Research Fellow (106549-0123) . Job Reference: 1889846

University of Warwick
February 16, 2023
Offerd Salary:£32,348 - £42,155
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Fixed-term contract
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Vacancy Type/Job category

Research Only


Life Sciences


£32,348 - £42,155 per annum


University of Warwick, Coventry

Vacancy Overview

Fixed-term contract for a maximum 36 months 1.0FTE but the duration may need to be shortened up to a maximum 34 months depending on the starting salary of the successful candidate.

We have a position for a PDRA Research Fellow to join an interdisciplinary team of UK scientists on a BBSRC project titled A novel transcriptional pathway that controls axillary meristem induction in grasses (https: //

The successful candidate will have experience in plant biology, genetics and genomics, bioinformatics and molecular biology.

For further enquiries please contact Professor Jose Gutierrez-Marcos: [email protected]

If you are near submission or have recently submitted your PhD but have not yet had it conferred, any offers of employment will be made as Research Assistant at the top of level 5 of the University grade structure (£31,411). Upon receipt of evidence of the successful award of your PhD, you will be promoted to Research Fellow on the first point of level 6 of the University grade structure (£32,348).

Interview Date: TBC.

Job Description


The postholder will join a research team working directly with the principal investigator (PI) and a research assistant to investigate a recently discovered molecular pathway that controls secondary branching and tiller number, which we named High Tiller Number 1 (HTN1) (see project description). The candidate will use state-of-the-art techniques to elucidate the HTN1 pathway primarily in wheat, for which we have unique genomic and genetic resources in hand. Specifically, we will use computational, developmental genetic and molecular approaches to unravel the exact nature of this pathway and uncover the various components and regulatory factors involved, including how the environment (e.g. temperature, nutrient availability) affects the HTN1 pathway. The role will also include the preparation of publications, development of research avenues, training of research assistants and attendance of conferences. There will be autonomy to develop other projects, to supervise undergraduates and work with PhD students.



• Develop research goals and methods

• Undertake basic research and techniques such as molecular biology, NGS preparation, basic bioinformatics analyses.

• Conduct literature and database searches.

• Continue to update knowledge and develop skills.

• Write up results of own research and maintain lab books.

• Contribute to the production of research reports and publications.

• Communications including attending weekly research group meetings and sharing/contributing ideas, communication with other research groups both inside and outside of the Department (exchanging information, seeking, and advising on techniques, etc).


• Provide training to research assistant

• Assist in the supervision of student projects.

• Give demonstrations to students.

• Could be expected to contribute to introductory courses, for example on the use of research methods and equipment.


• Participate in department life and may be required to attend departmental meetings.

• Ensure compliance with health and safety in all aspects of work.

• Work within budget constraints.

• Management of the project on a day-to-day basis, including managing equipment and purchasing consumables and maintenance issues. Monitoring progress and advising the PI of any issues that are likely to lead to a delay in the project.

• Store electronic data and keep websites up to date (including ensuring quality assurance standards are maintained).

The duties and responsibilities outlined are not intended to be an exhaustive list but provide guidance on the main aspects of the job. You will be required to be flexible in your duties.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.

Essential Criteria 1

PhD in plant genetics or genomics. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 2

Strong knowledge of bioinformatics involved in genomic analysis. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 3

Experience in the analysis of NGS data. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 4

Strong publication record or potential to publish high quality work in relevant fields. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 5

Ability to work independently and as part of a team. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 6

Good effective communication (oral and written) skills, presentation, and training skills. (a, c)

Essential Criteria 7

A demonstrable interest in the research area of plant biology. (a, c)

Further Particulars

For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars.

For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website.


Plant architecture is critical for reproductive success and thus has been subject to strong domestication selection in cereal crops over Millenia. Plant architecture is determined post-embryonically and underpinned by the activity of pluripotent stem cells present in meristems, such as the shoot apical and axillary meristems (AM). The production of tillers, or secondary shoots, by AM varies widely between the grasses, and impacts on yield; most domesticated species having significantly reduced or eliminated AM growth altogether compared to their wild relatives. To date, the mechanisms underlying AM initiation and regulation in grasses remain elusive despite being an important agronomical question; this knowledge could unlock greater yield potential in domesticated crops.

We have uncovered a new transcriptional pathway that is sufficient to induce axillary meristem formation in bread wheat, rice and likely other grasses. Based on these exciting findings, we propose to use wheat as our model system to:

• Fully elucidate this pathway by identifying upstream components and key regulatory factors, using a range of computational, transcriptomic, and molecular genetic approaches. • Understand how this pathway is activated and regulated in axils to direct changes in the above-ground architecture of cereals using epigenetic and state-of-the-art phenomics approaches.

Collectively, this work will provide a fundamental understanding of how plant architecture is regulated and can be manipulated to create novel strategies and tools to protect and enhance yield in agronomically important cereals.

Warwick is committed to building an organisation of mutual respect and dignity, promoting a welcoming, diverse and inclusive working and learning environment. We recognise that everyone is different in a variety of visible and non-visible ways, and that those differences are to be recognised, respected, and valued. Where possible, we go beyond legislation to provide a place where everyone can thrive, supporting all staff to achieve their full potential. We aspire to remove economic, social and cultural barriers that may otherwise prevent people from succeeding.

We therefore welcome and encourage applications from all communities regardless of culture, background, age, disability, sex/gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion/belief, or sexual or romantic orientation. To find out more about our social inclusion work at Warwick visit our webpages here.

The University of Warwick holds an Athena SWAN Silver award; a national initiative to promote gender equality for all staff and students. Further information about the work of the University in relation to Athena SWAN can be found at the following link: Athena Swan (

The University of Warwick is one of the six founder institutions of the EUTOPIA European University alliance, whose aim is to become by 2025 an open, multicultural, confederated operation of connected campuses.

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Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants' suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University's Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice.

Closing Date

16 Feb 2023

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