Our Services

Research Technician, Plant Biology

 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 out 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.


As a Research Technician you provide plant growth, shoot and root phenotyping, molecular biology, and plant cell, tissue, and organ imaging as part of the Root-Soil- Microbial Interactions (RSMI) research group led by Dr. Leon Kochian, Associate Director and Canada Excellence Research Chair.


Reporting to the Director, Operations, you will be key member of RSMI and the broader GIFS team supporting and advancing research.

You will be part of the GIFS team and your work is planned and conducted in close coordination with postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, other research technicians and visiting scientists.  

You understand the values, culture, challenges, and operational needs of GIFS. You understand the interconnectedness of GIFS and the impact changes and operations have on all the platforms, programs, clients, and overall reputation of GIFS. You demonstrate a strong safety acumen. You develop and maintain strong long-lasting relationships.

  • Lead by example.
  • Plant DNA/RNA isolation, qRT-PCR assays, gene cloning and plant transformation
  • Growing plants in different growth media, including in vitro (in gel plates and cylinders), and in hydroponic media and soil, using imaging platforms to image root systems in 2- and 3-dimensions
  • Imaging and post-processing analysis of root system architecture to quantify root traits that describe root growth, topology, and architecture
  • Managing GIFS microscope suite. Will provide initial training for customers to use an epi-fluorescence microscope, a fluorescence stereo microscope and confocal microscope, and will oversee technical maintenance of microscopes in the GIFS microscope suite.
  • A Master’s degree in plant molecular biology, cell imaging biology, plant biology or agricultural biology or a combination of a bachelor’s degree in a comparable field and at least two years of professional experience in plant molecular research are preferred.
  • Prior experience or coursework in plant molecular biology and cell imaging biology along with basic molecular lab tasks such as plant nucleic acids isolation, DNA/RNA electrophoresis, primer design, qRT-PCR assays, restriction enzyme use, gene cloning is needed and experience in operating epifluorescence, fluorescence stereo and/or confocal microscopes is desirable.
  • Highly motivated with a keen attention to detail, willingness to learn and the proven ability to work in a fast paced, team-oriented, multidisciplinary research environment.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Ability to be effective in interactions with colleagues, leaders, and scientists.
  • A skilled communicator, both written and verbal, with the ability to establish and maintain effective, respectful relationships to ensure a culture of collaboration.
  • A track record of delivering superior results and developing respect in previous organizations via a collaborative and team based working styles and a demonstrated ability to deliver quality results while meeting timelines.
  • A deep commitment to enacting equity, diversity, inclusion.
  • Effective organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated statistical skills.
  • Proficiency with MS Office applications (particularly Word and Excel).

Department: Global Inst for Food Security
Status: Term up to 2 years with the possibility of extension or becoming permanent
Employment Group: Research
Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0
Salary: The salary range, based on 1.0 FTE, is $23.53 – 31.83 per hour. The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Salary Phase/Band: Salary Band 5
Posted Date: 11/5/2021
Closing Date: Until Filled.
Number of Openings: 1
Remote Status: No – Position is required to work on-site

The successful applicant will be required to provide the following current verification(s) where ‘Yes’ is indicated below. Further information is available at: https://careers.usask.ca/tips-for-applying.php

Criminal Record Check: Not Applicable
Driver’s License and Abstract Check: Not Applicable
Education/Credential Verification: Not Applicable
Vulnerable Sector Check: Not Applicable