Friday, July 26, 2013

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Newsletter


NIAB Innovation Farm:
Key Challenge event – Growing whatever the weather 26 Jun
Investigating the impact of unpredictable weather events and warming climate on water availability – floods and drought – and pests and diseases in crop plants.
Key Challenge event – Bio-fortification and dietary choice 2 Jul
The role of plant genetic innovation in providing a varied diet and improving nutrition including enhanced health benefits and improved flavours. Can targeted probiotic crops really make a difference to the health of the nation?
Further information

JIC: Speed dating with scientists 10 Jul, 18:30
Open to the Public
Further information


JIC: Plants do sums to get through the night New research shows that to prevent starvation at night, plants perform accurate arithmetic division. The calculation allows them to use up their starch reserves at a constant rate so that they run out almost precisely at dawn.
Further information

RRes: Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson backs a science and evidence-led discussion on GM
The Rt Hon. Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs chose Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire to deliver a major speech on 20 June on the future of GM crops and biotechnology in agriculture.
Further information

Plant breeder KWS is launching its new potato business to UK merchants, trade and growers. The move follows the establishment of KWS Potato BV at Emmeloord in the Netherlands a year ago last April.
Further information

BBSRC is major partner in new €15M Europe-wide synthetic biology funding
BBSRC is contributing €3M as a major partner in a new Europe-wide call for research projects in Synthetic Biology, the first from the Synthetic Biology ERA-NET (ERASynBio).
Further information

Red oilseed rape signals STOP! to pollen beetle infestation Rothamsted Research scientists have shown that a change in the petal colour of oilseed rape from yellow to red can result in a significant reduction on the pollen beetle infestation.
Further information

Unkempt land could benefit farmers
Parts of the farm landscape that are overgrown are more important in supporting wildlife than they first appear, according to new research published in Ecology Letters.
Further information

Dr Tim Brears has been appointed chairman of the Institute of Food Research. Dr Brears is chief executive of Xention Limited, a venture-capital-funded biopharmaceutical company.
Further information

Jobs and Studentships

Department of Plant Sciences
Research Group Leader, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University
Further information


Research Assistant £22,500 - £23,800 16 Jul
Research Assistant £28,100 - £31,300 2 Jul & 7Jul
Further information

Application For Temporary Employment 2013 Currently recruiting for September 2013 only
Further information

RAGT Seeds Ltd
Cereal Geneticist 9 Jul
Liaison with breeders and genotyping team to identify opportunities and solutions for genome-enhanced cereal breeding
Genetic mapping and analysis including QTL, AG, GS approaches
Liaison with internal and external bioinformatics and research groups
Interviews will be held on: Wed 17 July 2013 Telephone: 01799 533707 Email:
Further information

Post-Doctoral Research Scientist 20 Jul
The post holder will contribute to the concluding phase of a running project entitled "Impact and mitigation of emergent diseases on major UK insect pollinators" which is part of the Insect Pollinator Initiative (funding administered by BBSRC) and is collaborative with five leading laboratories.
Research Assistant 10 Jul Research Technician 7 Jul
Further information

NIAB Innovation Farm
The Colour of Fashion - Specialist Consultancy Opportunity 5 Jul
Consultant required to deliver 'The Colour of Fashion - NIAB Innovation Farm workshop on dye processes and practice for fashion SMEs'
NIAB Innovation Farm are looking for experienced consultants to develop and deliver a full day workshop and a series of one-to-one sessions for fashion SMEs. The workshop will explore the environmental impacts of synthetic dyes and industrial dye processes and offer a practical introduction to natural alternatives and artisan dyeing techniques. The workshop will also offer an introduction to a range of plants from which dyes can be derived. The following areas should be covered and content must be relevant to the needs and capacity of micro businesses.
Further information

Wheat Trials Officer 10 Jul
Activities include the preparation, drilling, field assessment, harvest, sampling and quality assessment of potential new wheat varieties.
Further information

Vinovva (Sweden) Mobility for Growth
The Mobility for Growth programme targets experienced researchers who have a doctorate or at least four years’ full-time equivalent research experience and who are interested in mobility as a career development option.
The programme duration is from 2012 to at least 2017 and there is currently an overall budget of EUR 35 million, of which EUR 10 million is co-funding from Marie Curie Actions (European Commission).
Further information


Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative - phase 2
A Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) initiative 2 Jul
This initiative will provide a commitment of up to £9M over the next few years to support strategic research in this area under the auspices of the Living With Environmental Change Partnership.
Further information

Nutrition for life - providing safe and healthy foods 3 Jul
The aim of this competition is to encourage innovative technologies and processes, to ensure that what we eat and drink can be made as safe and healthy as possible. Projects must be business-led and collaborative.
Further information

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vacancy at RAGT


RAGT is a leading European plant breeder committed to developing its research and commercial position in Europe and has programme in wheat, durum, triticale, maize, sunflower, soya and grasses.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, innovative, self-motivated and practical person to join RAGT to provide quantitative genetic support for our European wheat breeding programmes.  Reporting to the Molecular Breeding Lead, you will be based in Ickleton near Cambridge.

The main responsibilities of the position will be: 
  • Liaison with breeders and genotyping team to identify opportunities and solution for genome-enhanced cereal breeding
  • Genetic mapping and analysis including QTL, AG, GS approaches
  • Liaison with internal and external bioinformatics and research groups
Candidates will have a degree in genetics or related discipline, ideally with post graduate quantitative genetics qualification and/or experience.  Good communication, planning and organisational skills are essential.

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to:
Natasha Matthews, H.R Manager,
R.A.G.T Seeds Limited, Grange Road, Ickleton, Essex, CB10 1TA
Telephone:  01799 533707            Email:

Closing date for applications:    Tuesday 9th July 2013
Interviews will be held on:         Wednesday 17th July 2013

Link to vacancy on website:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Wheat Genomic Selection at NIAB

‘Applying genomic selection to predict
wheat yields in Northern Europe’

Alison Bentley

‘The Genomic Selection of MAGIC’

Ian Mackay

NIAB IF Visitor Centre
(NIAB HQ, Huntingdon Rd, Cambridge CB3 0LE)

Thursday 27th June, 2013
11am to 12noon

May newsletter


Masterclasses for SMEs 
Learn basic principles with a particular emphasis on cash flow, understanding financial statements, account systems, tax and filing returns.
Securing suitable funding18 June
This practical and interactive course will help you understand the pros and cons of different kinds of finance, understand how to identify sources of finance, and secure funds by submitting compelling applications for funding.
Key Challenge event – Growing whatever the weather, 26 June
Investigating the impact of unpredictable weather events and warming climate on water availability – floods and drought – and pests and diseases in crop plants.
Further information (including July and August Masterclass dates)
Society of Chemical Industry:  SCI Young Researchers in Agrisciences 2013, 2 July
University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, Reading
Crop Production, Protection, Utilisation
This event is for early career scientists working in biological, chemical, environmental and other relevant sciences and all interested in learning about progress and meeting new talent in agrisciences.
CPPS Members are eligible for a discount.
Early Bird Fees before 2 June: £29 SCI/CPPS Members
Standard Fees after 2 June: £45 SCI/CPPS Members
Boxworth Open Day: 5 June, 12-4pm
Battlegate Road, Boxworth, CB23 4NN
Meet the experts and find out about:
• Weed management options for wheat & OSR
• Benefits of cover crops for black-grass control
• Herbicide resistance: grasses and broad-leaved weeds
• Disease control in wheat and oilseed rape
• Control of weeds, pests & diseases for horticulture
• Repairing damaged soils
• Managing thin/backward crops
• The Yield Enhancement Network – competing to increase
Further information
EMBO Practical Course: ‘Multi-level Modelling of Morphogenesis’ 14-26 July
Main Course Objective:
Understanding the multi-level nature and feedbacks involved in biological development requires an integrated, systems biology approach.
Target Audience:
This practical course is aimed at experimental biologists with an interest to understand and explore how the complexity of biological systems can be dealt with within a mathematical or computational framework, *and* at computationally and mathematically oriented students interested in learning leading-edge computational techniques that can be applied to gain insights in developmental biology.

Please register online at:

Deadline for registrations:
31 May

Further information
Short Course – Water Security for Policy Makers and Practitioners, 10-14 June, UEA, Norwich, UK
The course is designed for entry and mid-level water and development policy-makers and professionals in government, donor, NGO or implementing agencies, environmental journalists, consultants and activists wishing to take their knowledge of water resources further.

For further information and to apply please follow the link below  or contact Sarah Gore on

Cost: £1500 including all tuition and B&B accommodation from Sunday 9 June.
CUEN Annual Energy Conference on SMART CITIES AND SMART ENERGY 18 June
Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge
Throughout the day, distinguished speakers will address the challenges and potentials regarding our future electricity and energy system and will engage in discussions with the audience. In four sessions the conference will focus on smart cities, urban planning, smart materials, energy storage and smart grids.
The event is also intended for people with a general interest in energy, opening up a discussion between different points of view on the topics of smart cities and smart energy.
Organic Research Centre Wakelyns Agroforestry Open Day 26 June
Agro-ecology: Science and Practice for Sustainable Farming
Metfield Lane, Fressingield, Eye, Suffolk, IP21 5SD
Experts will offer challenging views on the use of energy in society and agriculture, showing how the application of agro-ecology to crop production can improve energy balances while maintaining biodiversity in agricultural systems,
Cost: £30 + VAT per person including lunch and refreshments


BBSRC survey: views on research areas and technological developments for the next 5-10 years
Please provide your thoughts by taking part in the short survey by 3 June
As part of its long-term strategic planning, BBSRC is seeking your views on the research areas and technological developments which will be most exciting and important in bioscience over the next 5-10 years.
Ideas put forward through this exercise will be discussed by members of BBSRC's governing Council and wider strategic advisory network as part of a workshop to be held at the beginning of June 2013. Outcomes will help inform BBSRC's long-term planning, including input to future Government Spending Reviews.
Anyone is welcome to respond, but BBSRC is particularly keen to gather input from PhD students and post-doctoral researchers.

Further information
National Farm Pollinator Survey
Scientist Volunteers needed 
to help farm visitors become citizen scientists! Open Farm Sunday 9 June
Can you help?
Volunteer scientists are needed to help with the pollinator survey on selected farms on this years’ Open Farm Sunday.

The main focus will be to:
1.     Conduct a survey in the morning and in the afternoon – as a scientific dataset
2.     Raise awareness of the Pollinator Survey at the event and encourage visitors to take part
3.     Act as an on-site expert in order to smooth the way and inspire a new generation of scientists 
The aim is for the public to spot and record on a survey form the pollinators that visit flowers on a farm. By taking part in the Pollinator Survey the visitors will learn about the vital role insects can play in pollination and many of the foods they enjoy every day.  The large-scale dataset will provide a unique resource for exploring relationships between insect abundance and land use and demonstrates the value of flowering field margins and other non-crop habitats on farms.

For further information and to offer your help and support, please contact: Candace Robb or Annabel Shackleton
Tel:  024 7641 3911
Join the bioenergy discussion 
BBSRC has launched a new toolkit to encourage researchers and the general public to engage in a national conversation about bioenergy. The Bioenergy Dialogue Toolkit provides a range of resources including a 'Democs' bioenergy game, potential future scenarios, and guidelines to help people plan and run dialogue events this summer.
An event will be run in Cambridge on 8 June 2013, 2pm-4pm - (venue to be confirmed, more information will be sent shortly)

JOBS and Studentships

Research Group Leader, Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University
Trials Officer 4 Month Vacancy, 31 May
Post Doctroral Researcher, 10 June
Metabolic Biology: Towards the synthetic terpenome - Making new metabolic pathways using synthetic biology approaches
KWS are recruiting for summer vacation work placements (Harvest and Production Assistants)
Enterprise Campus Project Director, 28 May
Applications are now open for 2013/14: MSc Water Security and International Development at the University of East Anglia
The degree is the flagship of the UEA Water Security Research Centre. The 12-month MSc prepares students for employment opportunities with non-governmental organisations, government aid agencies, and multilateral organisations.
Please apply online, or for queries and informal discussion, contact Mark Zeitoun at or tel: +44 (0)1603 593232.


£8.5 million Nutrition for Life competition is now open. This competition will fund R&D projects which stimulate innovation in the food and drink sector with an emphasis on providing healthy and safe foods.
Competition Scope:
The call includes both Feasibility and Collaborative R&D projects within the following scope;
* Integrating technologies to assist nutrient absorption
* Nutrient regulation and delivery
* Novel and healthier foods
* Safety, authenticity and traceability
* Production and Processing of food/nutrients
To find more about the scope of the competition, view this video from Nick Bassett (Lead Technologist, Technology Strategy Board)

Register for the competition: Providing Safe and Healthy Foods
Nutrition for Life Feasibility Studies (£50k-100k, 6 - 12 month projects)
Nutrition for Life Collaborative R&D (£250k to £1m, 1 - 3 year projects) 
BBSRC calls:
Application deadline: 11 July

SCI Young Researchers in Agrisciences 2013

Crop Production, Protection, Utilisation

Tuesday 2 July 2013

University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, UK
Organised by SCI’s BioResources Group

Final deadline for presentation offers 7 June

This interdiciplinary event is for early career scientists working in biological, chemical, environmental and other relevant sciences, and all those interested in learning about progress and meeting new talent in agrisciences.

More information

Monday, May 13, 2013

News update May 2013

·         EPSO Fascination of Plants Day 18 May Festival of Plants at the Botanic Garden, Cambridge Please advertise widely!
·         ADAS Boxworth Open Day (5 June)
·         British Section of the Combustion Institute and the Institute of Physics, Cambridge - One day Conference on “Biomass fuelled power generation with CO2 capture” (Registration / Programme). For any additional information or queries please contact the Support Manager, Ms. Kaysha Banton ( (24 May).

Jobs & Studentships
·         BSPB, Ely – Technical Officer
·         Bayer CropScience, Gent - Scientist in Wheat Genetics,
·         Cranfield University - Plant Molecular Genetics Postdoctoral Research Fellow