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Postdoctoral Research Assistant – C4 cycle in maize

Plant Sciences

University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


  • Posted on: 24th Jan 2022
  • Salary: Grade 7, £33,309 - £40,927 per annum
  • REF: 155765
  • Closes: 22nd February 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Job Details

Postdoctoral Research Assistant – C4 cycle in maize

Department of Plant Sciences, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RB

Grade 7, £33,309 – £40,927 per annum

The Department of Plant Sciences is seeking to recruit a Research Assistant to work under the supervision of Dr Steven Kelly. The post is funded by the Royal Society for 15 months, and the work will be conducted in Steven Kelly’s group in the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3RB. The postholder will work on discovering and characterising the missing components of the C4 cycle in maize.

Duties: The primary role of the postholder is to analyse mutant maize plants for defects in C4 photosynthesis and growth. This will include genome analysis by southern blot, transcript analysis by qPCR, photosynthesis/growth assays on mutant plants, and enzyme transport assays in vitro or on leaf extracts. Other activities will involve, but is not limited to, propagation of plants, phenotypic screening of plants, plant transformation, assisting with the supervision of PhD and masters students.

The successful applicant will join the Kelly lab to work on exciting project at the forefront of understanding photosynthesis in maize. The successful applicant will analyse maize CRISPR knockout plants that have already been generated and are ready for analysis. These lines comprise genotype-verified knockout mutants of candidate genes which bioinformatic analysis has strongly suggested encode the missing components of the maize C4 cycle. The seeds are ready for analysis and the project is ready to go. The successful applicant will conduct disparate analyses including photosynthetic analysis, enzyme assays, RNA-Seq and metabolite analysis to determine whether the genes are indeed the missing components of the C4 cycle.

The successful applicant will have a PhD (or equivalent) with relevant experience in molecular biology and plant biology. Ideally, they will also have previous experience with growing and phenotyping maize plants. They must be able to work as part of a team, willing to learn new methods and skills, and have excellent communication skills. The postholder will require excellent record keeping, communication skills, and attention to detail. Desirable experience includes previous work in plant physiology, enzyme and transport assays.

The position is fixed term for 15 months.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Tuesday 22nd February 2022.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Steven Kelly (steven.kelly@plants.ox.ac.uk).

Excellent benefits include 38 days’ leave (annually). A full-time position, 37.5 hours per week.

Contact Person :

Recruitment Administrator

Vacancy ID :


Contact Phone :

01865 275000

Closing Date & Time :

22-Feb-2022 12:00

Contact Email :


Click on the link(s) below to view documentsFilesize

155765 JD PDRA Maize – S Kelly.docx


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