NRRI Researcher 6: Hybrid Poplar Research Scientist

Oct 11, 2022

Job ID: 351824
Location: Duluth
Job Family: Research-Researchers
Full-Time; Regular
Job Code: 9742R6
Employee Class: Acad Prof and Admin

About the Job

This position develops and leads the internationally renowned Hybrid Poplar Breeding program. The position is responsible to develop the vision, strategic plan, and operational plans for the research unit, develop grant proposals to support research initiatives and provide direct supervision over a small, creative team to implement the hybrid poplar breeding program. Additionally, the research scientist will expand the genetics and breeding program to include assisted migration and improved growth and insect and disease resistance of Minnesota’s commercially important species.

Responsibilities include discovery work as well as supervision of research and field staff, applying principles of quantitative genetics & computational biology to improve the breeding program. Writes and procures grants to support the work of the breeding program. Works with industry, agency, and university researchers to identify opportunities for collaboration.

The knowledge, skills and aptitudes required for this position include but are not limited to; research leadership, program development, project and personnel management, experimental design, data management, report writing and peer-reviewed publication.

The Research Scientist integrates work across the Institute to solve complex research problems and receives minimal guidance from leadership and consistently works to ensure achievement of NRRI Core Values and Strategic Initiatives.

Job Duties:

• Responsible for developing the strategic goals, operational plan, budget, and funding for the research program and for individual research program staff including objective setting, development, and performance management.
• The position uses Institute project management practices to ensure the effective planning, execution and oversight of unique projects and programs. This includes maintaining high standards for safety, quality, research rigor, ethics and peer review in all research group activities and collaborations.
• The position promotes, recruits and assigns/re-assigns staff as appropriate to achieve goals. The Manager ensures resources and technical capabilities align with initiative and program requirements; ensures that staff have the proper training, tools, and equipment to perform job tasks; and devotes adequate time developing and maintaining a professional team dynamic.
• Conducts breeding research on hybrid poplar leading to the development of improved cultivars.
• Generates new knowledge that improves the efficiency of hybrid poplar breeding.
• Conducts research on the genetic control of economically important traits, including but not limited to biomass production, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, adaptability, and rooting characteristics.
• Expand the genetics and breeding program to include assisted migration as well as improved growth, insect and disease resistance and yield of Minnesota’s commercially important species.
• Prepares or contributes to preparation of research plans, technical reports, annual reports, grant proposals, peer-reviewed manuscripts, germplasm registrations, and patent applications.
• Research Scientist helps create and represent the strategy and capabilities of both the Institute and the research team to internal and external partners, collaborators, and stakeholders.
• Research Scientist build collaborative alliances – internal (NRRI, UMD, UMN) and external (industry, government, tribal governments, academia) - to pursue research and development leading to adoption of improved hybrid poplar cultivars and breeding methods.
• The Research Scientist works to develop and maintain strategic external relationships with partners and collaborators through one-on-one contacts, presentations, or participations in partner or public events.
• The Research Scientist will represent the NRRI on technical or governance committees as defined by leadership and the needs of the Institute and the University.

Responsibilities:

Responsible for developing the strategic goals, operational plan, budget, and funding for the research program and for individual research program staff including objective setting, development, and performance management. The position uses Institute project management practices to ensure the effective planning, execution and oversight of unique projects and programs. This includes maintaining high standards for safety, quality, research rigor, ethics and peer review in all research group activities and collaborations. The position promotes, recruits and assigns/re-assigns staff as appropriate to achieve goals. The Manager ensures resources and technical capabilities align with initiative and program requirements; ensures that staff have the proper training, tools, and equipment to perform job tasks; and devotes adequate time developing and maintaining a professional team dynamic. (50%)

Conducts breeding research on hybrid poplar leading to the development of improved cultivars. Generates new knowledge that improves the efficiency of hybrid poplar breeding. Conducts research on the genetic control of economically important traits, including but not limited to biomass production, disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, adaptability, and rooting characteristics. Expand the genetics and breeding program to include assisted migration as well as improved growth, insect and disease resistance and yield of Minnesota’s commercially important species. Prepares or contributes to preparation of research plans, technical reports, annual reports, grant proposals, peer-reviewed manuscripts, germplasm registrations, and patent applications. (40%)

Research Scientist helps create and represent the strategy and capabilities of both the Institute and the research team to internal and external partners, collaborators, and stakeholders. Research Scientist build collaborative alliances – internal (NRRI, UMD, UMN) and external (industry, government, tribal governments, academia) - to pursue research and development leading to adoption of improved hybrid poplar cultivars and breeding methods. The Research Scientist works to develop and maintain strategic external relationships with partners and collaborators through one-on-one contacts, presentations, or participations in partner or public events. The Research Scientist will represent the NRRI on technical or governance committees as defined by leadership and the needs of the Institute and the University. (10%)

Qualifications

Required Qualifications:

• Master’s degree with substantial research and publication record or a Ph. D with substantial research and publication record
• Must have experience as a primary investigator on an extramural grant leading a team or researchers.
• Demonstrated record of research excellence leading to solutions that help clients achieve their goals.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Master’s degree with at least eight years of relevant professional experience in plant breeding or a Ph. D with five years of relevant professional experience in plant breeding is required.
• Demonstrated ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data from field experiments.
• Demonstrated record of preparing written reports and publication in peer-reviewed journals.
• Ability to participate in extensive physical activity including walking and collecting data on uneven ground in all weather conditions throughout the entire year. Fieldwork may require extended work hours.

About the Department

The Natural Resources Research Institute was established by the Minnesota legislature in 1983 as an applied science and engineering research organization to inform state citizens and decision-makers while leveraging the power of the University of Minnesota. NRRI is guided by the forward-looking charter provided by the Legislature to foster the economic development of Minnesota’s natural resources in an environmentally sound manner to promote private sector employment.

NRRI’s mission is to deliver integrated research solutions that value our resources, environment, and economy for a sustainable and resilient future. We are a mission-driven, project-focused team working to create opportunities for natural resource stewardship.
With industrial-scale facilities in Duluth and Coleraine, MN, NRRI works across five strategic research platforms. These platforms address Minnesota’s soil, forest, water, and mineral resources:

1. Applied Ecology and Resource Management
2. Minerals and Metallurgy
3. Materials and Bioeconomy
4. Data Collection and Delivery
5. Commercialization Services

Benefits

Working at the University

At the University of Minnesota, you’ll find a flexible work environment and supportive colleagues who are interested in lifelong learning.  We prioritize work-life balance, allowing you to invest in the future of your career and in your life outside of work.

The University also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes:

  • Competitive wages, paid holidays, and generous time off.
  • Continuous learning opportunities through professional training and degree-seeking programs supported by the Regents Scholarship.
  • Low-cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans.
  • Healthcare and dependent care flexible spending accounts.
  • University HSA contributions.
  • Disability and employer-paid life insurance.
  • Employee wellbeing program.
  • Excellent retirement plans with employer contribution.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) opportunity.
  • Financial counseling services. 
  • Employee Assistance Program with eight sessions of counseling at no cost.

Please visit the Office of Human Resources website for more information regarding benefits.

How To Apply

Job open date: 9/22/2022

Job closing date: open until filled

Applications must be submitted online. To apply for this position, go to http://www.umn.edu/ohr/employment/  and search for job opening 351824. You will be given the opportunity to complete an online application and attach a resume and cover letter.

Additional documents may be attached after submitting your application by accessing your "My Activities" page and uploading documents there.

Complete applications must include:                               

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Current Resume
  3. Contact information for three professional references
  4. Diversity Statement: Please provide a brief personal statement detailing your affirmative action, equal opportunity, and diversity philosophy. 

First submit the application with a cover letter and CV/resume.  Then return to the “My Activities” page to attach the additional documents.

Email application procedure questions to umdjobs@d.umn.edu.

To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail employ@umn.edu or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647). If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact a University of Minnesota Access Consultant at 612-624-3316.

Veterans and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.

***Smoking and chewing tobacco and the use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on all UMD property, including indoor facilities, campus grounds and University vehicles.***

Diversity

The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:  http://diversity.umn.edu.

Employment Requirements

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

Please note: All employees at the University of Minnesota are required to comply with the University’s Administrative Policy: COVID-19 Vaccination and Safety Protocol by either providing proof of being fully vaccinated on their first day of employment, or complete a request for an exemption for medical exemption or religious reasons. To learn more please visit:  https://safe-campus.umn.edu/return-campus/get-the-vax