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NASSTEC project posts

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) – Comparative Plant Biologist (1 post)

Early Stage Researcher (ESR) – Seed Biologist (1 post)

HOURS OF WORK: Full time – 36 hours per week

JOB STATUS: 3 years Fixed Term Appointment, from 1st Oct 2014 until 30th September 2017

DIRECTORATE: Science

LOCATION: Wakehurst Place in Ardingly, in the Seed Conservation Department of the RBG Kew

CLOSING DATE: 23 May 2014 at 10 am

Kew is the world-leader in plant diversity science, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a major visitor attraction, that shows the importance of plants in all our lives. Kew’s mission is to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life. 

RBG Kew are looking for two highly qualified graduates in Plant Sciences / Plant Molecular Biology (ESR 7B) or Plant Sciences / Environmental Sciences (ESR 9C) for two Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher (ESR) grants in the NASSTEC project, an FP7-MC-ITN promoting the use of native seeds for grassland restoration and building capacity for native seed production. This Initial Training Network is funded by the EU ‘People Programme’ of Framework Programme 7 (FP7), contract number PITN-GA-2013-607785; and will run from 1st April 2014 until 31st March 2018 (http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/109248_en.html).

The topics of these two Early Stage Researcher positions are:

  • a Comparative Plant Biologist (ESR 7B), Life history traits in contrasting environments;
  • a Seed Biologist (ESR 9C),  [Anchor] Developing an understanding of the ecophysiological basis of seed germination and ex-situ seed storage in temperate understory flora

The entire NASSTEC scientific and training network contains 11 ESR projects, and each project will reside within one of three sub programs: A, In-situ seed sampling; B, Seed biology characterisation, and; C, Production and deployment of seed. RBG Kew are recruiting two ESRs, one falling in program B and one falling in program C.

 

Job descriptions

Comparative Plant Biologist  (ESR 7B)

Will be responsible for (1) generating genetic and phenotypic information on provenances adapted to stressful environments in which water and temperature limitations / extremes impact on species selection and survival; and (2) developing species ranking for seed stress tolerance and a list of alleles and genes that concur with stress tolerance.

Essential skills and competencies include: proficiency in English, able to communicate competently and effectively in all language skills; two science-related A-levels or equivalent; MSc or equivalent second degree in Plant Sciences or Plant Molecular Biology or a relevant field, or a 2:1 first degree with additional research, work or training experience equivalent to a second degree; demonstrated scientific writing skills, e.g. co-authorship of scientific publication; well-developed communication skills.

Desired skills are: basic knowledge of Italian; background in seed ecology, stress biology, genetics, bio-informatics; experience of working in a research laboratory; proficient in basic computer software and statistical analysis; knowledge of experimental design; ability to work independently and as part of a team; flexible attitude, as aspects of the project may evolve differently than anticipated and international travel will be required.

The project will include a one-month secondment in the first year at the Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Italy (PAT); a one-month secondment in the second year at the RECREA Gestión de Instraestructuras culturales, Turística y deportivas de Asturias, Spain (RCRA); and a one-month secondment of choice in the third year.

 

Seed Biologist (ESR 9C)

Will be responsible for (1) assessing natural reproductive output and soil seed bank dynamics and quantifying constraints to germination and seed storage in selected understory plants; (2) developing germination and propagation protocols; and (3) determining field production methods that maximise plant establishment and genetic diversity of offspring.

Essential skills and competencies include: proficiency in English, able to communicate competently and effectively in all language skills; two science-related A-levels or equivalent; MSc or equivalent second degree in Plant Sciences or Environmental Sciences or a relevant field, or a 2:1 first degree with additional research, work or training experience equivalent to a second degree; demonstrated scientific writing skills, e.g. co-authorship of scientific publication; well-developed communication skills.

Desired skills are: basic knowledge of Italian; background in seed ecology, seed physiology, biostatistics; experience of working in a research laboratory; proficient in basic computer software; knowledge of experimental design; ability to work independently and as part of a team; flexible attitude, as aspects of the project may evolve differently than anticipated and international travel will be required.

The project will include a one-month secondment in the first year at the University of Pavia (UNIPV); a one-month secondment in the second year at Semillas Silvestris, Cordoba, Spain (SESIL); and a one-month secondment of choice in the third year.

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

Number of positions available: 2

 

Requirements

Eligible candidates must satisfy the following criteria:

  • hold a first or upper-second class Honours Degree in Plant Sciences / Plant Molecular Biology (ESR7B), or in Plant Sciences / Environmental Sciences (ESR9C);
  • hold a Masters Degree in a relevant field or equivalent work/training experience equivalent to a second level degree, that entitles them to embark on a PhD;
  • be in the first 4 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;
  • have not resided or carried out activities (studies, work, etc.) in the country of the host institution for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the closing date of this advert;
  • have not been awarded a doctoral degree (PhD);
  • may be of any nationality, though applicants wishing to work within the UK must be entitled to do so before they can be employed;
  • 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);
  • have no pending military obligation;
  • hold a valid driver’s license.

 

Benefits

The salary is calculated under the provisions of the EU for the ESR positions in Marie Curie Actions. For the UK the salary is calculated applying the country correction coefficient of 1.344 which amounts to € 38,000.00 per annum (inclusive of employers National Insurance Contribution and Superannuation) for a corrected total of € 51,072.00 per annum, based on the current exchange rate. This salary will be paid in GBP. The salary is supplemented by a mobility allowance of € 8,400.00 per annum corrected for UK to a total of € 11,289.60 per annum paid in GBP, based on the current exchange rate. In the case of a Researcher with a family this amount is supplemented by a further contribution of € 4,838.40 per annum paid in GBP, based on the current exchange rate. The definition of a family complies with the one accepted under the UK national legislation. All the amounts quoted are gross amounts that include all compulsory deductions under national legislation (i.e. all direct taxes and social security contributions), both those charged to the employers and those charged to the employee, and subject to pension arrangements. Consequently the net amount might vary according to the special situation of each ESR and to the possible variation during the project duration of the compulsory deductions under the national legislation.

 

Employee Benefits- RBG Kew

 

Additional job details 

For further information and inquires contact Peter Toorop (ESR 7B) at  p.toorop@kew.org or Hugh Pritchard (ESR 9C) at h.pritchard@kew.org

 

 

How to apply

1. Download and read the job profile

2. Complete an Application Form and an Equality and Diversity Form

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