Scientific Technician - Soil Microbiology/Biophysics: UK

Rothamsted Research is the largest agricultural research centre in the UK and the longest running agricultural research station in the world. A position has recently become available in our Soils to Nutrition programme (, studying the integrated behaviour of soil-plant-microbe systems. This program aims to develop new whole-systems approaches that integrate theory with field-based research, exploiting the world’s longest-running scientific experiments, which are based at Rothamsted. The position is within a multidisciplinary group focusing on how interactions between physical and biological processes in soil give rise to the natural fertility and resilience of soil systems, and how this can be augmented to deliver food security while sparing the natural environment. The group has formal links with the University of Nottingham in the UK, and to related research programs at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, the Australian National University and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), and the Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria in Uruguay.
The candidate
  • As the successful candidate, you will have responsibility for day-to-day management of the microbiology laboratory and other biological aspects of the group’s work, including isolation and culture of soil microorganisms and the extraction of nucleic acids from soils and their preparation for sequencing.
  • You will use your experience and initiative to conduct your own experiments, studying the effects of the quality of nutrition on microbial community phenotype. A particular focus will be on the influence of physical structure of microbial habitats and the consequences for nutrient and oxygen delivery to cells.
  • You will enjoy supporting and mentoring the work of visiting workers and doctoral researchers.
  • You will take advantage of the many opportunities to learn new skills and develop new techniques that the position presents.
  • You will hold at least a B.Sc. or equivalent in microbiology or other allied biological sciences, environmental or soil science.
  • You will have a passion for learning and creativity within research, be self-motivated, and enjoy working in interdisciplinary teams across normal scientific boundaries.
  • You will enjoy field-work and some international travel, essential to collaborating across the consortium.

Informal enquiries about this post and further information can be obtained by contacting Dr Andrew Neal (microbiology) or Prof John Crawford (

Further details
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