Research Officer (2 positions)

Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
Saskatoon - Saskatchewan


This is a continuing position.


Working with clients and partners, the National Research Council Canada provides strategic research, innovation support, scientific and technical services to develop and deploy solutions to meet Canada's current and future industrial and societal needs. Guided by our core values of impact, accountability, leadership, integrity and collaboration, NRC is a dynamic and vibrant organization that, in its ongoing evolution, is seeking a Research Officer.

Your challenge

The Research Officer supports the mission of NRC and the Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Portfolio to add value to Canada’s abundant natural resources by conducting research and development activities that combine the areas of crops genetics and genomics. This research has strong potential for industrial applications and involves working directly with Canadian industry to enhance productivity and competitiveness. The Research Officer works with researchers and technical experts in a multidisciplinary team environment to conduct research focused on applying genomic tools for the genetic improvement of Canadian wheat.

The incumbent will be responsible for planning, conducting, and reporting on advanced and innovative research aimed at the identification, characterization and deployment of diverse genes of agronomic importance. Activities will include making use of cutting edge genomics information and technologies, such as genome, exome and RNA-seq sequencing data, high-throughput SNP genotyping platforms, and bioinformatics resources, to analyze qualitative and quantitative trait loci, identify and validate candidate genes, and facilitate the subsequent deployment of key genes in breeding programs. The Research Officer will also maintain knowledge and expertise in the areas of quantitative genetics and genomics in order to provide scientific expertise in this area and act as a technical resource to other NRC researchers and industry clients and stakeholders. These activities will involve securing receptors and clients by identifying R&D opportunities, participating in business development and marketing activities, and building collaborations with local, national and international companies and organizations.

The incumbent will be responsible for the efficient management of assigned resources and personnel to meet project and program milestones. They will be expected to play a leadership role in fostering a vision of success and developing staff through coaching and mentoring.

Screening criteria

Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates:


Ph.D. in Plant Molecular Biology or a similar discipline related to crop plant genomics. 


Extensive research experience conducting quantitative genetic studies of crop plants, including experimental design, data collection and analysis, overseeing data production, and ensuring data quality.

Significant experience in designing experiments and conducting analysis resulting from a range of genomics techniques such as those used for genetic analysis, including high throughput SNP genotyping and Next Generation Sequencing platforms.

Significant experience leading a collaborative research team in a complex business and technology environment.

Significant experience in the full spectrum of research activities including identification of research requirements, proposal writing, project management, and reporting through written documentation, presentations and publishing.

Significant experience with molecular and genetic aspects of plant response to eukaryotic microbial pathogens would be considered an asset.

Significant experience in the analysis of genomic data derived from polyploidy crop plants would be considered an asset.

Experience coordinating bioinformatics resources associated with genomics technologies would be an asset.

Experience in business development, marketing activities, and/or the development of partnerships and collaborations would be considered an asset.

Condition of employment

  • Reliability Status

Language requirements


Assessment criteria

Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:

Technical competencies:

Advanced knowledge of the theory and practice of plant genetics, including quantitative traits, genome organization and polyploidy.

Solid knowledge of various genomics techniques and their applications including next-generation DNA sequencing and high throughput genotyping platforms.

Ability to effectively lead and manage a multi-disciplinary team with a participative management style.

Ability to make an initial assessment of the suitability of a project for study, the likely scientific or engineering merit of the project, and risk of an experimental plan.

Knowledge of various scientific/technical solutions related to current ag-biotech industry needs.

Solid knowledge of current concepts in molecular plant pathology, including mechanisms of resistance against pathogens would be considered an asset.

Solid knowledge of computational analysis technologies and strategies as applied to genomics research would be considered an asset.

Ability to develop innovative genomics techniques to facilitate the attainment of research goals would be considered an asset.

Behavioural competencies:

Visioning/Alignment (Level 2)
Developing Others (Level 2)
Business Understanding (Level 2)

Creative Thinking (Level 3)
Teamwork (Level 3)
Communication (Level 3)

For this position, NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profile(s):  | Manager/Supervisor | Research

View all competency profiles.


Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with NRC's directives.

Salary range

This position is classified as a Research Officer (RO), a group that is unique to the NRC. The RO group uses a person-based classification system instead of the more common duties-based classification system. Candidates are remunerated based on their expertise, skill, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience. The salary scale for this group is vast, from $38,921 to $125,067 per annum, which permits for employees of all levels from new graduates to world renowned experts to be fairly compensated for their contributions. In addition, an incumbent occupying a position within the RO Groups is currently entitled to receive a terminable allowance of $8,000 per year.

Closing date

08/08/2014 (14 days)

Applications will be accepted until 23:59 Eastern Time


Eligibility List

An eligibility list may be established for similar positions for a one year period.


We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

In order to ensure a prompt and efficient processing of applications, candidates are encouraged to provide, along with their résumé, a detailed covering letter explaining how they meet each of the requirements of this position (education, experience, language requirements) by providing concrete examples.

Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.

Some travel may be required

To apply

All applications must be submitted on-line.  Please do not fax or email your applications. By applying over the web, your application becomes available to managers immediately. Applications must be received no later than the closing date.

You should also be prepared to attach your résumé into the online application form in one of the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • ASCII text
  • PDF

As an employer who values diversity in its workforce, we encourage candidates to self-identify as members of the following designated groups: women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities. Measures for accommodation are available to all candidates retained for further assessment.

Please review useful instructions before applying online.

To obtain a copy of the job description

Please direct your questions, with the hiring number (121-13-1014) to:

Telephone: (250) 363-3436