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AGBS - Assistant Professor in Genetics and Plant Pre-breeding

Employer
MOHAMMED VI POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY
Location
Morocco (MA)
Closing date
13 Jul 2024

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Position Announcement - Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CSAES), AgroBioSciences program (AgBS),

Areas of research:

Pre- breeding, molecular breeding, phenotyping, genomics, genetic resources, agronomy, stress resistance, plant-environment interaction

About UM6P:

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P, https://www.um6p.ma/en) is an international higher education institution, established to provide research and innovation at the service of education and development for Morocco and the African continent. It has a state-of-the-art campus at the heart of the Green City of Benguerir, near Marrakesh. UM6P academics and staff enjoy strong research funding, moderate teaching loads, and excellent facilities. Its research approach is transdisciplinary with an emphasis on international collaboration. Many of our research programs run as start-ups. OCP group (http://www.ocpgroup.ma/en/home), a world leader in fertilizer production, is a major starter client for the University providing capital and research funds. In parallel, a new portfolio of clients is growing with the development of an R&D cluster around the University and a growing number of international partnerships.

About the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) and AgroBiosciences Program (AgBS) at UM6P:

The College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES) is a component of the Science & Technology pole of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). It constitutes a structure of higher education and practical-based research with a vision of solving real African agriculture challenges leveraging up to date science and technology. Oriented towards Africa, CAES acts in connection with a wide network of universities and research centers around the continent in order to link real field issues with up-to-date science. Research on plant nutrition, (a)biotic stresses resistance and biofortification is part of the AgroBiosciences Program (AgBS) with main focus on Moroccan and African agriculture challenges in particular meeting the food and nutritional security. 

Job description:

We are seeking applications for a full-time Assistant Professor having experience in the field of genetics and pre-breeding with good experience in the utilization of genetic resources (landraces and wild crop relatives). The candidate should have expertise in interconnecting molecular breeding, phenotyping, genomics, genetics and plant breeding. He should have familiarity with trait discovery, phenotyping, plant physiology, introgression of genes from crop wild relatives to cultivated species, and seed quality analysis for crop improvement. The successful candidate is expected to work with an interdisciplinary team to develop research programs revolving around crop improvement. The position is part of the Crop Improvement laboratory / Biodiversity and Plant Science program. Priority will be given to the candidates having research experience particularly in international research organization and on African agricultural challenges and have publications in genetics and genomics, pre-breeding plant physiology, quality and marker trait associations. Evidence and excellence in research and teaching is required all with ability to professional engagement with a diverse faculty, staff, and students across the university and externally are required. Good English communication skills; both verbal and written are required.

Main responsibilities:

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Contribute to the multidisciplinary research of the crop Improvement team. 
  • Initiate and lead activities in, pre-breeding, molecular breeding and utilization of crop wild relatives and landraces for crop improvement. 
  • Contribute to joint research activities and projects in, genetic resources management, genetics and genomics.
  • Conduct large screening and phenotyping experiments and identification of potential resistance sources and associated traits for major biotic (parasitic weeds) and abiotic plant stresses (drought, high temperature, nutrient deficiency, etc.),
  • Identification and introgression of traits/genes/ QTLs associated with agronomically important traits landraces and the wild relatives of crops.
  • Carry out studies such as GWAS, marker-assisted selection (MAS), genotyping and genomics selection.
  • Develop germplasm through inter-specific hybridization and inter varietal hybridization. 
  • Demonstrated ability to design, implement and analyze field trials and control condition experiments. 
  • Contribute to developing improved germplasm with adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses in different agro-ecologies. 
  • Establish and/or maintain collaboration with global centers of excellence, gene banks, potential partners from Africa and international organization.
  • Develop research proposals for funding from potential donors and prepare submissions for external, international funding to support and maintain integrated research programs.
  • Supervise graduate and undergraduate students, develop teaching materials, and attract high level-students. 
  • Up to date on developments in pre-breeding and genetic recourses, gene identifications and gene transfer and publish research findings in ISI-peer reviewed scientific journals with high journal Impact Factors. 
  • Contribute to the multidisciplinary research team in the development of the Crop Improvement team,
  • Contribution to establishing and/or maintaining collaboration with other research entities at SAES college, UM6P and external partners, 

Education, qualifications and experience

  • PhD in the field of crop improvement with experience in germplasm development, pre-breeding, molecular breeding and genetic resource management.
  • Extensive knowledge of plant breeding, genetic resources and plant physiology and interlinking them with molecular techniques. 
  • Demonstrated experience with crop wild relatives and inter-specific populations.
  • Practical knowledge of breeding methods, breeding strategies, crop gene pools
  • Expertise in screening for biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, physiological tools, genetic tools, for breeding; including gene targeting, marker trait association (GWAS), marker-assisted selection (MAS), genomic selection etc.
  • At least eight (10) years of research and teaching experience with at least four (04) years of experience in international research institutions.
  • Significant research record in pre-breeding, genetics, and genomics in arid and semi-arid regions. 
  • Significant knowledge and experience in the use of crop wild relatives, landraces, synthetic wheat, FIGS (Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy), genetic resources management and hybridization.
  • Experience with big data, applied bioinformatics, data analysis. 
  • Experience in carrying out both controlled conditions and field experiments and the ability to use molecular, physiological tools and high-throughput phenotyping.
  • High publication record; books, book chapters and research papers in leading international and well ranked journals.
  • Good experience in teaching and supervising graduate and post graduate students. 
  • Excellent English communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Aptitude for teamwork, problem solving and collaborative work. 

Employment terms:

The successful candidate will be employed on a competitive salary by the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) based in Benguerir, Morocco.

Applications and selection procedure:

Applications must be sent using a single electronic zipped folder with the mention of the job title in the mails subject. The folder must contain:

  • Cover letter indicating the position applied for and the main research interests. 
  • Detailed CV.
  • Research statement 
  • Teaching statement 
  • Contact information of 3 references (Applicants are assumed to have obtained their references’ consent to be contacted for this matter).

Applications are to be submitted by December 15th, 2024, directly on the hiring platform.

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