• Full Time
  • Kent

Website NIAB EMR



Based at East Malling in Kent, NIAB EMR is an internationally-renowned plant science organisation conducting research on horticultural crops and their interactions with the environment, with particular emphasis on perennial and clonally propagated fruit crops. NIAB EMR is part of The NIAB Group, the UK’s fastest growing crop science organisation, with rapidly expanding research capabilities in plant genetics, physiology, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia. Employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB provides scientific research, technical services and practical advice to improve the yield, efficiency and resilience of crop production across the arable, forage and horticulture sectors.


The Pest & Pathogen Ecology Department aims to understand the ecology of pests, pathogens, host plants and natural enemies at community, whole organism and molecular levels in order to develop more effective and sustainable management methods in horticultural crops.

We are seeking a Post-doctoral Researcher to work in a large consortium on a project titled “Decoding the Rhizobiota Interactome for Improved Crop Resilience (INTERACT)” led by University of Copenhagen. This project is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, focusing on wheat.

The research work will focus on two areas: (1) determining the extent of genetic control of key root exudates, and (2) studying the interaction of key root exudates with a selected number of microbes. The research work will primarily utilize the MAGIC wheat lines held at NIAB Cambridge. In addition, the post-holder will also work closely with Cranfield University in identification and quantification of root exudates.

The successful applicant will be an enthusiastic individual with good organisational and time management skills, able to work independently as well as within a team. Previous experience in quantifying plant metabolites and handling microbes is essential. Experience in DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and statistics is desirable. A full driving licence or access to independent means of transport is essential as frequent travel to Cranfield University may be necessary.

Essential requirements are:

• PhD in relevant subjects, e.g. genetics, plant physiology, applied microbiology
• Using GCMS or HPLC for quantification of plant metabolites
• Laboratory handling micro-organisms
• Critical thinking and clear record keeping
• Team Player
• Being able to work independently

Desirable attributes are:

• Some formal training in statistics
• DNA extraction and NGS technology
• Bioinformatic analysis
• QTL mapping
• Write scientific papers for publications
• Present research findings to external audience

Starting salary in the range of £30,342 to £32,000 per annum, dependent on skills, experience and qualifications.

Further details and an application form can be obtained from the NIAB EMR website,, by e-mail from [email protected] or from the HR Office, New Road, East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ, Tel: 01732 523791. Please contact Professor Xiangming Xu, [email protected] for informal enquiries. Please include a detailed CV with your application.

Closing date for applications: 14 August 2020

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