Senior Research Officer – Plant Molecular Biology

Senior Research Officer – Plant Molecular Biology

University of Essex

Essex, United Kingdom

Senior Research Officer – Plant Molecular Biology
School of Biological Sciences

The project
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Researcher to join the laboratory of Dr Ulrike Bechtold ( in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex.

This project will assess a B. juncea diversity panel for drought and heat sensitivity to understand the genetic and molecular basis of termperature and drought tolerance. The project will combine physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology phenotyping to assess plant responses to both stresses. The successful candidate will also implement a novel drought response and water use parameter in Brassica juncea and Brassica napus. The aim is to identify and functionally evaluate genes associated with heat and drought stress responses as future breeding targets.

Duties of the Role
To screen the diversity panel we will combine biochemistry, molecular biology, gene expression and physiology to identify stress responses genes and to test these targets for potential signalling functions.

The successful candidate will:
1. Perform and analyse abiotic stress experiments in Brassica juncea and Brassica napus
2. Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of the project leader
3. Generate primary research data through experimentation within the framework of the project
4. Analyse and interpret research findings and results
5. Contribute to developing new techniques and methods
6. Prepare manuscripts for publication; giving presentations at national and international conferences; and engaging in other dissemination and outreach activities to academic and non-academic audiences as appropriate
7. Assist in the supervision of masters and undergraduate level projects

This post is fixed-term for 18 months and is available from 01 September 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Appointment will be made as Senior Research Officer.

Skills and qualifications required
The post-holder will work independently, showing initiative and leadership within this multi-partner international project. Potential candidates should have, or expect to soon receive, a PhD in the areas of plant biology or physiology with experience in basic plant biology including gene expression analysis (RNA-Seq, qPCR), evaluation of stress responses (H2O2, antioxidants etc) and knowledge in plant physiology.

Candidates must have strong practical skills and a keen interest in investigating heat and drought stress responses for the purpose of gene discovery and evaluation in the context of plant signalling pathways that underpin plant growth and stress responses.

Candidates should also evidence a developing research agenda, engagement in high-quality research activity and a developing research profile; a developing record of publications in internationally recognised, reputable journals appropriate to career stage and discipline norms, or evidence of research outputs such as reports and briefings; experience of, or the ability to, generate income to support research and/or knowledge exchange appropriate to career stage and discipline norms; awareness of laboratory safety and general laboratory competence (COSHH, GM safety, good laboratory practice etc) and the ability to travel for work related purposes.

At the University of Essex internationalism is central to who we are and what we do. We are committed to being a cosmopolitan, internationally-oriented university that is welcoming to staff and students from all countries and a university where you can find the world in one place.

Please see the further detail link below for a full job description and person specification which outlines the full duties, skills, qualifications and experience needed for this role plus more information relating to the post. We recommend you read this information carefully before making an application. Applications should be made on-line, but if you would like advice or help in making an application, or need information in a different format, please telephone the Resourcing Team (01206 876559).
For further informal enquiries please contact Dr Ulrike Bechtold (

*Further detail: Senior Research Officer – Plant Molecular Biology jobpack
*More information: Working at the University

Closing date: 01 April 2019

Interview date: Week commencing 29 April 2019

Salary: £33,199 per annum

Please apply via recruiter’s website.