Postdoctoral researcher in Plant breeding and crop diversity

Updated: 3 months ago

SLU’s Dept of Plant Breeding focuses on research, education and innovation of strategic importance for a sustainable and profitable cultivation of crops for food, feed and industrial products in a changing climate. The Dept has three areas: Plant Breeding, Plant Biotechnology, and Plant Product Quality. The Dept utilises a wide range of techniques from field experiments to genetics, genomics, phenomics, gene editing, biochemistry, physiology and modelling.

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Subject description

Our group is developing molecular breeding methods to generate sweetpotato germplasm that is 1) nutritious to the benefit of vulnerable populations in the global South, and 2) adapted to cultivation in Scandinavia. We aim to reconstruct the pathways involved in iron metabolism and to develop lines with high bioavailable iron content. We also develop sweetpotato that is adapted to cultivation in Scandinavia by testing early-maturing clones under short-day and long-day conditions and measuring the physiological and genetic response. We are developing the protocols for gene editing in this hexaploid crop. We are collaborating with Lund University in Sweden as well as with the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru and with institutes in Guatemala and Honduras.


The main duties involved in this position is to conduct research. The tasks are to support the sweetpotato project by developing molecular tools to generate 1) a high content of bioavailable iron, and 2) an adequate root growth under the long-day conditions in Scandinavia. You will lead experiments and supervise students. We work closely with Lund University in Sweden, CIP in Peru, and with partners in Guatemala and Honduras, and travel may be included within the project.

The work duties include:

  • In vitro culture and maintenance of sweetpotato in greenhouse and climate chamber;
  • Managing field trial (possibly)
  • Molecular biology methods incl nucleic acid extractions, PCR, electrophoresis, cloning etc;
  • Bioinformatics at a basic to intermediate level;
  • Searching for and acquiring suitable sweetpotato germplasm from collections world-wide;
  • Supervision of degree projects and doctoral students;
  • Actively seeking external research funding;
  • International collaboration with research partners.

  • You must have a PhD in agriculture, biological sciences, or plant breeding, preferably with a strong component of plant genetics. As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions, priority will be given to candidates who have graduated no more than three years ago before the last day for application;
  • You must have extensive lab, greenhouse and field experience working preferably with sweetpotato (or with other roots or tubers);
  • You must have good knowledge and practical skills in genetic data analysis and plant physiology;
  • You must have experience with molecular biology techniques;
  • You must have good applied statistics skills;
  • You should have a sound understanding of multidisciplinary tasks in relation to plant breeding, and experience collaborating with plant breeders and growers;
  • You must be able to work well independently as well as to collaborate in groups and have good overall communication skills, including the ability to communicate and write well in English.

Additional qualifications

  • It is highly advantageous to have led research projects;
  • It is highly advantageous with more than five years of experience working with plant breeding, particularly in sweetpotato;
  • Knowledge in bioinformatics (though specific experience with transcriptomics or other large dataset analysis is not essential as this will be done in collaboration with researchers at Lund University);
  • Experience in teaching and supervision of students.

As postdoctoral appointments are career-developing positions for junior researchers, we are primarily looking for candidates with a doctoral degree that is three years old at most.

Place of work:


Form of employment:

Temporary employment 24 months. Following the Postdoc agreement. 



Starting date:

According to agreement.


We welcome your application no later than 2023-12-11, use the button below.

Academic union representatives:

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) has a key role in the development for sustainable life, based on science and education. Through our focus on the interaction between humans, animals and ecosystems and the responsible use of natural resources, we contribute to sustainable societal development and good living conditions on our planet. Our main campuses are located in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala, however, the university also operates at research stations, experimental forests and teaching sites throughout Sweden.

SLU has around 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and doctoral students and a turnover of over SEK 3 billion. We are investing in attractive environments on all of our campuses. We strive to provide a work environment characterised by inclusivity and gender equality, where different experiences generate conversations between people and pave the way for science, creativity and development. Therefore, we welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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