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Research Fellow in Novel Crop Production in Aeroponics

University of Surrey - Centre for Environment & Sustainability

Location: Guildford
Salary: £34,308 to £42,155 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 9th December 2022
Closes: 2nd January 2023
Job Ref: 088222

The University of Surrey is delighted to announce an exciting opportunity within the Centre for Environment & Sustainability for a postdoctoral research fellow position in the area of novel crop production in aeroponics. The position is available for up to 2 years, starting in February 2023 or soon after.

In this role, the research fellow would provide essential support in the delivery of a multi-million large-scale demonstration project, part of the BEIS Biomass Feedstock Innovation Programme. Led by the University of Surrey, you will be joining a team of 15 other scientists, innovators and industry experts from the University and beyond, including Rothamsted Research, LettUs Grow, and UK Urban AgriTech (UKUAT).

The successful candidate will be in charge of investigating the applicability of our aeroponic system to large crops and exploring the potential of the innovation to support breeding programmes. We are investigating Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Willow, forestry species and Miscanthus. You will be working closely with four key external stakeholders and will be required to extract & synthesise relevant information. Following a thorough review of opportunities and trade-offs, you will support and/or conduct specific trials in our aeroponic system with novel crops, with the support of the technical team.

The ideal candidates should hold PhD (or is close to PhD completion) with significant experiences in forestry, horticulture, plant sciences, plant breeding, and/or soilless cultivation systems. We welcome applicants from diverse background in biology, environmental sciences, plant science, agriculture, forestry, amongst others. Candidates should have experience in plant physiology and designing and conducting plant trials. You will be working with a new innovation, using crops which have never been grown in this way before so excellent initiative and strong problem-solving skills are required. An eye for detail and resilience to ongoing experimental challenges is essential.  We expect the successful candidate to be a quick learner, have the ability to critically analyse existing data and own results, and have strong communication skills to be able to work in a consortium.

If you are an enthusiastic individual who shares our Surrey ethos of “Forward Thinking & Doing” and is keen to work on an exciting new development, we would be delighted to hear from you. By joining a multidisciplinary team, you will receive unique training opportunities. In addition to conducting novel research that is likely to lead to impactful outputs & tangible innovations, you will be mentored by the line manager to develop your own professional development plan (PDP), to identify training needs (e.g., communication & people skills, leadership & management, fellowship application, etc.), and to prepare for your next stage of career in either academia or industry -- we are proud of having successfully helped numerous early-career researchers through this journey.

We are open to considering job shares & flexible working. Interviews are scheduled for [insert interview date here]

For more information about the project please look at the following links: Phase 1 Report and our project website.

For an informal discussion, please email Dr Zoe M Harris z.harris@surrey.ac.uk.

Please upload your CV and a covering letter with your application.

Further details:   

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£33,314) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate. Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£34,308).

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