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 almost 90 years’ experience of technology evaluation and transfer, NIAB is spear-heading the advancement of plant genetic resources through research, technical services and training.  

Based at East Malling in Kent, NIAB is an internationally-renowned plant science organisation conducting research on horticultural crops and their interactions with the environment, with a particular emphasis on tree- and soft-fruit crops.

The ‘Growing Kent & Medway’ project, which has recently been awarded £18M by the Strength in Places Fund, will provide state-of-the-art horticultural research and plant growth facilities at NIAB EMR.  Building on Kent and Medway’s established industry base, the project aims to make this region one of the most dynamic, competitive and successful horticultural and Agri-tech locations in the world, and is making collaborative R&D funding grants available for horticultural food and drink businesses across Kent and Medway.

In delivering an ambitious five-year plan for growth, we are seeking to appoint a plant pathologist. This post will focus on exploring the importance of native microbial communities that modulate plant growth and health. Limited information is available about the structure, composition, and dynamics of horticulture-associated microbial communities as well as the functional contribution of cultured and uncultured community members who directly involved in the acquisition of nutrients, growth promotion, resilience against pathogens, and tolerance against abiotic stress (heat, drought, and salinity). The ultimate aim is to manipulate resident microbiome to benefit crop production whilst improving resource use efficiency and minimizing the input of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.  The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of pathologists, entomologists and bioinformaticians to research and deliver real solutions for plant diseases to the fruit industry.

All applicants must hold, or be about to obtain, a PhD in a relevant topic, have research experience in one of the described research areas, and be able to demonstrate they have the skills required to deliver high quality scientific research. All applicants should have a good track record of working with industrial partners. Appointed applicants will develop their own area of research and collaborate with the wider NIAB Group.

Informal enquiries to:  Dr Michelle Fountain (

The salary for this role is in the range of £31,413 to £51,538 per annum, dependent on skills, experience and qualifications.

Apply Now

Location: Kent
Closing date: 31 Jul 2022
Reference number: SV/A1326

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