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AGBS - Post-Doctoral Fellow in Crop Improvement and Plant Physiology

Morocco (MA)
Competitive Salary
Closing date
31 Aug 2024

View more

Academic Discipline
Biological Sciences, Life sciences
Job Type
Academic Posts, Postdocs
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

College of Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Science (CSAES)

AgroBioSciences program (AgBS)

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

Duration: 3 years

Location: Benguerir – Morocco

Areas of research:

Plant phenotyping, germplasm screening, trait discovery, stress resistance, water saving traits , plant-environment interaction,

About UM6P:

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P, 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 (, 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.

About the PHENO-MA Platform:

The PHENO-MA is an innovative research platform for high-throughput plant phenotyping built and established at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic (UM6P) in Benguerir – Morocco. It can be used to assess plant responses to nutrient deficiency, drought, high temperature, pests, and diseases, and exploring smart solutions to enhance resistance and boost crop productivity. The platform includes:

  • An outdoor system with a (i) a fully automated lysimetric system with 1400 large container (mini-plots) to study water dynamics and drought scenarios simulation under close-to-field conditions, and (ii) a fully autonomous phenotyping robot, Phenomobile.v2+, equipped with a set of sensors (LiDAR, RGB, IR, and Spectrometer) that enable advanced plant measurements, that allow us to assess plant’s water budget in response to abiotic stress and nutrients’ application. 
  • An indoor system with (i) the phenotyping machines, "PhenoMerzouga.v2", which is a small-scale lysimetric system for simulating climate change scenarios, and (ii) 150 m² of growth chambers and speed breeding platform to accelerate the genetic gain and germplasm development.

Job description:

We are seeking applications for a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Crop Improvement and Plant Physiology with good experience in the utilization of genetic resources (landraces and wild crop relatives). The candidate should have expertise in physiology, abiotic stress, phenotyping, agronomy, 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. Evidence and excellence in research and teaching are required all with the 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. 
  • Conduct advanced research in the area of crop improvement utilizing genetic resources such as landraces and wild crop relatives. 
  • Conduct large screening and phenotyping experiments and identification of potential resistance sources and associated traits for major abiotic plant stresses (drought, high temperature, nutrient deficiency, etc.),
  • Contribute to the identification, validation and deployment of desirable water-saving traits associated with resistance to drought and high temperature, 
  • Contribute to the develop germplasm through inter-specific hybridization and inter varietal hybridization for introgression of desirable traits associated with resistance to drought and high temperature. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 and plant physiology with experience in germplasm development, pre-breeding, and genetic resource management.
  • Extensive knowledge of plant breeding, genetic resources, and plant physiology. 
  • Demonstrated experience with crop wild relatives and inter-specific populations.
  • Practical knowledge of breeding methods, breeding strategies, and crop gene pools.
  • Expertise in screening for abiotic stress tolerance, physiological tools, and genetic tools.
  • 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 in carrying out both controlled conditions and field experiments and the ability to use physiological tools and high-throughput phenotyping.
  • Experience in using R software for data treatment and analyses 
  • Capacity to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate 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.
  • 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 directly on the hiring platform.

Contact information:

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