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Post Doctoral Fellow - Plant & Environmental Sciences

Clemson University
South Carolina, United States
Salary Not specified
Date posted
Apr 8, 2024

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Position Title: Post Doctoral Fellow - Plant & Environmental Sciences

Department: College: College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Location: Pee Dee REC, 2200 Pocket Road, Florence, SC, 29506

Open Date: Dec 20, 2023


Feed the Future Climate Resilient Cereals Innovation Lab (CRCIL)
Department of Plant & Environmental Sciences (PES)
College of Agriculture, Forestry, & Life Sciences (CAFLS)
Start Date: On or before 1 June, 2024

Dr. Rick Boyles with the Clemson Cereal Grains Breeding & Genetics Program is seeking to hire a postdoctoral fellow to be part of the USAID Feed the Future Climate Resilient Cereals Innovation Lab (CRCIL). The position was created to facilitate the discovery, validation, and introgression of novel alleles that will improve cereal crop resiliency to abiotic and biotic stress in vulnerable production regions across the world. The postdoctoral fellow is expected to work closely with international partners including designated National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) breeding hubs positioned in African, Caribbean, and South Asian countries. As such, extensive international travel to these partner institutions is expected to maximize research and cultivar development output, as well as support training in these areas. Four cereal crops of focus in CRCIL include millet, rice, sorghum, and wheat, with sorghum and wheat being the primary crops of interest to the Cereal Grains Breeding & Genetics Program.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to contribute a major portion of time toward developing bioinformatics tools and computational methods that support germplasm enhancement activities. Such responsibilites include but are not limited to: (1) product profile development

(2) feasibility assessment

(3) trait discovery

(4) marker deployment

(5) efficienct introgression

(6) breeding pipeline optimization

The postdoctoral fellow will work closely with multi-institutional project teams in genomics, genome editing, phenomics, and crop modeling to effectively make advances in the identification and delivery of important genes and alleles that improve the ability of cereal crops to produce quality grain under harsh environmental conditions. Key U.S. collaobrations in CRCIL include Kansas State University (project lead), Clemson University, Cornell University, Breeding Insight, Delaware State University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Florida.

Primary Responsibilities: Target product profile development – The postdoctoral fellow will work with international project partners, particularly the NARI breeding hubs, as well as supporting entities such as Syngenta Seeds2B to establish product profiles. Product profiles will be built based on priority, feasibility, and impact assessments.

Product profile synthesis will initiate early in the project while later project years will focus on delivery of project-created products to target stakeholders. (20%)

Trait discovery – The postdoctoral fellow will design a framework to identify valuable genetic variants in cereal crop species or wild crop relatives. In addition, the project will work to develop bioinformatics and computational tools that can improve trait evaluation and mapping. (25%)

Trait introgression – The postdoctoral fellow will lead or assist efforts to incorporate existing and newly discovered alleles into elite cereal crop backgrounds using conventional breeding, genomics, and molecular tools. Downstream phenotyping of introgression lines is expected. (25%)

Participant training and support – Direct training of personnel (faculty, staff, and students) at both NARI breeding hubs and U.S. partners in bioinformatics, genomics, and computational biology will be essential for project success. Discovery, validation, and introgression of new germplasm and genetic variants is a necessary step toward building resources and products that mitigate impacts from abiotic and biotic stressors. Educating project personnel on in these fields will euip them with the skills and expertise to continue crop improvement post-project period. (30%)


Required Qualifications:

(1) PhD in breeding, genetics (population, quantitative or statistical), genomics, bioinformatics, or related field.

(2) Sufficient knowledge and research experience in genetics and bioinformatics to design and implement pre-breeding/germplasm enhancement activities as outlined above in responsibilities.

(3) Willingness and ability to travel internationally for extended periods.

Desired Qualifications:

(1) Relevant project management experience (private industry, non-profit, or academic).

(2) Relevant experience in graduate and/or undergraduate student training.

(3) The candidate must be highly organized and able to work effectively with and manage a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and skillsets.

Application Instructions

Please submit the following documents to Interfolio

1. Cover letter

2. CV

3. Transcript

4. Contact information for three references

This position will remain open until filled but full consideration will be given to those who apply by 1/15/24.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.


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