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Postdoctoral Researcher (Brown Lab)

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the Crop Pathology group to study the impact of globalisation on diseases of arable crops.


The post is in the lab of Professor James Brown, which takes an inter-disciplinary approach to studying durable control of crop diseases, including methods of breeding for durable resistance.

This is one of several research groups studying diverse aspects of plant pathology, which together make the John Innes Centre an outstanding institute for research on crop diseases.

The role

The goal of the project is to understand the impact of current, rapid changes in agriculture on the durability of crop disease resistance. These include globalisation of the plant breeding industry, climate change, and inadvertent dispersal of pathogens by global transport networks.

The research will focus on rust diseases of wheat, particularly the genetic diversity of disease resistance, changes in the severity of rust epidemics, and improved control of wheat rusts. The project will be a desk study, combining data from diverse sources in agricultural science, international transport, and climate change.

The work will involve collaboration with colleagues at John Innes Centre and with partners in an EU Horizon 2020 project, RustWatch.

The ideal candidate

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the successful applicant may have a PhD or equivalent experience in agricultural economics, a social science relevant to agriculture, or a relevant discipline within agricultural science. Candidates must be able to define testable hypotheses in social sciences relevant to agriculture, and to identify and use relevant data sources.

A high level of expertise in analysing complex data is essential, as are excellent communication skills, both written and oral, including the ability to present complex information with clarity. Knowledge of areas such as agricultural science, particularly plant breeding and plant pathology, international travel and transport, and climate change will be advantageous.

Additional information

Salary on appointment will be within the range £31,625 to £38,575 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full time post for a contract of 30 months.

The closing date for applications will be 4 September 2019.  

We welcome applications from candidates seeking job-share, part-time or other flexible working arrangements.

Interviews will be held on 18 September 2019.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or  quoting reference 1003753.

Click here to find out more about working at the John Innes Centre.

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. The John Innes Centre is also proud to hold a Gold Award from Athena SWAN and is 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.

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