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Postdoctoral Researcher (Crop Pathology)

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

These are growing in importance world-wide and are among the most serious diseases of crops, threatening food production in many regions of the world.


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.

It is one of several research groups in plant pathology at the John Innes Centre, which together make this an outstanding institute for research on crop diseases.

The role

The goals of the project are to understand the role of globalisation in the world-wide increase in rust diseases of wheat, and to develop recommendations for reducing the spread and severity of wheat rusts.

The project will investigate global changes in agriculture, the environment and society, including globalisation of food production, plant breeding, trade and travel, and assess their impacts on rusts of wheat. Conclusions from the work will contribute to a European Union programme on improving rust control in wheat crops.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will work with a substantial degree of independence to obtain and analyse diverse data relevant to the project.

The project will involve collaboration with other scientists at the John Innes Centre and other organisations within the EU’s Horizon 2020 RustWatch project. The work will include writing papers, helping to train other scientists, contributing to reports and recommendations, and making presentations at meetings and conferences.

The ideal candidate

Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the successful applicant may have a PhD or equivalent experience in an agricultural science or a social science relevant to agriculture.

Applicants should have the ability to develop novel ideas and testable hypotheses about the impact of large-scale changes in agriculture on crop diseases; to identify relevant sources of published data to test those hypotheses; and to translate research findings into practical recommendations. A high level of expertise in data analysis is essential, as are excellent science communication skills, both written and oral.

Knowledge of plant pathology, including breeding for disease resistance, is required and knowledge of areas such as travel and transport, climate change or crop genetics will be useful.

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 period of 30 months.

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

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.

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 closing date for applications will be 12 January 2020.  

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852) grant-aided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

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