Research Technician – Bean Breeding

Area of Focus:

genetics, breeding, common beans, agronomy


Department of Plant Agriculture

Hiring #: 2021-0688

Please read the Application Instructions before applying

This position provides technical support to the Bean Breeding and Genetics program and reports directly to the faculty leader who manages this program [Prof. K. Peter Pauls]. The candidate will manage all technical aspects of this program.

Activity A: Plan and Implement the Bean Breeding Program – 80%

The successful candidate will work with the faculty leader of the bean breeding and genetics program to plan common bean breeding strategies to fulfil the mandate of the program, which is to develop useful and unique plant germplasm (breeding lines and varieties) for commercial licensing and release to Canadian producers. The incumbent will be responsible for implementing all field and growth room components and operations within the program, including: crossing and selfing plants to create novel bean germplasm; planning, preparing, planting, fertilizing, spraying, and harvesting field plots at the OMAFRA research stations; managing, analysing and reporting data; setting up and maintaining controlled environment trials; and supporting genetic research conducted by affiliated students, postdocs and research associates. They will also complete and submit University and regulatory forms and requisition all supplies required to fulfill the mandate.

Activity B: Organize Safe and Proper Use of Research Equipment – 10%

The successful candidate will be responsible for organizing proper use and minor maintenance of complex and expensive plot equipment, including various types of planters, cultivators, sprayers, combines and data loggers to achieve desired results. They will make recommendations about equipment modifications and new equipment purchases. They will arrange for and operate rental and program vehicles for program personnel to travel to and from research sites and meetings, including the breeder seed production site in Idaho, USA. They will trailer equipment, like a combine, between stations and to and from fields of co-operators.

Activity C: Train and Supervise Staff - 5%

The successful candidate will hire, train, and supervise short term temporary staff to facilitate the safe, smooth operation of the bean breeding program.

Activity D: Other Duties – 5%

On an ad-hoc basis and at the request of the Department Chair the incumbent may serve on various department governance committees, contribute technical support to the teaching program and/or participate in outreach activities.

Requirements of this position include:

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Agriculture or related field plus a minimum of one (1) year of extensive related research experience in plant breeding, data management and people management
  • Valid Ontario driver’s licence
  • Ontario Pesticide Applicator’s Permit

In addition to the above requirements, the following skills and competencies would be assets:

  • In-depth knowledge of experimental design and data analysis, data entry and archiving standards, field plot layout methods, crop scouting and pest control
  • Experience with and ability to safely and effectively operate a variety of plot-scale farm equipment, such as planters, sprayers, combines, tillage, fertilizer equipment, equipment float (includes loading and securing equipment for transport), threshing and seed-cleaning equipment
  • Experience with maintaining and manipulating plants in a growth room/greenhouse to affect crosses between them
  • Experience with in-field inoculation and evaluation procedures for assessing resistance to plant diseases
  • Experience with evaluations of qualitative plant traits (such as maturity, harvestability, seed shape desirability)     
  • Experience with various scientific instruments used in breeding (such as a plot combine datalogger, colourimeter, seed counter, etc.)
  • Well-developed computer software skills (word processing, spreadsheets, statistics)
  • Experience with germplasm management/ plant breeding software

Position Number         128-079
Classification               USW, Local 4120 Salary Band 8
Salary Range              $32.15 Minimum
$35.90 Normal Hiring Limit
$43.50 Job Rate
At the University of Guelph, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. The University invites and encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.

Posting Date: 2022 01 12
Closing Date: 2022 01 19