Research Assistant - Plant Molecular Biology

The Department of Molecular Ecology is looking for a Research Assistant - Plant Molecular Biology

Our research and molecular biology facility

The overarching research objective in the Department of Molecular Ecology is to identify traits that are important for the Darwinian fitness of an organism in its complex natural environment. To identify new traits  underlying  ecological  phenomena  and  their  genetic  background  we  are  employing  forward genetics approaches (QTL mapping). Furthermore, in order to demonstrate the function of identified traits we use traditional reverse genetics tools (VIGS, stable transformation, CRISPR/CAS) to manipulate the organisms’ interactions in nature and characterize the ecological consequences. Our team of scientists focuses on plant-mediated interactions and we have developed a suite of molecular and chemical tools in a native plant that has a rich web of ecological interactions: the wild tobacco plant Nicotiana attenuata. The department is well equipped with modern genetic and molecular, as well as analytical methods and runs a field station in Utah (USA).

We have developed a comprehensive molecular toolbox for the N. attenuata system in our Department. A collection of transformed lines (silencing or overexpression) is a unique tool for the functional analysis of ecologically relevant genes and our transformation pipeline allows the efficient manipulation of genes of interest. Furthermore, we are using state-of-the-art sequencing and gene expression analysis (quantitative PCR, Nanostring, microarrays) for genotyping and transcriptional profiling. More recently, we developed bi- and multi-parental recombinant inbred lines (AI-RILs and MAGIC RILs) as a resource for forward genetics experiments using a QTL mapping approach based on the sequenced and annotated genome of our model plant.

Your tasks

The candidate will work in close collaboration with the head and technicians of the molecular platform and our international team of researchers. The main tasks will be simple bioinformatics support, assistance with transformation construct development, cloning and sequencing/genotyping as well as daily laboratory management. The candidate is also expected to assist in the sample preparation and data analysis of large-scale forward genetics screening experiments.

Your profile

We are looking for a highly organized, communicative individual who enjoys problem-solving, keeping rigorous records, and interacting with an international team of highly motivated scientists. With a strong background in molecular biology and bioinformatics, you would be interested in applying your expertise in a state-of-the-art research facility. Additional experience with QTL mapping and/or microbiology are a plus. Excellent communication skills in English (written and verbal) are required for the position.

Our offer

We are looking for a Research Assistant (f/m; B.Sc./M.Sc. or equivalent qualification) to join our group with a fixed-term contract of two years. We are looking to fill the position in early 2018 but it will remain open  until  filled.  Payment  follows  the  German  collective  wage  agreement  for  government  service workers (TVöD-Bund) and depends on qualifications and professional experience. Various fringe benefits in accordance with public service positions are included. The position will offer ample opportunities for developing personal skills, independence and contribute to Departmental publications.

Your application

The Max-Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer and strives to employ more individuals with disabilities. We therefore encourage applicants with disabilities.

Please  send  your  application  (electronically  as  a  single  pdf  file),  including  a  letter  of  motivation explaining how your qualifications and experience make you a good candidate for this job, as well as two letters of recommendation together with your full CV to: