Research Agronomist

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Research Agronomist (Contract)
(Ref: CRO/ECT/OP/0918)
(Externally Funded Non Grant-in-Aid)

Post Type: Temporary
Externally Funded Non Grant-in-Aid contract post, the indicative duration of which is 45 months, subject to contract.
A panel may be formed from which future similar vacancies may be filled; such a panel will remain active for a maximum period of 12 months.
Title of Project: Wider adoption of sustainable conservation tillage systems – Enable Conservation Tillage (ECT).
Location: Crops, Environment & Land-Use Centre, Oak Park, Carlow.
Reporting To: Project Leader and/or other nominated manager as maybe identified from time to time.
Grade/Salary: Research Officer, with a starting salary of €33,056 per annum. The current salary scale is
€33,056 to €64,337.

Starting pay will be at the minimum of the scale per Government Circular E100/8/82. Exceptional circumstances may apply for candidates with current or previous service in the public sector (including Teagasc).

Remuneration may be adjusted from time to time in line with Government Policy.
Basic Function: The primary function of the post is to provide research support for the project focusing on understanding grass weed spread through Irish farms, developing control measures on farm and understanding the level and mechanisms of grass weed resistance in Ireland. The successful candidate, with the project team, will be responsible for developing, implementing and managing a farm based research programme with a focus on developing and refining agronomy practices to optimize the control of grass weeds in our climatic and soil conditions. The work will include designing trials to answer key questions of grass weed control under different crop establishment methods. Developing and conducting a national survey, agronomy field trials focused on grass weed control and herbicide resistance trials will be key functions of this role. Statistical analysis, report writing and the preparation and delivery of dissemination material will also be important elements of the post.

The suitable candidate will be expected to have a background in a crops related area, with a strong interest in research, good analytical and communication skills. The appointment will be on a temporary contract and the appointee will be based at Oak Park, Carlow.
Background: The ECT project is a fixed term innovation project with strong knowledge transfer and research aspects funded under the European Innovation Partnership programme administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The project is based around an Operational Group which contains farmer groups, industry, seed producers, merchants, research and advisory. The project seeks to specifically look at the challenges of grass weeds which, in our climate, challenge all cereal production and hinder the adoption of Conservation Agriculture systems. Difficult to control grass weeds such as sterile brome, canary grass, wild oats, black grass, etc. can cause significant yield loss, making production uneconomic. A number or combination of cultural control measures for grass control, such as stale seedbeds, the use of rotations, altering sowing dates and seed rates, etc. and the use of cover crops have been evaluated in other climates but have not been adequately tested at field level in Ireland. The problem is exacerbated by the development of resistance to commonly used herbicides among these grasses which if allowed to proliferate, could threaten all crop production in affected areas. The project will work intensively with a small number of identified farmers (Focus Farms) across the country for research and KT activities for the duration of the project.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
• Aid the design and conduct a survey of farmers to assess current farm practices leading to grass weed pressure.
• Design farm based trials that will provide answers to key grass weed control questions under different establishment systems.
• Develop and implement detailed trial protocols, including crop management and detailed field and laboratory measurement and analysis, for the field trials and herbicide resistance in grass weeds that will ensure quality research is delivered.
• Research available grass weed assessment and control methods to help identify project direction and outcomes.
• Co-ordinate herbicide resistance glasshouse trials on collected grass weed seeds from the project survey and from “Focus Farmers”.
• Develop methodologies to measure and quantify grass weeds in field and in collaboration with project partners, utilising precision mapping and analysis techniques.
• Ensure all research trials can be statistical analysed.
• Produce detailed research reports for the funding agency and others and to publish research results as technical reports, knowledge transfer messages, scientific papers and popular reports as appropriate.
• Present the results of the research to Operational Group meetings and appropriate stakeholder and scientific conferences and meetings.
• Work in collaboration with the project advisor and technician to achieve the aims and milestones as identified in the project.
• Work with the Oak Park research team including other researchers, technical staff, post graduates, farm staff, students and admin staff.
• Assist Teagasc in meeting the commitments of the Quality Customer Service charter and action plan.
• Actively participate in the annual business planning and Performance Management Development System (PMDS) processes.
• Fully co-operate with the provisions made for ensuring the health, safety and welfare of themselves, fellow staff and non-Teagasc staff and co-operate with management in enabling Teagasc to comply with legal obligations. This includes full compliance with the responsibilities outlined in the Safety Statement.
• Any other duties as may be assigned from time to time.
* This job specification is intended as a guide to the general range of duties and is intended to be neither definitive nor restrictive. It will be reviewed from time to time with the post holder.
Person Specification
Qualifications • Candidates must have an honours Level 8 degree in Ag Science or a related discipline.  
• Full Driving licence. •
A postgraduate degree and/or research experience would be a distinct advantage.
• Combinable crop agronomy/crop field research skills.
• Planning and project management.
• Basic statistical analysis.
• General analytical skills
• Good writing skills and communications generally.
• ICT skills.
• Experimental field trial design.
• Good knowledge of all aspects of temperate field crop production.
• Knowledge of crop production industry.
• Specific grass weed and Conservation Agriculture methods.
Behavioural Competencies
• Ability to work as part of a team, including consulting, collaborating and building relationships with key stakeholders.
• Strives for high quality of work and demonstrates commitment to the programme.
• Ability to communicate effectively to enable knowledge and technology transfer.
Candidates must satisfy and continue to satisfy during employment with Teagasc, legal requirements to drive unaccompanied on Irish public roads.
Note: The ‘essential’ qualifications, knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies outlined above are ‘must-have’ which will be used in the selection process.
How to Apply
An application form for this position can be accessed on the Teagasc Website at
Completed application forms should be TYPED, saved in PDF format and submitted by email to no later than 12 noon on Thursday 27th September 2018. Applications received after this time will not be considered.
Please state relevant reference code in all correspondence.
Teagasc is an equal opportunities employer. Canvassing will disqualify

Updated: 21st September 2018 — 9:40 am