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Assistant Plant Breeder - Strawberries

NIAB

Location: East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ, UK

Interview Date: 20 February 2023

Salary: £20,972 to £26,810 per annum

Reference: SV/A1336

Contract: Permanent

Working hours: 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday (including occasional weekends on a rota).

ABOUT THE JOB

We wish to appoint an organised and practically minded person to the role of Assistant Plant Breeder working in the Strawberry Breeding team. As a key member of the team  will be supporting many technical aspects of the breeding programme. Duties include:

  • Assisting with the day-to-day management of the strawberry breeding programmes
  • Performing phenotypic evaluation of plant and fruit in trial assessments
  • Supervision of seasonal trial staff
  • Manage and maintaining the germplasm collection
  • Carrying out controlled crosses, seed collection and extraction
  • To assist with pathogen sceening and tissue culture (including meristem excision)
  • Providing administrative support such as data entry and ordering supplies

The aim of the programme is to develop new strawberry varieties for the UK and global soft fruit industry, improving characteristics such as crop yield, berry size, fruit quality and resilience to pest and disease.  We are proud of developing our flagship June-bearing variety, the UK retailer standard Malling™ Centenary and this role is an exciting opportunity to be part of breeding the next strawberry for the soft fruit industry.

The Strawberry Breeding Team is a friendly team with a strong work ethic.  No season is ever the same, so being able to adapt to the challenges of the season and pull together as a team is essential. This is an exciting opportunity to join a dynamic team developing the next strawberry for industry.

Informal enquires are welcome, please contact Katie Hopson, Plant Breeder katie.hopson@niab.com

Benefits include 25 days’ holiday plus public holidays and 3 days off during the Christmas period, flexible working, generous sick pay, attractive pension scheme, income protection, life assurance, free on-site parking, an active social club at the East Malling site and great colleagues.

Location

The role is based at East Malling, Kent, ME19 6BJ.  East Malling is three miles from junction four of the M20, with plenty of free on-site parking.  NIAB East Malling can easily be accessed by the London Victoria to Dover (via Ashford International) rail route via West Malling station.  Alternatively, exit the train at the East Malling station and take the short walk onto site.

ABOUT YOU

Essential Requirements

Ideally you have:

  • BTEC/HND/A-Levels (including Biology) or other relevant experience/qualifications
  • Practical experience in the horticultural or agricultural industry, working in glasshouse, polytunnel or field environments
  • Full UK driving licence or access to independent means of travelling, enabling you to travel to grower sites. Transport can be provided.
  • Interest in expanding knowledge of plant breeding and learning new skills
  • Ability to work within a team environment and independently
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Accurate observational and data recording skills
  • Competency in Microsoft Office Word and Excel
  • Good manual dexterity
  • Good time management skills

Desirable Requirements

Ideally you will also have:

  • BSc degree in Biology, Horticulture or Agriculture or equivalent
  • Experience of plant breeding
  • Experience of clonal propagation
  • Experience of working in a laboratory
  • Line management or supervision of staff
  • Experience of growing strawberry plants
  • Ability to recognise plant pests and pathogens

See full Job Description on our website for more details. 

ABOUT US

Come and join an internationally-renowned organisation which is conducting research at East Malling on tree and soft fruit horticultural crops and their interactions with the environment.

With sites across the UK, NIAB is a dynamic, research led and market driven plant bioscience organisation, with an emphasis on innovative applications for end-users in the agricultural, horticultural and food sectors.  With over 100 years’ experience of technology evaluation and transfer, NIAB is spear-heading the advancement of plant genetic resources through research, technical services and training.

NIAB actively promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.  As a Disability Confident Employer we have a positive approach to employing people living with a disability.

TO APPLY

Click the ‘Apply’ button or visit our website Careers | NIAB for further details and to apply directly.  Any questions?  Informal enquires are welcome, please contact jobs@niab.com or call Human Resources on 01732 523797. 

World class experience, skills and resources

Location: East Malling, Kent
Salary: £20,972 to £26,810
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 23rd January 2023
Closes: 5th February 2023
Job Ref: SV/A1336
   
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