Monday, September 6, 2010

Job opportunities - closing 10th September

Term Contract Employment and Training Opportunities

Limagrain UK Ltd is the UK operating company of the Field Seeds Division of Groupe Limagrain ( the largest plant breeder and seed company in Europe. Limagrain UK Ltd (, the largest UK arable and forage crop seed company, offers a wide variety of challenging roles across a broad range of areas. The company is pleased to be able to offer two opportunities in its company’s R&D team to gain experience of working in a commercial plant breeding environment. Both roles are at our research station at Docking, near Fakenham in North Norfolk.

Double-Haploid Research Assistant:

This is a 12 month contract (with the potential for extension) in our Double-Haploid Laboratory for an individual, ideally with plant tissue culture experience, to launch a challenging research project in a well equipped DH facility. We are seeking a self motivated candidate with experience as a ‘bench based’ researcher. The successful applicant will have a tenacious approach to hands-on research with the ability to manage the project in collaboration with the Doubled-Haploid Laboratory Manager, Claire Newell. Good organization and time management skills, together with an aptitude for producing high quality and precise work, are required.

Assistant Plant Breeder: T

This is a 12 month contract within our pea and minor crops breeding team, resulting from a need to provide maternity cover, for an individual interested in pursuing a career in plant breeding. The role will be to support the team’s objective to breed commercial varieties, providing practical assistance in all aspects of a demanding field and glasshouse based program. The job will include opportunities to work in glasshouses and in all aspects of trials and nursery preparation, fieldwork and harvesting. Training in the use of equipment and machinery will be provided. The job requires an enthusiastic, adaptable and practical person with a good theoretical grounding in genetics and an eye for detail. The role will report to Will Pillinger, Pea and Minor Crops Breeder.

Applicants should have sound knowledge of plant science and genetics, and have completed formal relevant training to BSc, MSc or PhD level. They should also possess excellent communication skills, be computer literate and have the ability to produce verbal and written reports of their activities. Experience of plant tissue culture would be a strong advantage for the Doubled-Haploid Research Assistant role. A full driving license is required for the Assistant Plant Breeder role.

Applicants can contact as they feel appropriate for further information:

At Docking:
Claire Newell,
Will Pillinger
Telephone 01485 518501

Or Thomas Jolliffe, R&D Manager,
Telephone 07836 348364

Letters of formal applications should be submitted with CV by e-mail to:
Sandra Hatt
Personnel Officer
Limagrain UK Ltd
Market Rasen
Telephone 01472 370122

The closing date for applications is Friday 10 September 2010

Newsletter – August 2010

Please feel free to distribute the newsletter to other members of your organisation. If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please email by 16 September 2010.

Content in Summary:

Jobs – ATC Biotech, short term position (Plant Tissue Culture Specialist; deadline 10 Sept).

EventsBiochar Lecture: 10 Sept, 12:00 at Rothamsted Conference Centre, AL5 2JQ; advance notice: CPPS lecture by Dr Lars Ostergaard, JIC: 25 Nov 2010, 16:00-17:00 at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge CB2 3EA, followed by networking

News – Industry Survey about Biology Degree Accreditation (Society of Biology); Building work at NIAB; update on Agriculture’s Big Conversation


ATC Biotech - Plant Tissue Culture Specialist

ATC have a temporary position for one month initially (October), but are looking at recruiting a permanent position next year. Applicants need to be competent in: media making, sterile technique, handling bacterial strains, cutting leaf discs and shoots, and will need to carry out a small amount of plant husbandry. Salary will be approx. £19 - 21K pro rata. Please email for further information.
The closing date for applications is 10 Sept 2010.


Lecture and visit by Prof Santhanakrishnan from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Prof Santhanakrishnan is an authority on soil microbiology, biofuels and food microbiology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in India. He will visit Cambridge on Thu 9 Sept (am: University, pm: NIAB) and Rothamsted Research on Fri 10 Sept; the latter including a lecture:

Biofertiliser research and application in India
12:00, Friday 10th September 2010
Conference Centre, Rothamsted Research, AL5 2JQ
Prof Santhanakrishnan’s lecture is open to the general public but places are limited. If you wish to attend, or would like to meet Prof Santhanakrishnan either in Cambridge on 9 Sept or Rothamsted on 10 Sept, please contact Julia O’Rourke at or phone 01603 591 765 to reserve your place.

Next CPPS Lecture
Advance notice for your diaries: The next CPPS lecture will be given by Dr Lars Ostergaard, JIC on 25 Nov 2010, 16:00-17:00 at the Dept of Plant Sciences, Cambridge CB2 3EA, followed by networking. All welcome, no registration is necessary.


Society of Biology - Biology Degree Accreditation – Industry Survey
The Society of Biology is currently developing criteria to accredit biological science degrees that will enable business to select those graduates with high quality practical skills more easily. The Society is aiming to pilot an accreditation process in 2010-2011 and will announce its accreditation criteria later this year. The Society is currently seeking the views of businesses on accreditation via a brief online survey.
Please take a moment to complete the online Industry Survey on Accredited Degrees (; it is an opportunity for your business' needs to shape an Accreditation Programme which aims to help employers identify those bioscience graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for employment in today's bioscience-related industries.
Learn more about Degree Accreditation from the Society of Biology at If you have any questions regarding the survey or Accreditation in general, Niamh Johnson ( at the Society of Biology is happy to answer these.

Building work at NIAB

Ever wondered what all the building work at NIAB is about? Read all about it in the next CPPS newsletter, or contact for more information if you can’t wait until then!

Update on Agriculture’s Big Conversation

In the June Newsletter you were introduced to Agriculture’s Big Conversation; here is an update:

We have to alert a new generation to the potential of an agriculturally related career. At the same time, the farming and related industries need an opportunity to “sell themselves” to new generations of young people as they enter the workforce or embark on the further education programmes that will prepare them for work on farms or in the businesses that buy from, sell to or provide services for farmers.

The revised initiative will comprise:

  • A joint approach from all sectors of the industry led by NFU, Agricultural Industries Confederation and RASE;

  • The creation and publication of material which promotes the entire chain including farms and their suppliers and buyers right through to food manufacture and marketing, as a career destination for young people and demonstrates the huge and varied career potential;

  • Joining farmers and other in-chain businesses in a measured and manageable involvement in work experience tailored to the specific requirement of students;

  • A programme to alert teachers and career advisors of the scope and potential of the farm and food industry and emphasises that such careers are high skill, high tech, high satisfaction and potentially high in rewards.

To achieve that, we believe that we must do more than just get work experience candidates on a farm for a few days where they see only part of what the industry has to offer and where, in many cases, it is difficult for the host farmer to manage the young person’s presence safely and positively.

Together, we plan to create a positive and bespoke work experience package for young people who express an interest in a farming related career. Such a programme needs co-ordinating and planning but it should not be beyond the capacity of the industry to do that. RASE and FACE have offered themselves as organisations prepared to take a central role in moving the concept forward. Others are coming on board. The initiative will be launched at a meeting to be held on October 14th at Stoneleigh Park. Another key date for your diary is the Careers in Agriculture Convention to be held at Stoneleigh Park on November 3-5th 2011.

For further information please contact: Ian Beecher-Jones, Project Manager
T: 01491 642 300; M: 07967 637 985; E:

If you have any events, news or advertisements you would like to see included in the next newsletter, or to unsubscribe, please email (deadline for inclusion in next newsletter is 16 Sept 2010).