Post-Doctoral Associate

Job ID:
Job date: 2018-03-20
End Date:

Company : University of Minnesota 

Country :

Role : Postdoc 

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Job Description:
Post-Doctoral Associates conduct research and/or service that provides further development of career skills or allows them opportunities to learn new research techniques. They are trained by and work in conjunction with a faculty mentor who determines the training agenda. Position is limited to a period of three to five years, depending on training needs. Post-Doctoral Associates are receiving training while also performing services for the University of Minnesota, for which they are compensated.

The Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota invites applications for Postdoctoral Position under the supervision of Assistant Professor Melania Figueroa.

The appointee will join an international project investigating the biology of the pathogenic rust fungus, Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, which inflicts significant yield losses in oat. The overarching goal of the project is to determine the role of sexual recombination in the epidemiology and pathogenicity evolution. The incumbent will participate in discovery of effectors in P. coronata f. sp. avenae. It is imperative that the postdoctoral researcher is available to travel internationally in fulfillment of research responsibilities and is expected to publish research results in refereed journals, present their research findings at national and international scientific meetings, and assist in preparation of nationally competitive grant proposals. Opportunities for teaching and supervisory experience is also available.

(10%) Prepares genomic material for next-generation sequencing of various oat crown rust populations.

(55%) Conducts computational analyses on resequencing data of rust isolates to address questions delineated by the project.

(10%) Communicate findings and interpretations to PI and team

(15%) Prepares peer-review manuscripts and assists in the development of grant applications

(5%) Travels to visit project collaborators and present work at scientific conferences

(3%) Supervises undergraduate and graduate participants in the team

(2%) Orders supplies, maintains equipment, and ensures compliance with safety and reporting requirements.

Note: These are not positions to which permanent residency can be granted for international appointees.


Required Qualifications:

Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Molecular Biology, and/or Bioinformatics (by the start of employment). Individual may be immediate post-degree or returning for additional training, updating, and/or retooling. Limited to fields for which post-degree training is necessary for career entry.

The successful applicant must demonstrate:

1) Experience with Linux and high performance computing environments.

2) Ability in applying statistical or machine learning methods in computational biology.

3) Experience in handling large genome-scale datasets.

4) Record of research achievement in population genetics and computational biology. Therefore, background knowledge in comparative/population/evolutionary genomics should be evident.

5) Experience with scripting/programming in Python, Perl, C++, R or similar and handling relational databases.

6) Strong track record of publications in the field or related disciplines.

7) Ability to work independently as well as within a research group.

8) Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

1) Background in plant-microbe interactions studies, particularly involving rust fungi

2) Experience in effector biology and functional validation of effector genes

3) Experience in genetic association studies

4) Ability to design new projects and foster new collaborations

5) Capacity to mentor and supervise students

Requeriments :

Skills :

Areas :

Additional Info:
About the Department

While the field of plant pathology continues to evolve, the goals of the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota remain the same:

Solving today's complex plant health problems through cutting-edge research.

Providing sound plant health advice to stakeholders throughout Minnesota and around the globe.

Educating the next generation of plant health professionals and change-makers through a modern and broad plant pathology curriculum.

For more information, please visit our webpage at

How To Apply

Application Instructions : Interested candidates should submit application via the University of Minnesota Employment website to Job ID 322783. Application must contain: 1) a CV, 2) a cover letter describing their qualifications, relevant experience and research interests and 3) names and contact information for 3 references.

In addition to this, candidates should send the full application package as a single PDF file to Dr. Melania Figueroa ( Please label the e-mail subject with: “oat rust-postdoc”. -- Applications must be submitted online. To be considered for this position, please click the Apply button and follow the instructions. You will have the opportunity to complete an online application for the position and attach a cover letter and resume.

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

This position will remain open until filled. To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


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:

Background Check Information

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.

About the U of M

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC)

The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (UMTC), is among the largest public research universities in the country, offering undergraduate, graduate, and professional students a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Located at the heart of one of the nation's most vibrant, diverse metropolitan communities, students on the campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul benefit from extensive partnerships with world-renowned health centers, international corporations, government agencies, and arts, nonprofit, and public service organizations.

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