Postdoctoral position in Plant Biotechnology (PA2023/2812)

Updated: 5 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 26 Sep 2023

Description of the workplace

The researcher position is in the Department of Chemistry, Division of Biotechnology. Research in the division involves both fundamental and applied studies within different areas of biotechnology. Specific application areas are industrial biotechnology, environmental biotechnology, health biotechnology and, more recently, plant biotechnology. The division executes various multidisciplinary projects in collaboration with other national and international academic institutions, which involve the development of biological processes for the transformation of living organisms and biomass components to be used in medicine, agriculture, materials, energy, and food industries.

Subject description

Exploring and generating genetic variation is key in Plant Breeding. Transcriptomics and bioinformatics play an important role in the identification and exploration of variation in the genotype and the phenotype of crops. In this project, we will look at the translocation and metabolism of iron in sweetpotato. This can be done through the analysis of expressed gene sequences (transcriptomics) in sweetpotato plants grown in different environmental conditions and different types of soils containing different levels of iron (out in the fields and in a greenhouse). Either through bioinformatic analyses and comparison to the available sweetpotato genome or by the generation of new sequence data from transcripts, a detailed insight into iron translocation and metabolism mechanisms will be generated. These complementary approaches will generate an inventory of the genes (or gene families) related to iron metabolism, and their variation. The aim is to reconstruct in silico the pathways involved in iron metabolism from this gene catalogue.

Work duties

The main duties involved in a post-doctoral position is to conduct research. Teaching may also be included, but up to no more than 20% of working hours. The position includes the opportunity for three weeks of training in higher education teaching and learning. The purpose of the position is to develop the independence as a researcher and to create the opportunity of further development.

The specific tasks of your duties are to develop innovative and high-throughput molecular tools (in vivo, in vitro and in silico) for the breeding of sweetpotato with high bioavailable iron content. You will also use your experience establishing sweet potato cultivation in Nordic conditions to find answers to the world's challenges in agriculture and crops with high nutritional value.

You are expected to supervise undergraduate and graduate students, as well as educate and conduct experiments in the field and in the laboratory.

This project is executed in close collaboration with colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Central American Agricultural Institutes with whom you will work closely in their facilities (greenhouse, climate-controlled chamber, in vitro facilities, open fields).

Detailed description of the work duties, such as:

  • Research in the molecular plant breeding of sweet potato including in vitro culture, maintenance of plants in greenhouses and climate chamber for subsequent transfer to the field.
  • Development of bioengineering genetic tools to improve the nutritional value of sweet potato and adapt it to the Nordic climate.
  • Active search for relevant sweetpotato material in germplasm banks.
  • Teaching and supervision of projects within plant biotechnology in the first, second and third cycle of studies (Bachelor, Master, and Doctorate students).
  • Active search for external funding for research.
  • Collaboration with international research institutes, as well as with industry and society in general.
  • Administration related to the job functions listed above.

Qualification requirements
Appointment to a post-doctoral position requires that the applicant has a PhD, or an international degree deemed equivalent to a PhD, within the subject of the position. The certificate proving the qualification requirement is met, must be received before the employment decision is made. Priority will be given to candidates who have graduated no more than three years ago before the last day for application. Under special circumstances, the doctoral degree can have been completed earlier.

Position Requirements:

  • Has a Ph.D. in agriculture, biological sciences, or plant breeding, preferably with a strong component in plant genetics. In addition, the candidate must have good knowledge and practical skills in genetic data analysis and plant physiology.
  • Must have extensive experience in fields, greenhouses, and laboratories working with sweet potato and other roots and tubers.
  • Has extensive experience in molecular biology techniques, but also extensive experience in establishing in vitro cultures of sweet potato seedlings.
  • Has excellent applied statistics skills, such as distributions, statistical tests, etc.
  • Has an interest in translating biological challenges into bioinformatics solutions and vice versa.
  • Must have a solid understanding of multidisciplinary tasks in relation to plant breeding, experience collaborating with plant breeders and growers.
  • Must be able to work well independently as well as collaborate in groups and have good general communication skills, including the ability to communicate and write well in English.
  • Since post-doctoral appointments are professional development positions, we are primarily looking for candidates with a recent doctoral degree, ie less than three years old.

Additional qualification:

  • Very good oral and written command of English.
  • More than five years of experience working in plant breeding (classical and/or assisted by markers)
  • We consider experience in teaching, supervision of undergraduate and master's students, and project management as additional merits.
  • Personal qualities required include, but are not limited to, independence, the ability to collaborate, working in a fast-paced, interdisciplinary environment.

Assessment criteria
This is a career development position primarily focused on research. The position is intended as an initial step in a career, and the assessment of the applicants will primarily be based on their research qualifications and potential as researchers. Particular emphasis will be placed on research skills within the subject.

For appointments to a post-doctoral position, the following shall form the assessment criteria:

  • A good ability to develop and conduct high quality research.
  • Teaching skills.

Other qualifications:

  • Some knowledge of Spanish may be desirable as many of our collaborators are from Central America.

Consideration will also be given to how the applicant’s experience and skills complement and strengthen ongoing research within the department, and how they stand to contribute to its future development.

We offer
Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme. Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University. https://www.lunduniversity.lu.se/about-university/work-lund-university

Further information

This is a full-time, fixed-term employment of 2years. The period of employment is determined in accordance with the agreement “Avtal om tidsbegränsad anställning som postdoktor” (“Agreement on fixed-term employment as a post-doctoral fellow”).

How to apply

Applications shall be written in English. Please draw up the application in accordance with LTH’s Academic qualifications portfolio – see link below. Upload the application as PDF-files in the recruitment system (including your PhD certificate). Read more: To apply for academic positions at LTH. http://www.lth.se/english/working-at-lth/to-apply-for-academic-positions-at-lth/

Welcome to apply!



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