Senior Specialist / Senior Research Associate - Potato Agronomy

£37,727 - £61,895 per annum
12 Feb 2021
15 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Senior Specialist / Senior Research Associate (Potato Agronomy)


Ref: SV/A1266

We are seeking people with a passion for potatoes and for translating research into practice to join our internationally-recognised NIAB CUF potato agronomy research team. Whether you are an experienced researcher, early career scientist or agronomist with an active interest in R&D and knowledge exchange, NIAB offers excellent opportunities for world-class research, plot and field-scale experimentation, and delivery of expert knowledge and innovative services to industry.

About NIAB

Based in Cambridge, with a major site in Kent and field trials centres across England, NIAB has unique capabilities and expertise, delivering high quality research plus statutory and commercial services for public and private stakeholders, helping the UK agriculture and horticulture industries remain productive and resilient. Key research areas include genetics and pre-breeding of arable crops, farming systems and soils, applied pathology, potato agronomy and horticultural crops,

Potato Research

NIAB has an ambitious five-year plan for growth, which includes its potato agronomy research and services. We are seeking to add expertise to our team in one or more areas that are key to potato production, in particular:

  • Integrated pest and disease management, including potato pathology / viruses
  • Crop improvement and resource use – crop growth, radiation use efficiency, nutrient and water uptake, climate resilience
  • Crop quality – crop development, tuber size, dry matter, taste/texture and losses
  • Storage – sprout suppression, dormancy and impact of agronomy

Senior Specialist / Senior Research Associate Role

We currently have a vacancy for a Senior Specialist / Senior Research Associate, with an expected salary range of £37,727 - £61,895 per annum, depending on skills, experience and qualifications.


Working as part of the NIAB CUF team delivering potato research, knowledge exchange and services, you will be expected to contribute to all aspects as follows:

  • Conduct individual or collaborative projects and carry out consultancy and/or trials work
  • Lead on strategy for specific areas of research and/or services. For the right candidate, there may be an opportunity to take on group leadership for strategy and team development
  • Develop specific research areas, prepare project proposals and generate service income
  • Write reports and/or publish impactful science in peer review journals, and present results at meetings / field events for industry and/or scientific conferences
  • Plan resource use and manage project administration
  • Build collaborations and partnerships
  • Support, train and mentor less-experienced colleagues

Essential requirements

  • PhD in plant/crop science or agronomy. Applicants with a degree in agriculture or applied biological subject and relevant academic/industry research experience may be considered
  • Minimum of 2 years’ post-doctoral level (or equivalent industry) research experience in crops and/or agronomy
  • Track record of obtaining project/grant funding, research and/or project leadership, and of writing reports for industry or authoring high impact peer review papers
  • Experience of practical work related to crops with sufficient breadth/depth of specialist knowledge to work within established programmes
  • Knowledge of research techniques for field crops, including analysis of experimental data
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to organise time, be flexible, manage own workload and as part of a team
  • Good presentation skills and a desire to achieve impact
  • Accuracy/consistency of approach, attention to detail and able to address complex issues

Desirable requirements

  • Knowledge of potato crop production in the UK
  • Experience in potato crop research and/or field experimentation
  • Knowledge of complementary specialist laboratory techniques
  • Experience of interaction with agricultural industry and charities
  • Experience of leading a research area and/or research team

For further enquiries, please contact Stuart Knight: / 01223 342290 or Elizabeth Stockdale: / 07957 966802.

Further details and an application form are available from: or from the HR Office, NIAB, 93 Lawrence Weaver Rd, Cambridge CB3 0LE. Tel: 01223 342282. Email:

Please quote the job reference on your application.

Closing date: 15 March 2021.

You can also apply for this role by clicking the Apply Button.

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