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Deadline Description

Student Assistant 3 Open Position:

Job Description:

The Drakakaki lab is seeking student assistants to conduct research on the cellular and molecular characterization of plant tissue in response to salt stress. Student will be responsible for: in vitro growth of pistachio and almond seedlings under different stresses, and adapt staining methods for sodium and potassium ions in a variety of tissues. The plant samples will be examined with confocal microscopy and images will be processed and quantitatively analyzed. Further, the assistants will carry out gene expression studies under salinity stress. The internship will be initially funded during the Summer 2018, with a possible extension through Fall 2018.


The student must be motivated, have recent experience and skills in tissue culture techniques, and molecular biology. Experience in microscopy is a great benefit. The student must be able to work independently and adapt new methodologies from the current literature, follow instructions with great attention to detail and keep accurate records of tasks performed.

Preferred class requirements : BIS 104: Cell Biology, PLB 112: Plant growth and development, MCB 120L: Biochemistry Laboratory, or equivalent classes.

Please contact Georgia Drakakaki ( with the subject line "Internship  Application”  in the email. 


CareerTrax Executive Recruiters

A Leadership Opportunity in Global Plant Sciences Research

CTI Executive Search has been retained to identify candidates for an important plant sciences position in the field of agriculture for development – the International Rice Research Institute’s Manager of Research Support, Seed Health. We seek a superior plant scientist who will manage the overall operations of IRRI’s Seed Health Unit (SHU), including quality assurance of critical seed health tests and supervision of the research unit staff. The manager will handle all administrative aspects of the SHU, a busy service laboratory dealing with incoming and outgoing biological materials at one of the world’s largest plant sciences research centers. The job location is Los Baños, Philippines, a college town of 100,000 located in the Laguna region about 90 minutes outside of Manila.

IRRI is a not-for-profit research institution, one of the largest centers of the CGIAR Consortium. The institute develops sustainable rice production systems for improved livelihoods in their partner countries through science and effective stakeholder engagement. The Institute works with an array of public and private sector institutions, non-governmental and civil society organizations, health and relief agencies, and farmers. Connecting through 16 country collaborations to the world’s rice producing regions, IRRI makes an impact where rice is a critical income source that provides sustenance for smallholder farmers.

The Position

The Seed Health Unit of IRRI is the “single gateway” (sole entry and exit point) for all incoming rice seeds, rice grains for destructive analysis, non-seed biological materials, and soil samples to and from IRRI. The Manager of SHU will ensure that all of these incoming materials meet the Philippines plant quarantine regulations and standards under post-entry clearance regulations. Of course, because IRRI works in so many parts of the world with collaborators and sister CG centers, the Manager and his or her staff must also ensure that these same materials meet the regulations and standards of those receiving countries under proper phytosanitary certifications. Everything going in and out of the center is accompanied by the appropriate material transfer agreement, in line with the established policies of IRRI.

This position, under the minimal direction of the Head Research Infrastructure and Operations, will manage the overall research support operations of the Seed Health Unit, that part of IRRI which deals with the import and export of rice seed from both inbred lines and hybrids, all of which come out of the research functions at the Institute. The manager will develop plans and/or programs, new policies and procedures and monitor their implementation, as well as finalize reports for submission to both supervisor and Institute stakeholders. As a part of IRRI management, this position will be responsible for coaching and mentoring the unit’s team members. It is an important role and one that is aligned well with future opportunities at IRRI for the top performer.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Smooth execution of import and export of seeds and non seed materials across the countries as per the timelines.
  • Work closely with research groups for the import and export of the materials in timely manner (seeds & non seed materials)
  • Develop ISO and International Seed Testing Association standard procedures at SHU and improve the unit’s services based on audit reports
  • Develop annual work plans with all the research units on the import and export plans and monitor the progress on regular basis.
  • Analyze the latest developments in regard to team specific objectives and provide recommendations for possible implementation
  • Oversee the implementation of risk management procedures and controls as well as Quality Management System implementation
  • As the Bureau of Plant Industries (BPI) Liaison Officer for IRRI, modernize and streamline SHU processes and procedures in consultation with BPI officials to enable quick turnaround for all activities
  • Allocate the team’s budget and evaluate/approve expenditures
  • Lead the establishment of communication strategies in close coordination with the Division Head
  • Contribute to publications in scientific international literature that advance the state of the art in seed health testing
  • Coordinate activities with SHU customers and build relationships with Government and other stakeholders to ensure that unit operations run smoothly
  • Develop a module for training on procedures and protocols to SHU team members, in coordination with the IRRI training unit
  • Ensure that the information dissemination of intellectual property rights policies, standards, rules and guidelines are effective and efficient
  • Ensure that routine seed health testing and related activities such as documentation, seed treatments, crop health inspection, material transfer agreements, etc. are processed at their earliest and under international rules and standards
  • Monitoring of transgenic materials in terms of crop health, movements, and disposal that ensures compliance to IRRI’s biosafety rules and standards
  • Ensure that both Risk Management and Quality Assurance are complied with/observed/integrated in every activity of SHU

Selection criteria

  • Doctoral Degree in Agriculture, Plant Protection, or Seed Technology with a minimum of 3 years post-PhD relevant work experience, or a Masters degree in Agriculture with 6+ years of similar experience
  • A knowledge of seed and non-seed import & export laws, seed health testing, and advanced seed testing techniques like PCR / ELISA
  • A knowledge of involved regulations for managing the movement of GM seeds
  • Previous team management and motivation experience
  • Experience working with Government agencies on compliance
  • The proven ability to perform in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • A strategic thinker with excellent communication, organizational and analytic skills.
  • Leadership skills, such as the ability to engage and empower others; the ability to recognize team efforts and foster an enabling environment; a leader who demonstrates knowledge sharing and seeks continuous improvement.

If you are interested in this role or can provide suggested contacts for CTI on this search, please contact us in confidence. Our search is not confidential and this document may be redistributed.

Dave Jensen, Managing Director
(928) 282-5366 Office
(928) 274-2266 Cell (Preferred)

Skype: daveproactive

Linda Todten, Research Associate
(928) 282-5366 Office