VACANCY – Marie Curie Research Fellow


‘Improving seed quality in large-scale production of native seeds’

One Full-Time Fixed-Term Contract (36 months from 1/10/2014)

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The main duties of this post will be: to assess the quality and performance of seed from a wide range of European producers to establish a baseline of seed quality and to identify species with poor germination and other causes of low quality; the development of production protocols to improve seed quality, plant establishment and seed production efficiency including dormancy-breaking treatments; the establishment of achievable quality standards


The successful candidate will be based at our farm near Brechin in Angus, joining our team as a ‘Marie Curie Research Fellow’. This appointment is for an ‘Early Stage Researcher’ in the European Union Marie Curie-funded  ‘NAtive Seed Science, TEchnology and Conservation Initial Training Network’, (NASSTEC).  NASSTEC’s aim is to ensure that future environmental mitigation and habitat creation projects which utilise wild native species will have increased impact. The network consists of four leading European academic institutions and three commercial seed companies with eight associate partners mainly involved in land management to create an integrated academic, commercial and practical training environment. The successful candidate will be expected to register for a PhD at the University of Pavia (Italy), joining their “Experimental Ecology and Geobotany” PhD programme.


The NASSTEC scientific and training network embraces a total of 11 projects, in three sub programs: A, In-situ seed sampling (3 projects); B, Seed biology characterisation (4 projects), and; C, Production and deployment of seed (3 projects). This post comes under sub-category C which is led by Scotia Seeds.


Candidates must satisfy five essential criteria: 1) have a first or upper-second class Honours Degree in plant or environmental sciences, or a related discipline; 2) have a Masters Degree, or an equivalent qualification or equivalent experience; 3) have no-more than 4 years of research experience from the time of graduation, excluding career breaks; 4) must not hold a PhD and; 5) must not have resided or worked within the UK for more than 12 months in the three years prior to the deadline of the application. Applications for this post will accepted from researchers of all nationalities; applicants wishing to work within the UK must be entitled to do so before they can be employed.


Essential skills include: an interest in plant ecology and native seed science; excellent technical expertise in a field and laboratory environment; proven capability in statistical analysis, fluency in English and highly developed written and verbal communication, interpersonal and team-working skills as scientific presentations and report writing are required.

Desirable skills include: germination testing, seed analysis, plant identification, field work, driving licence, relevant publications, experience of native seed production.

The successful post-holder will be funded to attend a series of network and training events throughout the term of their appointment and these will be located at various venues across Europe. Potential candidates will be interviewed at that Scotia Seeds where the studentship is to be based.


Salary:  51072 per annum (before taxes) plus mobility allowance


Additional information in Annex I and Annex II


This advert and the application process complies with The European Charter for Researchers, and

The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers. The Interview Panel will comprise a gender-balanced board with a minimum of 3 members and will be conducted in English.


Further information is available from &/or by contacting the project supervisor Giles Laverack at . The project will be co-supervised by Candido Galvez of Semillas Silvestres, Cordoba, Spain. To apply, please submit a covering letter and CV which includes any peer-reviewed publications on which the candidate is an author, the names and addresses of three referees, one being your current/most recent employer or if a recent graduate, to include academic references. These should be sent to by 16th May 2014 with the subject NASSTEC Application.