applicant to contribute to the inclusive and collegiate culture at the Earlham Institute, based on research excellence, integrity, and respect.
The ideal candidate:
The successful candidate will have a PhD in molecular biology, systems biology, plant biology, or a related subject. They will have an interest in gene regulation and plant biotechnology, with previous experience in plant molecular biology. It will be advantageous if the post holder has experience or a demonstrated interested in transcriptomics.
Salary on appointment will be within the range £33,050 to £40,750 per annum depending on qualifications and experience. This is a full-time post for a contract of 36 months.
As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.
The closing date for applications will be 12th January 2023.