Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Post Details
Job Title
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Post Number
1004362
Closing Date
12 Jan 2023
Grade
SC6
Starting Salary
£33,050 - £40,750
Hours per week
37
Project Title
Cell-type specific responses to changes in the environment.
Expected/Ideal Start Date
03 Apr 2023
Months Duration
36

Job Description

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.

Key Relationships

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

Percentage
Conduct individual and collaborative research projects according to the overall needs of the research program
75
Assist in the supervision of postgraduate students
15
Attend collaboration, department meetings and conferences; prepare presentations, reports and manuscripts
10
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

Requirement
Importance
A PhD in molecular biology, systems biology, plant biology, or a related subject
Essential

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Requirement
Importance
A thorough understanding of gene expression and knowledge of the techniques and approaches used in its study
Essential
Knowledge and understanding of techniques used to engineer plants and plant genomes
Essential
Knowledge of techniques used to reconstruct regulatory networks
Desirable

Relevant Experience

Requirement
Importance
General molecular biology protocols e.g., purification of DNA/RNA, PCR etc.
Essential
Molecular cloning/DNA assembly
Essential
Production and/or analysis of transgenic and/or genome-edited plants
Essential
Tools and software used for analyses of DNA sequences/construct design
Essential
Excellent problem-solving skills with the ability to solve problems with numerous and complex variables
Essential
Analysis of transcriptomic datasets
Desirable
Preparation of samples and libraries for next-gen sequencing
Desirable
Preparation and transfection of plant protoplasts
Desirable
Experience in light and/or confocal microscopy
Desirable
Methods used to validate or quantify protein-DNA interactions.
Desirable

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Requirement
Importance
Excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity
Essential
Excellent time management and organisational skills.
Essential
Excellent 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
Ability to prioritise to meet the demands of the group
Essential
Ability to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders
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
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

Earlham Institute

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).

Our Science
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.

Our Culture
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.

Further Information:

  • Our Vision and Mission
  • Our Strategy
  • Our Culture
  • Life at Earlham Institute
  • Department

    Engineering Biology

    Group Details

    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

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    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.

    Background:

    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.

    The role:

    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.

    Additional information:

    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.