Junior Research Scientist in integrative and predictive biology of protein crops for the agroecological and food transition

21065 DIJON

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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

You will join the UMR1347 Agroecology unit, more specifically the GEAPSI group, focusing on grain legume crops such as pea or faba bean.
Thanks to the symbiosis they establish with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, these species are able to accumulate significant amounts of protein in their seeds in the absence of nitrogen fertilizer, which makes them an excellent lever for accelerating the dual agroecological and food transition. This context stimulates the research, aimed at optimizing the protein fraction of legume seeds, in quantity and quality, and stabilizing it in agroecological systems facing various constraints.
You will integrate the FILEAS team whose research is aimed at a better understanding of the molecular processes controlling these traits. The team carries out multiscale experiments in legumes, collecting physiological, genetic and multi-omics data in order to study the responses of source and sink organs to climatic and nutritional stresses, and to identify genes controlling seed quality and plasticity in response to stress. The availability of such datasets will allow to rapidly develop integrative methods aimed at deciphering the complexity of the underlying molecular networks (genes-proteins-metabolites-phenotypes).
You will develop statistical methods for analyzing biological networks from measurements of kinetics and identify metabolic checkpoints that will guide your own work as well as the functional studies of genes. Beyond biological networks, you will develop a project of predictive biology on grain legumes to promote their use in the agroecological and food transition including symbiotic interactions. This project, central to the interests of the GEAPSI group and the UMR, will lead you to develop statistical models for predicting performance (yield and quality of seeds) and to identify markers of this performance and of adaptation strategies by incorporating genotype, phenotype and environmental information. Your research will contribute to the development of legume varieties better adapted to climate change and to cropping systems without pesticides and fertilizers.
They will also lead you to interact with biologists, bio-informaticians and modellers, and will feed into reflections on adaptation strategies against biotic and abiotic stresses within the framework of metaprograms (e.g. ACCAF, HOLOFLUX).

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Competition open to candidates with a doctorate (or equivalent).
A specialization in mathematics applied to the modeling of biological systems is desirable. You will develop a systems biology approach to formalize biological processes from the tissue scale to that of the whole plant. Modeling skills will be essential for exploiting and integrating the data necessary for a predictive biology approach.
An aptitude for teamwork is essential: you will interact in a sustained manner with biologists to develop and use statistical methods of analysis of biological networks in order to identify target genes for varietal improvement.
Knowledge of plant physiology will be appreciated.
Fluency in English is desirable as well as long-term international experience: successful candidates lacking this will have to undergo a period abroad at the end of the internship year.

INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2021-BAP-5
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 14

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