Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Research Assistant within the Genetics & Biotechnology Lab of Prof. Charles Spillane at the Agriculture & Bioeconomy Research Centre within the Ryan Institute, College of Science and Engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway.

This position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and is available from earliest possible date in August 2022 to contract end date of 31 July 2024.

Within the Research Group of Prof. Charles Spillane the Research Assistant will work within a highly dynamic research team focused on using advanced genetic and epigenetic approaches to improve yields and traits in perennial ryegrass. The Research Assistant will join a heterosis genetics research team which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and consists of both postdocs and PhD students.

We are seeking highly motivated and talented scientists with excellent wet lab skills in plant genetics and epigenetics, particularly in relation to topics such as genomics/epigenomics, genome editing and genetic transformation. Candidates with strong additional skills in analysis of genomics/epigenomics datasets and with some bioinformatics expertise (e.g. R, Python) are particularly welcome.


  • Work with SFI research team on the overall project to develop a genome editing system in perennial ryegrass.
  • To perform in-vitro plant regeneration using optimised protocol with different varieties of ryegrass for callus induction and plant regeneration.
  • To perform transformation and regeneration of ryegrass for targeting of specific genes by genome editing.
  • To perform optimisation of ryegrass callus transformation with different agrobacterium strains.
  • DNA/RNA isolation preferably from plant tissuesPCR/qPCR/ddPCR assay design and validation.
  • Making liquid media, agar plates, gels, stock solutions and antibiotic stocks
  • Perform molecular biology tasks with limited supervision
  • Ability to maintain detailed and accurate records of lab work
  • General maintenance of laboratory equipment and supplies
  • Accurately follow established protocols
  • Engage in communication/research with project collaborators.
  • Work closely with students assigned to the Project, and assist in daily supervision of their research activities.
  • To keep appropriate records as directed and in line with Funder/University policy
  • To work closely with other members of Professor Spillane’s research team on an on-going basis to support the efficient functioning of the project through providing continuous contributions to the technical program, including aiding in the preparation of grant reporting and follow-on research and innovation financing leverage.

The Research Assistant will be supervised by Professor Spillane and senior research members of Professor Spillane’s team, where Research Assistant will be required to engage in weekly project meetings and presentations.

Essential Requirements:

  • Bachelor or Master degree in Molecular Genetics, Molecular Biology or a related field.
  • Research and technical expertise in plant molecular genetics and plant tissue culture.
  • Knowledge and expertise of genome editing and TILLING By Sequencing approaches.
  • Evidence of research activity (publications, conference presentations, awards) and future scholarly output (working papers, research proposals etc.)
  • Excellent project management, analytical, report writing and data analysis skills.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, presentation).

Desirable Requirements:

  • Relevant experience working in a research lab setting
  • Bioinformatics and genomics skills
  • Fundamental and applied knowledge of molecular biology techniques
  • Excellent organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Resourceful, eager to learn, results-driven, and team-oriented, with meticulous attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently in a timely manner
  • Prior experience working with multiple cloning techniques (Gibson, In-Fusion, traditional), Sanger sequencing, qPCR etc

Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post

Salary: €27,380 – €28,153 per annum pro rata for shorter and/or part-time contracts (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply).

Start date: Position is available from earliest possible start date August 2022

Continuing Professional Development/Training

Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans. NUI Galway provides continuing professional development supports for all researchers seeking to build their own career pathways either within or beyond academia.  Researchers are encouraged to engage with our Researcher Development Centre (RDC) upon commencing employment.

Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Professor Charles Spillane

To Apply:

Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Professor Charles Spillane

Please put reference number NUIG RES 193-22 in subject line of e-mail application (only applications with this in subject line will be considered).

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm (Irish Time) Thursday 11th August, 2022

We reserve the right to re-advertise or extend the closing date for this post. 

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer. 

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment  

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