We are seeking two enthusiastic and highly motivated students for a 4-year project that aims to unravel the genetic regulation of sex determination in Cannabis sativa (hemp).

Further details of the PhD studentship are as follows:
Team: 
The students will be based full-time at the UCD Belfield campus and will be registered for the School of Biology and Environmental Science structured PhD programme. They will be part of the UCD Centre for Plant Science and join the team of Rainer Melzer which is devoted to studying developmental and genetic aspects of crop plants, in particular hemp.
The students will also complete a number of advanced PhD-level modules, as well as professional training, which will benefit their future career.

Project description:
Unlike many other plants, Cannabis sativa (hemp) produces male and female individuals. It is established that sex determination is genetic, but the exact molecular pathways involved remain elusive.
• In this project, we will use genomics and transcriptomics to identify genes controlling sex determination in Cannabis.
• If you have a BSc or MSc in life sciences or bioinformatics and are interested in plants, this project is for you!

Specific roles:

• PhD student 1:
• Analysis of a mapping population segregating for sex expression
• Genome sequencing, assembly and annotation
• Genetic analyses
• 4 year fellowship, €18,500 per year
• PhD student 2:
• Analysis of the effect of plant hormones on sex expression
• Transcriptomics
• Plant growth and phenotyping
• 4 year fellowship, €18,500 per year

Qualifications: The project is suited to applicants who have an interest in crop science or plant pathology and a background in crop science, microbiology, botany, or plant genetics. Other cognate disciplines may also be considered. Applicants should possess a minimum of a B.Sc. Honours degree graded at 2.1, or higher. Proficiency in English language (both written and spoken), an aptitude for critical inquiry and problem solving, as well as the ability to work in a team are essential.

Stipend: The successful applicant will receive a tax-free stipend of €18,500 per year, full coverage of tuition fees and funds for conference travel. The position will start on the 2nd of January 2023.

Informal enquiries are welcome! please e-mail: rainer.melzer@ucd.ie

To apply please e-mail rainer.melzer@ucd.ie by 30th September 2022 a single pdf document containing:

• A motivation letter detailing your research interests and goals.
• A detailed curriculum vitae describing any previous research experience.
• Your academic transcripts.
• The contact details (e-mail and phone number) of at least two academic referees.

Equality and diversity: UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly regardless of gender, age, race, disability, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, civil status, family status, or membership of the travelling community. Applications from all suitably qualified candidates will be considered.

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