Post-Doctoral Fellow: Plant Molecular Biology

Posting Date
13 May 2018
Closing Date
4 December 2018
Dubai, UAE
Report To
Section Head – Crop Diversification and Genetic Improvement
Vacancy Type
Job Number

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture(ICBA) is an international, non-profit agricultural research center established in 1999 through the visionary leadership of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), and the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ICBA is a unique applied agricultural research center in the world that is focused on marginal areas where an estimated 1.7 billion people live. It identifies, tests and introduces resource-efficient, climate-smart crops and technologies that are best suited to different regions affected by salinity, water scarcity and drought. Through its work, ICBA helps to improve food security and livelihoods for some of the poorest rural communities around the world. ICBA is an equal opportunity employer and appoints qualified staff regardless of race, creed, color, age, gender, religion or national origin. We demonstrate our commitment to each member of our team through a competitive benefits package designed to assist our employees to cover their needs and the needs of their immediate family members.

Job Summary

ICBA is seeking an innovative, self-motivated, scientifically outstanding candidate for a postdoctoral position to assist with molecular breeding applications. The Plant Molecular Biology post-doctoral will focus on marker-assisted germplasm enhancement applications in ICBA breeding program, with a focus on tolerance to abiotic stresses, namely salinity, heat and drought. He/she will work closely with ICBA Plant Breeder to assist in crop marker assisted selection (MAS) using molecular markers. Further, the selected candidate will work on the DNA fingerprinting and molecular profiling of various crop varieties developed by ICBA.

The postdoc will also lead the research on cloning and sequencing of genes responsible for salinity tolerance in different plant species including Salicornia bigelovii, S. europaea, Chenopodium quinoa and other halophytes. Test the activity of those genes at different salinity levels. Identify the sequence diversity in salt stress-responsive candidate gene corresponding to different salinity levels.

Job Responsibilities
  • Conduct cutting-edge plant science research under the direction of senior plant breeder, carrying out innovative, impactful research of strategic importance to ICBA that will, where possible, lead to novel and important scientific outcomes.
  • Conduct research on PCR-based markers, high-throughput genotyping technologies and novel molecular tools (e.g. DNA Barcoding), gene expression and screening for salinity tolerance in conventional and non-conventional crop plants.
  • Conduct DNA fingerprinting and molecular profiling of various crop varieties developed by ICBA.
  • Synthesis of existing data related to molecular screening for abiotic stresses, namely salinity, heat and drought; summarize and write up papers for publication in refereed journals, and technical reports.
  • Contribute to the design of relevant experiments; supervise implementation, field management and data collection and the production of relevant scientific publications.
Qualifications and Experience


  • PhD in Plant Biology or related fields with specialization in Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Practical Experience in MAS Breeding and particularly field breeding programs
  • Solid knowledge of quantitative genetics
  • Practical Experience in various PCR-based markers, high-throughput genotyping technologies and novel molecular tools
  • Experience in gene expression analysis/sequencing.
  • Experience in managing and analyzing scientific data.
  • Candidate should be fluent in English, able to work independently and work with a team.
  • High level of organization, ability to manage multiple tasks, and team work.
  • Excellent technical writing skills.


  • Working knowledge of statistics and database management.
  • Additional language skills, Arabic is desirable.
  • Supervisory experience.