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Senior Group Leader and Department Head Roles

We are seeking experienced research leaders to provide outstanding scientific leadership, delivering innovative and internationally competitive research programmes to underpin NIAB’s leading position in translational crop research. NIAB strives to deliver the crop science solutions required for highly productive, but sustainable agriculture and horticulture.

The Crop Science Centre, NIAB’s alliance with the University of Cambridge, (www.cropsciencecentre.org) places NIAB at the heart of future impact-oriented international research and development and is part of a £25 million redevelopment of NIAB’s Cambridge estate.

Headquartered in Cambridge, with a major site at East Malling, Kent and at key strategic locations across the UK, NIAB has unique capabilities and expertise, delivering both high quality research and an array of statutory and sought-after services to public and private stakeholders.

Alongside the redevelopment of the NIAB Headquarters at Cambridge, the recently awarded Strength in Places Fund will provide state-of-the-art horticultural research and plant growth facilities at the East Malling Campus, NIAB EMR.

NIAB has an excellent track record of strategic research in genetics and pre-breeding of arable crops, providing key resources for cereals (especially wheat) and protein crops (Vicia faba). Similarly, our strengths in farming systems, applied pathology, potato agronomy and horticulture research help the UK industry remain productive and resilient.

Our services include statutory DUS testing supporting Plant Breeders Rights, seed certification and testing, delivery of recommended and national list trials as well as a range of contract research, trials and other services to the agri-food sector. Applicants wishing to drive science-based innovation and impact in these areas alongside their research programme are especially welcome.

NIAB offers unique opportunities to carry out excellent research, field and farm-scale experiments and to innovate in the shaping and delivery of services at the interface with industry. NIAB has an ambitious five year plan for growth; in delivering this we are seeking to appoint established research leaders in the following areas:

  1. Integrated pest and disease management. Expertise in biocontrol, plant-insect interactions and microbiome engineering of arable and combinable crops are all key areas of interest, as are candidates with expertise in potato pathology (Cambridge) and horticulture (East Malling).
  2. Quantitative and statistical genetics is of key importance at NIAB Cambridge, with our unique pre-breeding genetic resources in cereals and legumes (e.g. synthetic wheat and MAGIC populations), as well as our wealth of field derived data. We wish to work to integrate resilience traits into crops, to aid in the deployment of sustainable cropping systems. Candidates with expertise in statistical genetics (e.g. genomic prediction) and genotype x environment interactions are especially welcome.
  3. Crop Modelling, developing capacity to simulate crop development, biotic/abiotic interactions, properties of cropping systems and linkage to wider model frameworks (e.g. weather/climate, carbon cycling, soil nutrition, water use). Applications from those with expertise in FSPM plant modelling and linkage to genetic variation would be especially welcome at both our Cambridge and East Malling sites
  4. Informatics and data science are integral to crop science and we wish to grow capability in these areas, ensuring the correct analysis tools and approaches to ensure interoperable data in research relevant to crop improvement (e.g. pangenomics, modelling, phenotyping) and statutory systems (e.g. distributed ledgers) – (Cambridge and East Malling).
  5. Crop Biotechnology NIAB is renowned for its crop transformation capabilities and wish to further its research capability in this and aligned areas, using biotechnology to accelerate crop improvement in Cambridge and the aligned use of plants for high-value products.
  6. Climate and sustainability - linking genetic innovation to farming system innovation is critical. We welcome applications from researchers in the areas of climate modelling and lifecycle assessment to understand food production and food security, the treatment of uncertainty and managing risk, and the development of climate-resilient pathways and adaptation (Cambridge and East Malling)
  7. Crop resource use - identifying areas for improvements in crop canopy architecture and radiation use efficiency, nutrient and water uptake. Candidates with expertise in potato would be of particular interest at our Cambridge site, as part of the CUF team.

Specifically, we wish to appoint to the following roles, please click on the relevant links to find out more and how to apply:

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