Salary: from £32,827 per annum, depending on experience.
Contract: 3 year fixed term
Working hours: 37 hours per week, Monday-Friday

ABOUT THE JOB: We are looking to recruit a Postdoctoral Researcher (Molecular Plant Pathologist) to join our Plant Pathology team to understand the mechanisms of rust resistance and pathogen virulence through research on common bean genomics and genetics, rust genomics and effector biology.

The successful candidate will join a new project in partnership with the Crop Science Centre and collaborators in Africa that aims to greatly enhance basic understanding of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) – bean rust (Uromyces appendiculatus) pathosystem and provide new capabilities to support researchers and extension workers in East Africa, enabling them to implement more effective disease control strategies.

The role will be responsible for conducting first-class research characterising the NLR gene family and functional NLR gene networks conferring resistance to bean rust in P. vulgaris, generating a chromosome-scale genome assembly for U. appendiculatus, and beginning to characterise bean-rust effector complements.

Working primarily in the lab and growth rooms, key duties include designing and conducting experiments, data analysis, manuscript preparation for peer-reviewed publications and dissemination of project results at scientific meetings, and interaction with the project partners, collaborators, and service providers.

You will be travelling, at least once a week, between our two Cambridge sites (north Cambridge and Histon) so a full driving licence is an advantage (transport can be provided).  Some travel for meetings and short periods of research to East Africa will also be required.

Location: The role is based at NIAB Headquarters, Cambridge CB3 0LE with weekly visits to NIAB Park Farm, Histon, CB24 9NZ. HQ has free on-site parking and is 2 miles from Cambridge city centre, linked by extensive cycle ways and regular buses.For an informal enquiry about this vacancy please contact Dr Kostya Kanyuka, Head of Plant Pathology ( or Dr Tom Wood, Legume Pathology Programme Leader (

About youEssential requirements:

Ideally you will have:
• PhD in Molecular Plant Pathology or related plant science discipline or equivalent qualifications/experience
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• IT skills – high level of competency in MS Word, Excel, SharePoint, PowerPoint, Photoshop or similar image processing software
• Excellent molecular biology skills (RNA, DNA), including molecular cloning
• Good knowledge in plant-pathogen interactions and plant immunity
• Proficiency with statistical/data analysis techniques including basic bioinformatics skills
• Experience working with crop/model plants and plant pathogens
• Experience in plant molecular genetics/quantitative genetics
• Driving licence or access to independent means of transport enabling you to travel between sites.  Transport can be provided.

Desirable requirements:

Ideally you will also have:
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Experience working with rust fungi and Phaseolus vulgaris
• Experience in pathogenomics and/or effector biology
• Experience with agroinfiltration in Nicotiana benthamiana
• Ability to supervise staff
• Flexibility – able to work alone and as part of a small te

ABOUT USNIAB is the UK’s leading crop science organisation, with research capabilities in plant genetics, agronomy, farming systems and data science, the largest national field trials capability, and strong research links with industry, Government and academia. With headquarters in Cambridge, and regional offices across the country, employing more than 400 people across the UK, NIAB advances the role of plant genetic resources through research services and training.

NIAB’s position at the interface of academic research and commercial breeding offers opportunities for strong collaborations across the plant sciences sector. The campus at our HQ site includes the Crop Science Centre, a collaboration between NIAB and the University of Cambridge, with a mission to deliver food in a sustainable way.

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.

How to apply:

See full Job Description for more details. Click the ‘Apply’ button for further details and to apply directly. Any questions? Email or call Human Resources on 01223 342282.


Location: Cambridgeshire
Closing date: 10 Sep 2023

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