Plant Scientist 2, Genetic Project Lead (GPL)
Location: Stanton, Minnesota, USA
The Genetic Project Lead (GPL) has the following three core responsibilities: Develop the genetic and genomic R&D strategy for an assigned crop. The GPL is also responsible for deploying this strategy in breeding as part of a validated breeding project. Serve as project lead or member of a project team for any given vegetable crop that requires his/her specific expertise for success. Provide technical leadership to the entire Vegetables R&D community for a specific area of expertise. This will be implemented by serving in project teams and by leading significant cross-crop projects in that area of expertise. The GPL role is a key part of any new breeding project that requires the development, validation, or application of genetic technologies. The role is an intergral part of a team usually depicted by the symbol of a triangle. The “triangle team” is composed of the GPL, the BPL (Breeding Project Lead), and the TPL and/or RPL (Trait and/or Resistance Project Lead). This team works in concert to utilize genetic information in the development of our commercial products. It is supported by Assistant Breeders (Crop R&D) and Biological Assessment and Enabling Functions in executing experiments. The GPLs role on this team does not include specific responsibility for breeding activities, disease/pest resistance or trait/plant physiology activities but instead acts as a partner to all. The role is on average: 20% dedicated to the development of the global crop genetic and genomic R&D strategy. 60% dedicated to implementation of this strategy via a portfolio of projects validated by the Crop Council on the basis of the overall crop strategy and approved by VRDLT Management Team. Assigned projects may cross the boundaries of several crops. 20% dedicated to providing technical leadership within Vegetables R&D across crops and connecting Vegetables R&D to internal and external science networks and platforms. The implementation of the crop genetic and genomic strategy will require working through the Enabling Function teams that support the breeding program and the technology platforms. The GPL will not work as a Breeding Project Lead (formerly “the Breeder”) dedicated to breeding with molecular markers. This position will report into the VRDLT via the Heads of Traits & Technology and his/her reporting structure for line management. Performance objectives will be set in support of the Crop Council strategic directions for the year and the need to enhance the quality and penetration of skills and techniques/technologies in the Vegetables R&D community at large.
1) Development of strategy:
- Serve on the Crop Council if appointed to this role by the VRDLT.
- Contribute to the development and execution of the global crop genetic and genomic R&D strategy, including but not limited to the following key components:-
-Development of genetic and genomic information and molecular markers.
-Use of genetic and genomic information in germplasm management.
-Use of genetic and genomic technologies in trait discovery/dissection.
- Develop strategies for the deployment of genetic and genomic technologies for accelerated market penetration of traits and germplasm (both fast-tracking to first launch and aggressive penetration in the pipeline).
- Attend global or regional Crop Unit meetings as needs are identified.
- Build a knowledge of vegetable crops through field and market visits and interaction with the wider Vegetables and Syngenta R&D and Marketing community in order to understand customer expectations from our products. Translate this knowledge in a strategy of deployment of genetic and genomic technologies in breeding that will contribute to the delivery of successful products to our customers.
2.)Project and portfolio leadership and project team participation.
- Serve as Project Lead/Manager for assigned projects and apply concepts and techniques of project management in the Syngenta framework for Project Management Excellence.
- Participate in core and extended project teams to facilitate execution of the project portfolio as defined by the Crop Councils in support of the crop strategy deployment plans.
- Coordinate tasks within projects with enabling teams in the areas of genetic and genomic technologies and development of genetic information.
- Ensure accurate data collection and recording by those responsible for the task. Analyze and interpret data pertinent to the project scope and area of expertise.
- Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and transparency by:
-Ensuring that assigned projects deliver in time, on specification, and within the approved budget.
-Maintaining and communicating upon request by the VRDLT or Portfolio Team a clear understanding of the cost of assigned projects and programs.
3.) Dissection of traits.
- Design projects and science plans for the dissection of traits in cooperation with TPL/RPL/BPL and enabling function experts. The goal is to unravel the genetic basis of the traits studied and develop protocols and genetic tools that allow continuous manipulation of these traits in future breeding populations.
- Study the genetic variability of traits of interest in order to participate (as a GPL team) in selecting the proper vegetable crop as a model for trait dissection across crops, or (as crop GPL) chose the proper germplasm within the crop for trait dissection in a target species or germplasm pool.
- Enable the initial introgression and evaluation of traits into breeding lines of new traits by providing expertise in molecular marker application to the TPL/RPL/BPL responsible for discovering and introducing new traits into active germplasm for cultivar development.
- Contribute to the design and development of Native Trait Solutions for deployment as “genetic-only” or “integrated crop” solutions in trait areas that require molecular markers or other genetic technologies for trait introgression and/or manipulation.
4.) Germplasm management
- Lead the application of genetic and genomic information to the analysis and improvement of the germplasm structure of the assigned vegetable crop. Provide cross-crop leadership by proactive connection to the other GPLs and by active participation in review of data and germplasm management strategies across vegetable crops.
- Contribute to the effort of a team composed of BPL, RPL, TPL, and GPL in: -
- Understanding the current germplasm structure by merging genetic, phenotypic, and pedigree information.
- Designing the desirable germplasm structure to increase chances of success of our breeding programs.
- Understanding the overlay of traits on the existing and desired germplasm structure by germplasm pool, mega segment, etc.
- Developing and deploying projects to continuously move our germplasm structure towards the desired result.
- Monitoring the progress made year after year in evolving our germplasm structure and traits distribution via measurement of genetic parameters.
- Manage the continuous flow of new lines through routine genotyping for the purpose of augmenting our understanding of our germplasm structure over breeding cycles.
5.) Genotype alteration and genotype construction.
- Lead or support the execution of molecular breeding projects from simple backcrossing to QTL frequency management and genotype construction. The level of involvement (leading vs managing vs supporting) will be determined in agreement with the Head of Traits & Technology and the Crop Councils in order to accommodate the different level of maturity in technology adoption of crop teams and/or individual team members.
- Ensure that a full pipeline of QTL mapping or single-gene marker development populations is maintained by the crop Breeding teams in order to enable the appropriate level of molecular breeding projects as determined by the Technical Crop Council and the crop genetics technologies and trait strategies.
- Provide technical expertise and leadership to crop R&D and Marketing/Business teams in identifying opportunities for replacing traditional approaches to cultivar development with advanced molecular assisted breeding designs in order to deliver products faster, better in quality, and with lower development costs.
6.) Development and application of tools for genetic studies and product development.
- Lead the discovery and development of molecular markers linked to traits by contributing the following components to a project team: genetic technology knowledge, fit of the project to the crop genetic technologies R&D strategy, coordination with Enabling Functions, and management of External Collaborations related to genotyping and/or understanding of the involved biopathways.
- Populations for trait dissection (e.g., marker-trait association, etc.) and generation advancement for trait studies and deployment will be managed by tactical scientific teams (Assistant Breeders and Enabling Functions) based on the design provided by the T/RPL-BPL-GPL.
- The project plans will be owned by the project team.
- Develop new molecular marker sets and lead the optimization of existing ones in support of variety development for the assigned crop through effective collaboration and implementation within Breeding and Enabling Functions (including, but not limited to, Genotyping Laboratories). *Evaluate, promote, and help position new technologies and new approaches across crops in Vegetables R&D.
- Design plans for monitoring genetic gain during the deployment of the new genetic technologies in the breeding programs. Monitor the penetration of new genetic technologies or sets of molecular markers into the breeding programs.
7.)Capture of intellectual property.
- Identify intellectual property protection opportunites.
- Provide technical support in the development of patents and/or product registration or plant breeders’ rights.
8.)Technical leadership and networking in genetic technologies.
- Develop expertise on relevant technologies (as defined by skill set and VRDLT needs) within vegetable crops to guide future discovery and product development activities in these areas. *Develop and maintain updated knowledge of techniques and technologies applicable to high-throughtput genotyping and genomics.
- In the fields of molecular markers, molecular assisted breeding, germplasm management, and elucidaton of the genetic basis of traits, update Breeding and/or Traits & Technology colleagues on scientific advances and provide technical consultancy and expertise to all interested project teams in Vegetables R&D.
- Represent the Vegetables R&D community and needs at large (across crops) in assigned Syngenta networks and be a proactive ambassador for all vegetable crops interested in the subject of those networks; establish and maintain feedback loops with the interested colleagues.
- Serve as a peer-reviewer across Vegetables R&D teams and projects as requested by the VRDLT.
- Apply innovation tools and access open-source innovation systems while designing or executing projects and skill-development.
- Support the development of links with academic, industrial, and internal research facilities/teams to generate new insights in the assigned area of expertise.
9.) Line management.
- Provide line management to other R&D employees if requested to do so by the VRDLT. This responsibility includes HR interface for the reporting employee and ensuring that performance objectives are set in support of the Crop Council strategic directions for the year and the skill and technical development needs of the Traits & Technology function.
Knowledge, Skills & Experience:
- Expert knowledge in Molecular Genetics, Quantitative Genetics, or a related discipline (PhD or 10/15-year experience and demonstrated equivalent theoretical knowledge required).
- Demonstrated expert knowledge of advanced plant breeding principles, Mendelian and quantitative genetics, and use of molecular markers specifically in cultivar development and management of genetic variation.
- Expert knowledge of advanced genotyping methods.
- Understanding of genomics tools and approaches. Advanced knowledge of trait discovery/dissection techniques.
- Knowledge of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance targets for the assigned crop and knowledge of the physiological or biochemical mechanisms underlying these stresses.
- Knowledge of biochemistry and plant/trait physiology.
- Advanced knowledge of statistical and data analysis approaches in support of genetic studies. *Understanding of genetics in a research and discovery context.
- Basic knowledge in plant pathology, agronomy, and plant/environment interaction in the agricultural setting.
- Basic knowledge of crop genetic diversity and crop biology and culture.
- 3-5 years of Genetics, Genomics, and within a commercial plant breeding environment.3-5 years of Technical and/or Staff Management.
- Proven ability to work with large and complex datasets.
- Proven ability to develop and implement experimental methodologies.
- Ability to Communicate effectively (Verbal and Written) in English.Project/portfolio management.
- Strategic project planning.
- Basic economic principles and effective resource management.
- Ability to manage progress through others via project teams rather than directive management.
- Multi-cultural, multi-regional understanding and appreciation.
- Purposeful coaching/mentoring ability.
- Setting Direction.
- Results Oriented.
- Customer Focused.
- Team Leader.
- People Oriented.
- Participatory management oriented but also decisive and accepting of hierarchical decisions.
Critical Success Factors & Key Challenges:
- Visionary, futuristic thinking with the ability to create product concepts not characterized by current product profiles, with particular regards to use of genetic and genomic technologies for the dissection and optimization of traits and the management of germplasm pools prioritised within the Vegetables R&D strategy.
- Understanding of global market needs and the alignment of genetic/technology solutions.
- Demonstrated ability to execute on global strategic goals.
- Demonstrated ability to identify, evaluate, and work with third-party collaborators to access genetics, technology, or protocols.
- Demonstrated ability to lead people and motivate to venture in long-term scientific investigation prior to defining short-term, tangible applications in cultivar development. replica louis vuitton handbags replica louis vuitton
- Ability to build and convey professional credibility for themselves and the R&D team as a whole, and to communicate effectively to internal and external stakeholders with varying perspectives and levels of technical understanding.
- Ability to execute strategic goals in a multi-crop (ie. Cucurbits) or multi-segments within a crop (i.e. Tomato), multi-regional, multi-cultural, matrixed and evolving environment.
- Ability to effectively design and manage complex experiments, and to interpret results based on sound statistical analysis.
- Ability to lead and work within a project using the best practices of Project Management. *Ability to communicate effectively in academic and business environments.
- Ability to provide input in a peer review environment, both in formal and informal settings. *Ability to mentor, coach, and develop people.
- National/International Travel Required.
- Travel approximately 30-35%
- All applicants must be eligible to work in the US.
Qualified candidates can apply at: http://bit.ly/Kqjh2u
More positions from: Syngenta Seeds Inc. (USA)
Posted from May 2, 2012 until November 2, 2012
SeedQuest reference number: 26562