Research/Graduate Student positions
This position is a joint opportunity with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Saskatoon Research and Development Centre and Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan.
Conventional canola oil and the high oleic (HO) specialty oils are high quality vegetable oils very well suited for human consumption, food preparation and biofuel production. They offer the lowest saturated fatty acid content of any commodity oil with total saturate levels ranging from 7% to as low as 4.5% in some “Low Sat HO” varieties. The undesirable very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) erucic acid has been reduce to essentially zero. With these attractive characteristics it is tempting to think that there is nothing more to be done to improve this oil. A close look at seed oil fatty acid composition, and consideration of the limited genetic diversity behind the oil improvement traits suggests that there is opportunity for some additional improvement.
The project will focus on the characterization of an induced diversity population of canola quality Brassica napus (EMS mutagenesis) to identify lines with improved oil composition and content. Targets of particular interest are reduced saturated fatty acid levels and modified seed lipase expression. Both forward and reverse genetic approaches will be applied. The genetic basis of traits of interest will be investigated to identify new resources for canola improvement. The student will be trained in the chemical analysis of seed lipids for plant phenotyping and will learn and apply a range of molecular biology techniques. Working with canola plants in greenhouse and field conditions will be required and meticulous attention to detail will be expected. The student will be given opportunities to attend scientific conferences and publish their work.
The M.Sc. student will be appointed through the Government of Canada Research Affiliate Program (Search: Gov Canada Research Affiliate Program) and will need to set up a GC Jobs account. The student will be paid a stipend at a level determined by Government of Canada rates and will be encouraged to apply for scholarship opportunities.
Interested students should contact Dr Mark Smith at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for further details (Mark.Smith2@agr.gc.ca). The start date for the position is expected to be May 2024.
MSc in SWINE NUTRITION (Precision Feeding)
The Prairie Swine Centre, Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan is seeking passionate, bright, and highly motivated individuals interested in a fully-funded position as an MSc graduate student in the disciplines of swine nutrition – precision feeding. The successful candidates will join a strong, multidisciplinary academic and research team with expertise in non-ruminant nutrition, feed processing, management, welfare, metabolism, and physiology. The anticipated start date is January 2024.
The successful candidates will lead and assist with projects involving both classical swine nutrition (e.g., growth performance, nutrient utilization) and advanced (e.g., immune status) techniques. Our current nutrition research program is focused on the impact of early-life nutrition on growth, impact of nutrition on health, and factors affecting nutrient requirements and utilization. The successful candidate’s research program will focus on:
Application of precision feeding techniques using blend-feeding technology
Qualifications: The desire and ability to lead research projects and work within a team of other highly motivated individuals are of critical importance to this position.
All applicants will be required to meet criteria for acceptance as a graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan as outlined by the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that they meet the minimum requirements before applying.
A vehicle and driver’s licence is required. For international applicants, ability to obtain the necessary documents for travel and work in Canada will be required upon offer of admission.
Candidates must hold, or will have completed, a BSc in a related discipline such as animal science, animal physiology, nutrition, or veterinary science. Previous experience with livestock, especially swine, and knowledge of nutrition, nutrient utilization, and feed formulation will be considered an asset.
Information on graduate studies in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science, including stipend levels, can be found at https://agbio.usask.ca/students/graduate/ansc-handbook-2021.pdf
Prairie Swine Centre (www.prairieswine.com) is a non-profit swine production research corporation affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan and located 10 km southeast of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It offers nationally and internationally recognized research programs in nutrition, ethology, and engineering with knowledge transfer and education directed towards the efficiency and sustainability of pork production.
The University of Saskatchewan (www.usask.ca) is located in Saskatoon, a city with a diverse and thriving economic base, a vibrant arts community and a full range of leisure opportunities. The Department of Animal and Poultry Science is well-recognized nationally and internationally as a research-intensive department. The department’s highly-trained and enthusiastic faculty members and adjunct professors have extensive, high-quality applied and basic research programs that cover a wide range of topics in animal science and related areas.
The Prairie Swine Centre and University of Saskatchewan believe equity, diversity, and inclusion strengthen the community and enhance excellence, innovation and creativity. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on the accommodation request.
For more information or to apply please contact Dr. Dan Columbus. Interested candidates are asked to include in their application package a cover letter including their career interests, their curriculum vitae, and copies of transcripts. Screening of candidates will continue until the positions are filled. Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.
Dr. Dan Columbus
The crop physiology research group of Dr Rosalind Bueckert in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan invites applications for a highly motivated prospective Ph.D. student to undertake research in the areas of abiotic stress (heat and drought) resistance in pea. The project will entail the evaluation and validation of the existing Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers in a genetically diverse set of 80 pea accessions. These accessions will be phenotyped for key heat associated traits in field trials over multiple seasons and locations. Phenotypic data and previously generated genotypic data (90K SNP array) will be used to develop marker-trait associations and identify the best molecular markers for future breeding (marker assisted selection) applications. The prospective student will learn and develop various skills in molecular biology and genetics, along with field phenotyping and statistical data analyses.
Start Date: May or September 2024
Qualifications (Skills and Abilities) Applicants must have completed a thesis-based M.Sc. degree in relevant fields (e.g. Biology, Genetics, Biochemistry, Plant Physiology). Previous experience in plant phenotyping and field-based trials would be beneficial but not required. All candidates should demonstrate excellent oral and written communication skills, demonstrated ability to create and foster relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and education levels, and able to work both independently as well as in a team setting.
While preference will be given to applicants available to start in May, non-Canadian applicants must be eligible to study in Canada. Candidates whose first language is not English and whose degrees are not from a university that instructs in English must provide a certificate of English proficiency (TOEFL of 86 or more with 19 or more in each category, or IELTS of 6.5 or more in each category). Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
Applications must include the following documents:
- A cover letter outlining past research experience and career goals.
- An updated curriculum vitae / resume.
- Copies of your degree transcripts.
- English proficiency (if applicable).
- Contact information for two individuals willing to provide reference letters.
All documents should be submitted as a single PDF document. Name the pdf file “AbioStress PhD and your name”. Send the file as an e-mail attachment to email@example.com with the subject “AbioStress PhD" and your name.
All students must meet admission requirements to the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan (https://grad.usask.ca/programs/plant-sciences.php#Applicationprocess).
We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion, and are proud to support career opportunities for Indigenous peoples to reflect the community we serve. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.
PhD Student Position Now Available to Study Occupational Health in Agricultural Machinery Operators
Join an interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Dr Stephan Milosavljevic (Faculty, Primary Supervisor) and Dr Dena Burnett (Post-Doc, Co-supervisor) with the School of Rehabilitation Science at the University of Saskatchewan. In conjunction with the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, this highly practical team offers personalized mentorship and the opportunity to work both in-field and in-lab with agricultural producers in the field of occupational health. We currently have an opening for one PhD student to study the effect of noise and whole-body vibration exposure on the health of agricultural machinery operators through smart device app validation, in-field data collection, participant interviews and focus groups, statistical modeling, and knowledge translation.
Farm machinery operation is one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada. During daily tasks, machinery operators are exposed to high levels of occupational whole-body vibration and noise often exceeding safe occupational exposure limits, and contributing to the risk of equipment-related injuries, collisions, accidents and possibly death. Negative health effects related to vibration and noise exposure include low back and musculoskeletal pain, cognitive impairment, loss of concentration and reaction time, and disturbances to balance and body awareness. These health deficiencies, and associated injuries and accidents, may be preventable if operators have accessible tools to measure and monitor exposure levels, as well as practical evidence-based in-field strategies to aid in reducing these exposures. The overall aim of our work is to develop practical, evidence-based, feasible, and producer-demonstrated strategies to reduce the negative health effects of on-farm vibration and noise exposure related to agricultural machinery use.
The applicant should have a Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy, Health Sciences, Community Health and Epidemiology, Public Health, Agriculture, Biological or Biomedical Engineering, Kinesiology, or a related field. Familiarity in research in one or more of the following areas will be considered as assets: occupational health, ergonomics, health exposure risk assessment, rehabilitation science, industrial health and safety, and mixed-methods analysis. Knowledge of data analysis and interpretation using statistical software is required. This project will involve on-farm and in-field data collection; although not required, a farming or agricultural background will be considered a strong asset. The successful applicant will also require a Class 5 Saskatchewan Driver’s License (or equivalent), either currently obtained or in the process of obtaining upon position start.
The applicant should be independent, self-motivated, and will be expected to be able to perform tasks with minimal to modest supervision after receiving appropriate training. Applicants must be detail oriented, possess strong organizational and interpersonal skills, and be understanding of the flexibility and pragmatism required to implement methodological modifications during in-field data collection where necessary. Successful applicants will be expected to apply for external funding opportunities. Anticipated start would be either September 2023 or January 2024.
Applicants should send the following documents to Dr Stephan Milosavljevic, firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Current CV with list of publications and research experience,
- Transcripts (unofficial accepted),
- Contact information for 2 references, one of whom should be a previous research supervisor,
- Short statement of how your interests and career goals may be a match for this position.
Applicants are required to apply and be admitted to the Health Sciences graduate program at the University of Saskatchewan to fill the position. Candidates whose first language is not English may be required to provide a certificate of English proficiency. Admission requirements can be found on the CGPS website (https://cgps.usask.ca/).
The University of Saskatchewan has acquired funding to support eight West African and two Canadian Early Career Researcher (ECR) / Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) / PhD scholars (at dissertation stage) for an interdisciplinary exchange program between Canada, Ghana, and Senegal.
Please see the application for more details.
Two M.Sc. and 1 Ph.D. positions are available immediately for work within the area of plant protein ingredients and food chemistry. The demand for plant-based protein alternatives around the globe is on the rise as consumers and the food industry search for non-dairy non-soy alternatives that are low cost, abundant, nutritious, functional and environmentally sustainable. However, significant ingredient innovation is required in order to bring new oilseed, cereal and pulse derived ingredients to the marketplace, and be competitive. The three research projects are as follows:
 Evaluation of the effects of germination on the physicochemical, functional and nutritional properties of Navy bean and red lentil flours. This M.Sc. project examines changes to seed composition and morphology during germination overtime, and then accesses the functional attributes of their resulting flours (solubility, water/oil holding capacities and, foaming, emulsifying and pasting abilities). The project will also access changes to in vitro starch and protein digestibility.
 Examination of the impact of particle size on the wet extraction process for protein isolates from yellow pea, red lentil, Navy bean and Kabuli chickpeas, and their resulting physicochemical, functional and nutritional properties. This M.Sc. project examines the impact of particle sizes on the ability to extract proteins from a range of pulses for purposes of developing an isolate. The formed ingredients will be evaluated based on their composition, protein profile, interfacial properties functionality and nutritional value.
 Evaluation of the protein quality and functionality of flour and protein isolates from a variety of advanced pea breeding lines. This Ph.D. project examines the nutritional value, interfacial properties and functional attributes of flour and isolate ingredients derived from advanced pea lines bred for their amino acid profile and total protein content. Protein quality, will involve measuring amino acid profiles using multiple methods, and in vitro digestibility for determination of PDCAAS values).
Ideal applicants will: have a B.Sc. or M.Sc. degree in Food Science or related discipline; have hands on experience in food chemistry or material science; have excellent oral and written communications skills; and have a publication record (in the case of Ph.D. applicants).
Funding for these opportunities is available at the University of Saskatchewan (Dr. Michael Nickerson) at a level of $20,000/yr for 2 years (M.Sc.) and $24,000/yr for 3 years (Ph.D.).
How to Apply*: Send your Curriculum vitae, transcripts, any recent publications, English test scores and a covering letter stating how your background and qualifications match the position to Dr. Michael Nickerson
*Only qualified matches will be asked to submit a formal application and interviewed.
Undergraduate Student and Summer term employment
The Department of Plant Sciences along with the Crop Development Centre is now accepting applications for summer employment for the 2023 growing season.
Submit the application below and in a separate email attach a current resume listing education, employment history, and names and contact information of three references and an unofficial transcript from PAWS or your educational institution to General Office-Plant Sciences