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Post-Doctoral Fellow – Seed Protein Functionality

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food. This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in our talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners and stakeholders to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Primary Purpose:The post-doctoral fellow will conduct research in support of a project jointly funded by SaskCanola (Canola Agronomic Research Program), the Western Grains Research Foundation and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.  The project, entitled “Enabling Canola Protein Optimization (ECPO)”, main objectives are:

1.    to create a Brassica napus databank of seed protein composition and nucleotide variation with markers and genotyping platforms for accelerated selection in canola breeding programs and

2.    to generate B. napus germplasm with seed protein compositions and functionalities tailored to specific applications.

Nature of Work: Reporting to Dr. Andrew Sharpe, you will generate information pertaining to Brassica napus seed protein functionality.  This will involve in silico modeling of certain seed proteins to estimate their physiochemical properties and performance in techno-functional applications, followed by empirical testing of hypotheses using protein produced in a transgenic plant system and developing/refining tools to better predict protein functionality.

You will be required to obtain visiting scientist status with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to access their facilities.  This will require a criminal record check. 

The work is complex and requires a firm understanding of software for protein structural modeling, protein chemistry and biochemistry as it pertains to protein functionality in food and technical applications. The volume of work is high and may require off-hours efforts. You will be expected to work effectively, both independently and as a team member, and to exercise discretionary day to day decision making, while strategy decisions are made with direction from senior researchers and sanctioned by the supervisor. Work occurs in an environment which requires a high level of accuracy and significant judgement is required with errors resulting in a moderate to a high level of impact resulting in lost time, resources or impacts to external clients. You will be part of a team that fosters a work atmosphere that is collaborative, open, positive, supportive, responsive, and transparent. You will demonstrate a strong safety acumen.

  • Develop models and tools to predict the function of specific B. napus seed proteins.
  • Apply these tools to estimate seed protein functionality associated with allelic variation in diverse B. napus germplasm.
  • Provide information on protein functionality and associated germplasm to canola breeders.
  • Adhere to good equipment use practices, including proper operation, cleaning, and maintenance.
  • Adhere to all applicable SOP’s, including R&D and production.
  • Adhere to all safety and good laboratory practices as per WHMIS and Lab Safety Training guidelines.
  • PhD degree in Biochemistry, Computational Biology or Food Chemistry or a related discipline pertinent to the needs of the project from a recognized university.
  • Graduate level or post-doctoral experience in protein structural modeling, protein chemistry and/or food chemistry.
  • Protein structural modeling.
  • Protein purification.
  • Techniques for assessing protein functionality in food and technical applications.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to establish and maintain effective, respectful relationships to ensure a culture of collaboration. 
  • Ability to gather, analyze, and present information with fastidious attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team-oriented and diverse atmosphere.
  • Highly motivated with a willingness to learn and the proven ability to be self-directed and highly organized, thriving in a dynamic environment.
  • Demonstrated analytic and problem-solving skills.
  • A track record of delivering superior results and developing respect in previous organizations via collaborative and team based working styles and a demonstrated ability to deliver quality results while meeting demanding timelines.
  • A deep commitment to enacting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Ability to identify issues and then develop and implement creative and outcomes-oriented solutions.
  • Completion of a satisfactory criminal record check.


Department: Global Inst for Food Security
Status: Term
Employment Group: Post-Doctoral Fellows – PSAC
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0
Salary Information: The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Posted Date: 10/20/2021
Closing Date: Until Filled
Number of Openings: 1
Remote Status: No – Position is required to work on-site