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Research Fellow

University of Birmingham - College of Life and Environmental Sciences School of Biosciences

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £30,395 to £39,609 With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 17th April 2019
Closes: 31st May 2019
Job Ref: 81151

Fixed Term – up to 3 years

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.

The Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) was established in 2013 thanks to a private donation, in order to address the fundamental issues that are challenging forests. The Institute works to address two major challenges: the impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands, and the resilience of trees to invasive pests and pathogens. 

As part of the BIFoR initiative, the University of Birmingham seeks to appoint a two 3-year Postdoctoral Research Fellows to work in a JABBS-funded project under the umbrella of the Action Oak initiative. Reporting to group leaders Dr Luna-Diez and Dr Kettles, and BIFoR director Prof Nicola Spence, the post-holders will work towards maximising the oak tree defence capacity to provide broad-spectrum protection from pathogens.

This position will specifically explore the genetic, molecular and biochemical mechanisms of priming of defence in the resistance of oak trees against different pathogens. In addition, the fellow will study how environmental changes, in particular elevated CO2, alter the resistance response and how resistance mechanisms change with developmental stages.

Main Duties

  • The appointed fellow will engage in developing a new line of research exploring priming in oak trees
  • Develop research objectives for own or joint research. Working closely with another postdoc in the grant (post 81150) and PhD students, the appointee will study the adaptive immune system of oak trees against a variety of oak fungal and bacterial diseases
  • Utilise the unique BIFoR-FACE experiment
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research, specifically in terms of data management and curation
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff, volunteers and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines

Skills and Experience Required:

  • First degree and a higher degree relevant to research area (e.g. Biological Sciences, Plant Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Forestry) or equivalent qualifications
  • Hold, or be close to completion of, higher degree relevant to research area
  • Strong academic publication track-record
  • Experience in tree research is highly desirable
  • Ability to perform field work
  • Ability to work in an organised manner for the collection, storing, analysing and interpreting of large sample sets
  • Ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/administration processes
  • Ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort.

Closing date: 31 May 2019                    Reference: 81151

Informal enquiries should be directed to

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote the appropriate Job Ref in all enquiries, alternatively information can be obtained from

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