JHL 02-21 - Soft Fruit Breeder / Trials Manager

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Posted: 06/05/2021 13:50
Start Date: Not Available
Salary: £38,442.00
Location: Dundee
Level: Hutton E
Deadline: 06/07/2021 23:59
Hours: 37.00
Benefits: Generous
Job Type: Permanent

James Hutton Limited is the commercial subsidiary of the James Hutton Institute and its role is to generate profitable income by delivering products and services utilising the expertise, intellectual property, and facilities of the Institute to industry. Profits are reinvested in the Institute to support its world-leading research programmes.

James Hutton Limited is seeking to appoint a full time Soft Fruit Breeder / Trials Manager on a permanent basis.

Main Purpose of Job             
To lead commercially-funded breeding programmes for blackcurrants (both fresh and processed) and redcurrants with the ultimate goal of developing commercially viable varieties. Manage trials of other soft fruits, both in the field and protected cropping. Line management responsibility for field staff and casual labour. Liaising with JHI soft fruit genetics team and linking research with commercial applications to develop contemporary genetic tools for breeding. Promote the work of JHL internally and externally through scientific and commercial collaborations. Lead and disseminate breeding and research through national and international industry events and to the wider public and policy makers. Contribute to the organisation of fruit events. Influence income generation and business development. Write proposals and secure funding for breeding and crop trialling projects. Support the promotion of our portfolio of soft fruit varieties to stimulate commercial interest and thereby increase royalty income. Represent JHL in major international professional bodies and develop a network of relevant commercial and academic contacts. Manage, mentor, and develop staff, contribute to internal JHI groups, work accordingly with Health and Safety procedures. Adhere to JHL values at all times.


Main duties of post holder

  • Deliver existing breeding programmes, liaise with commercial partners and provide reports as requested.
  • Lead successful bids for research and commercial breeding funding
  • Define project objectives and budgets
  • Keep projects to budget
  • Develop new methodologies, improve techniques and processes
  • Identify and select plants exhibiting desirable traits, based on natural genetic variation
  • Cross plants to produce new breeding material for field and glasshouse trials
  • Handle genetic material
  • Develop genomic tools for breeding
  • Analyse and scientifically assess plant breeding in laboratory and field trials and select the best varieties
  • Develop and maintain germplasm collection
  • Maintain detailed records throughout the research and development cycle
  • Manage, support and train technical and field staff
  • Remain abreast of the latest developments in the fast-moving area of science and translate ideas from scientific literature into new approaches to breeding problems
  • Write and present reports to stakeholders
  • Liaise with and visit other scientists, commercial breeders and funding bodies
  • Establish national and/or international research/commercial collaborations
  • Contribute to wider public engagements (also internationally)
  • Participate in and organise outreach/public understanding/knowledge exchange activities
  • Engage with national/international partners and/or collaborators
  • Assist in the filing and licensing of plant variety rights
  • Contribute to peer review bodies/committees/professional organisations
  • Contribute to marketing material online and in press
  • Respond to requests from industry, public and growers



  • Masters or Ph.D in Plant Breeding or closely related subject
  • Ten years’ experience of plant breeding or commercial trialling, ideally soft fruit
  • Five years experience in a commercial environment, ideally involving soft fruit
  • Ability to handle and interpret numerical data using appropriate software packages
  • Enthusiasm, commitment and a strong interest in plants and plant science
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to carry out work independently and within a team
  • A flexible approach
  • Excellent links with industry and international research community
  • Experience in analytical chemistry and flavour profiling
  • Experience in development of genetic maps and markers
  • Experience in agronomy
  • Experience in managing large projects
  • Experience in line management and training field staff
  • Driving licence
  • Able to travel to trial sites throughout UK and internationally


We will not consider the use of 3rd party recruitment agencies for the sourcing of candidates for this position.   

The James Hutton Institute is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

The James Hutton Institute is a: Stonewall Diversity Champion; Athena SWAN Bronze Status Holder; Disability Confident Committed Employer and a Living Wage Employer.

The James Hutton Group is Happy to Talk Flexible Working.

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