Jobs — Employment Opportunities at CABBI

From postdoctoral and graduate student researchers, to lab technicians, to other support staff, the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation is looking for motivated team players.

Check out this page frequently for the latest position openings! Queries about job openings may be sent to CABBI Program Manager Elizabeth Murphy, eamurphy@illinois.edu.

Current Openings

Biofuel Crop Genetics Research Scientist (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

CABBI is seeking a Research Scientist to work in the Matthew Hudson laboratory conducting research in biofuel crop genetics.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Perform research including population genetics, genome sequencing, selection analysis, genome-wide association studies, synthetic DNA construct generation, plant transformation, biotechnology and gene expression analysis as part of the CABBI feedstocks project.
  • Publish findings in peer-reviewed journals.

Qualifications:

  • Required: Ph.D. in Genetics, Crop Sciences, Plant Biology or equivalent. Four years post-PhD research experience in plant genetics.
  • Preferred: Experience with programming and computational biology. Programming in R, programming in Python, high-performance computer cluster operation.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of genetics, genomics, population genetics, computational biology, statistics, biotechnology, plant transformation, vector construction.
  • Observe standards of professional conduct and strive for excellence including, but not limited to:
  • Accepting accountability and ownership of actions.
  • Assuring essential and strong organizational skills.
  • Adaptability in accepting new challenges and responsibilities
  • Focusing on attention to detail.
  • Providing professional, quality, value added communications skills.
  • Working collaboratively with employees and faculty to enhance research goals.

Environmental Demands:

  • Work is performed in both office and lab settings.

Appointment Information:

  • This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after Oct. 16, 2022. Salary is commensurate with experience.

 

TO APPLY: Applications must be received by 6 p.m. Central time Oct. 2, 2022. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of the posting at https://illinois.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home/requisition/1266?c=illinois. Applications not submitted through jobs.illinois.edu will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Erica Hanson, HR Coordinator, at elhanson@illinois.edu. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing accessibility@illinois.edu.

Field Greenhouse Technician (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

CABBI is seeking a Field Greenhouse Technician to provide technical support for the daily operation of greenhouse and field research trials.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Propagation and harvest of transformed material in the greenhouse for seed collection  
  • Draft and submit APHIS permit applications on behalf of CABBI researchers for interstate movement and/or field release of transgenic material, monitor greenhouse and field trials in accordance to permits, and participate in inspections as requested.
    • Organize, store, and distribute samples/collections for CABBI researchers in an efficient manner and in accordance with applicable regulations
    • Dispose of transgenic material according to APHIS permitting requirements
  • Assist with set up, monitoring, scientific measurements, and tear down of field and greenhouse experiment
    • Monitor weed and pest control of both greenhouse and field trials and application of pesticides and herbicides as required
    • Monitor conditions in the greenhouse including keeping bays clean and sterile to prevent contamination and any pests
    • Conduct lab data collection as well as field trials measurements in conjunction with associated CABBI researchers
  • Supervise undergraduate and other hourly appointments
  • Other duties as assigned to assist with shared field/greenhouse operations for CABBI research projects

Education:

  • Required: B.S. in Plant Science, Agronomy, Agriculture or related field. Alternate degree fields will be considered/accepted depending on the nature and depth of the experience as it relates to this position.
  • Preferred:  M.S. in Plant Science, Agronomy, Agriculture or related field

Experience:

  • Required: Demonstrated experience in providing technical support for both the greenhouse and field trials including propagation and harvest of transformed material for seed collection. Previous experience conducting field measurements.
  • Preferred: Prior experience in greenhouse management, genotyping, and USDA-APHIS permit requirements.

Training, Licenses, or Certifications:

  • Required: Already have or ability to obtain IL pesticide applicator’s license

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Required:Knowledge of the operation and maintenance of greenhouses. Strong and effective communications, personal relations, and organizational and leadership skills. The ability to work effectively and cooperatively, both as team member and independently, with minimal supervision.
  • Preferred: Knowledge of the operation and maintenance of field work, involving tractors, threshers and small farm equipment. Advanced knowledge of APHIS requirements and associated permitting and disposal regulations.

Environmental Demands:

  • Work is mainly performed in a greenhouse or field setting. Work in inclement weather may be required.

Salary:

  • $45,000 to $55,000 per year commensurate with skills and experience. 

Appointment Status:

  • Full-time academic professional, grant-supported appointment renewable annually pending continued funding and satisfactory progress within the position. Qualified individuals will be eligible to receive vacation, sick, and personal leave; retirement through the State Universities Retirement System; and group health, dental, vision and life insurance. 

Start Date:

  • As soon as possible after the close date  

 

TO APPLY: Applications must be received by Nov. 29, 2021. To apply, all candidates must submit an online profile through https://jobs.illinois.edu by the close of the posting period. Qualified candidates must upload a letter of which details qualifications noted above, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  Interviews may be conducted prior to the closing date; however, no hire will be made until after all applicant materials submitted by the deadline have been reviewed.  For further information, please contact Erica Hanson, Human Resources, elhanson@illinois.edu

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. Other pre-employment assessments may be required, depending on the classification of Civil Service employment. 

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

Plant Breeding Academic Hourlies (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

CABBI is seeking full-time academic hourly workers in a plant breeding environment. Successful candidates will work on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus and at the Illinois Energy Farm, south of campus. The work is in a plant breeding laboratory with bioenergy grasses including Miscanthus, sugarcane and their hybrids, to support a sustainable bioeconomy. 

Responsibilities for the position:

  • Conduct experiments on plant breeding and genetics of perennial grasses. Propagate and grow plants in the field, greenhouses and growth chambers.
  • Collect data from research experiments, including use of high-throughput systems such as tablet computers, barcode readers, Bluetooth-enabled measuring devices.
  • Tasks may also include dividing plants, repotting, tying up plants to stakes and cages in greenhouse, planting seed, transplanting seedlings in the field, mowing and weeding, operating irrigation equipment, operating and maintaining small equipment, labeling with accuracy, sampling plants, harvesting stems, harvesting plots in field, making crosses, harvesting and packing seed, digging up selections from the field, taking and entering data.

B.S. in Plant Science or related field required. Experience doing farm work, greenhouse work, and/or plant science experiments desired. Must be willing to work outside in heat or cold. Rate of pay starts at $15/hour.

TO APPLY: Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, and contact information to Brent Berns, bdberns@illinois.edu.  Applications will be evaluated as they are received.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment. Other pre-employment assessments may be required, depending on the classification of Civil Service employment. 

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

Molecular Physiology of Stomata, Photosynthesis, and WUE Postdocs (Illinois)

Illinois is a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement. We serve the state, the nation, and the world by creating knowledge, preparing students for lives of impact, and addressing critical societal needs through the transfer and application of knowledge. Illinois is the place where we embrace difference. We embrace it because we value it. Illinois is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their research, teaching, and/or service, to the diversity and excellence of the Illinois community.

PRIMARY POSITION FUNCTION/SUMMARY:

The Leakey group at the University of Illinois (http://lab.igb.illinois.edu/leakey/) seeks creative and energetic applicants for two postdoctoral associate positions studying stomata, photosynthesis and water use efficiency in the model C4 species of sugarcane and setaria. The positions will be involved in long-term collaborative projects funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation, which involve multidisciplinary teams of physiologists, geneticists, computer scientists and molecular biologists. Our goals are to understand the genetic and physiological controls of photosynthetic water use efficiency through a combination of molecular genetics, quantitative genetics, and physiology. The projects will benefit substantially from significant advances in high-throughput phenotyping and germplasm development made by our team and collaborators in recent years, as well as a new large-scale field facility for imposing drought treatments. The positions will offer excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary training and a creative work environment at the Institute for Genomic Biology, which houses the CABBI and Gates Foundation-funded RIPE project  (http://ripe.illinois.edu/) laboratories.

Position requirements:

Candidates should have a strong background in molecular genetics or physiology, preferably with a focus on stomata or photosynthesis. The successful applicant will be expected to actively engage with a collaborative team using synthetic biology, gene editing and enhanced efficiency transformation strategies to improve the water use efficiency of C4 crops.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is an equal opportunity employer and offers highly competitive salary and excellent health care benefits. Questions about these positions or applications including a letter of application, CV and the names of three referees can be addressed by email to Melinda Laborg (laborg@uiuc.edu).

Position is immediately available, but the start date is flexible. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

Postdoc (Florida): Plant Genome Editing and Metabolic Engineering

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral research associate with experience in plant genetic engineering, molecular biology and project management to join our team. The research program focuses on designing feedstocks for biofuels and bioproducts using the CABBI “plants as factories” concept.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop multiplex genome editing strategies and transgenic approaches for metabolic engineering, and characterize genetically modified events under controlled environment and field conditions similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Extensive background in molecular genetics is essential, including analysis of RNAseq data, design and construction of complex vectors, plant tissue culture, biolistic gene transfer, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. Knowledge in plant metabolism, physiology and genomic regulation is desirable. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals. Recent graduates are encouraged to apply.

Please email your resume, cover letter, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Salary will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

  • Parajuli, S., Kannan, B., Karan, R., Liu, H., Garcia-Ruiz, E., Kumar, D., Singh, V., Zhao, H., Long, S.P., Shanklin, J., Altpeter, F. March 21, 2020. “Towards Oilcane: Engineering Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol into Sugarcane Stems.” GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12684. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12684
  • Kannan, B., Jung, J.H., Moxley, G. W., Lee, S.M. Altpeter, F. 2017. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of more than 100 COMT copies/alleles in highly polyploid sugarcane improves saccharification efficiency without compromising biomass yield. Plant Biotechn. J. (in press). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full
  • Altpeter F. et al. 2016. Advancing Crop Transformation in the Era of Genome Editing. Plant Cell. 28: 1510‐1520. http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2016/06/22/tpc.16.00196.full.pdf+html
  • Jung, J. H. and F. Altpeter. 2016. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of the caffeic acid O‐methyltransferase in highly polyploid sugarcane improves cell wall composition for production of bioethanol. Plant. Mol. Biol. 92: 131‐142. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903
  • Zale, J., J.H. Jung, J.Y. Kim, B, B. Patha, R. Karan, H. Liu, X. Chen, H. Wu, J. Candreva, Z. Zhai, J. Shanklin, F. Altpeter. 2016. Metabolic engineering of sugarcane to accumulate energy‐dense triacylglycerols in vegetative biomass. Plant Biotech. J. 14: 661‐669. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf
Ph.D. Student (Florida): Plant Genome Editing

The Plant Molecular Physiology lab at University of Florida, headed by Professor Fredy Altpeter, is seeking a highly motivated Ph.D. student with experience in plant tissue culture and genetic engineering and molecular biology to join our team. The research program focuses on genome editing and metabolic engineering of sugarcane to improve crop performance and quality.

The successful candidate will apply existing CRISPR‐Cas9 systems to validate targets for crop improvement, develop genome editing strategies that do not leave a transgenic footprint in vegetatively propagated sugarcane, and characterize genetically modified events similar in scope to our recent publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full.

Hands-on experience with plant tissue culture and genetic transformation is essential. The ideal candidate will also be experience with vector construction, molecular and phenotypic characterization of transgenic plants. This work requires excellent interpersonal and communication skills in English as well as excellent writing skills as demonstrated by a strong publication record in peer reviewed journals.

Please email your resume, cover letter, GRE scores, GPA, and contact information of  three references to the PI, altpeter@ufl.edu. The University of Florida is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, genetic information, status as an individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran. Stipend will be competitive and includes benefits.

Application review will continue until a suitable candidate is identified. Start date is flexible.

Selected publications related to this position:

  • Parajuli, S., Kannan, B., Karan, R., Liu, H., Garcia-Ruiz, E., Kumar, D., Singh, V., Zhao, H., Long, S.P., Shanklin, J., Altpeter, F. March 21, 2020. “Towards Oilcane: Engineering Hyperaccumulation of Triacylglycerol into Sugarcane Stems.” GCB Bioenergy. DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12684. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcbb.12684
  • Kannan, B., Jung, J.H., Moxley, G. W., Lee, S.‐M. Altpeter, F. 2017. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of more than 100 COMT copies/alleles in highly polyploid sugarcane improves saccharification efficiency without compromising biomass yield. Plant Biotechn. J. (in press). http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12833/full
  • Altpeter F. et al. 2016. Advancing Crop Transformation in the Era of Genome Editing. Plant Cell. 28: 1510‐1520. http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2016/06/22/tpc.16.00196.full.pdf+html
  • Jung, J. H. and F. Altpeter. 2016. TALEN mediated targeted mutagenesis of the caffeic acid O‐methyltransferase in highly polyploid sugarcane improves cell wall composition for production of bioethanol. Plant. Mol. Biol. 92: 131‐142. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27306903
  • Zale, J., J.H. Jung, J.Y. Kim, B, B. Patha, R. Karan, H. Liu, X. Chen, H. Wu, J. Candreva, Z. Zhai, J. Shanklin, F. Altpeter. 2016. Metabolic engineering of sugarcane to accumulate energy‐dense triacylglycerols in vegetative biomass. Plant Biotech. J. 14: 661‐669. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.12411/epdf