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Plant Growth Facilities Manager

Employer
Durham University
Location
Durham, United Kingdom
Salary
£37,099 - £44,263 per annum

The Role and Department


We are seeking a horticulturalist or plant scientist to manage the Plant Growth Facility in the Department of Biosciences. We are looking for someone with a proactive service-oriented approach that will anticipate the needs of plant growth facility users. The role is to work with relevant research groups, collaborators, and external users, to help to provide plant material for research programs and undergraduate courses by means of proper planning, coordination, technical expertise, and facility management.


The Biosciences Department has an established record of research excellence in plant sciences and has invested in new academic staff appointments in the areas of Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) and relevant areas of Ecology, Evolution and Environment (EEE) over the past six years. The University has provided major investment to upgrade and refurbish plant growth facilities, and the facility manager will manage the final stages of this work to be completed in Summer 2024.


The plant growth facility consists of state-of-the-art glass houses, controlled environment rooms, and phenotyping instrumentation, and supports research projects on model, crop, weed and wild plant species to study cell biology, stress responses, environmental change, and plant-soil interactions. This is an exciting and challenging opportunity for the facility manager to impact a wide range of research projects in the MPS and EEE research groups in the department of biosciences.


A highly motivated individual with extensive experience in managing and maintaining plant growth facilities to provide specialist expertise and support around plant growth.


The position entails overseeing all aspects of the facility's operations. This includes working closely with faculty, staff, and students to manage day-to-day activities and acting as a liaison between the University, and the Department of Biosciences. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing facility budgets, advising on plant growth projects, assigning space, coordinating facility utilisation, and ensuring safe working practices in compliance with UK legislation. As facility manager, you will develop and implement standard operating procedures and risk assessments for all plant growth areas and a variety of plant species, oversee the maintenance and repair of greenhouses, growth rooms, growth chambers, and associated equipment. Additionally, you will supervise technical staff, participate in teaching and training activities, and oversee the production high-quality plant material for research and teaching. You will also promote the facility and attend meetings and courses to stay up to date with new developments and techniques.


The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in managing plant growth facilities, possess excellent communication and organisational skills, and have a strong understanding of health and safety regulations. A degree in plant biology, horticulture, or related fields is required, along with a proven track record of success in managing a plant growth facility.


The role offers:



  • A vibrant research environment within expanding plant and ecology research groups and biosciences department,

  • Well-equipped modern facilities,

  • Opportunities to contribute to the design and implementation of modernising plant growth facility,

  • Opportunities to collaborate with internal and external research groups,

  • Additional training (e.g. external courses) when required.


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