NZ Ministry for Primary Industries
Auckland, New Zealand
25m ago
source : Jobg8

36-month fixed-term contract : start 1-Jan-2022, end 31-Dec-2024)


Salary is between $66,000 and $89,000 depending on skills and experience

The Ministry for Primary Industries' vision is to Grow and Protect New Zealand. We have developed an organisational strategy to ensure we have a clear path to follow that maximises our opportunities

Kōrero mō te tūranga - About the Role

The Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) in Auckland has a fixed-term vacancy (36 months) for a Molecular Biologist to validate High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) protocols for the rapid and robust identification of regulated plant pathogens of Post entry quarantine samples.

Our ideal candidate will have :

  • PhD, post graduate qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Several years' experience in the field of virology, molecular biology and preferably plant pathology, with wet-lab experience in HTS methodologies and their optimization.
  • Sound technical knowledge of laboratory and diagnostic methods in development and validation of PCR assays and HTS.
  • Attention to detail and a clearly demonstrated ability to work well within a team.
  • Proven project and time management skills.
  • Excellent communication skills, initiative, and sound judgement.
  • Proven scientific report writing and manuscript preparation skills.
  • The candidate will be part of a team of scientists working on a project to develop, optimize and validate protocols for plant pathogen detection in Post entry quarantine germplasm

    Project responsibilities will include :

  • Conducting the necessary laboratory work to fulfil the aims of the project and meet the milestones set in the project plan.
  • Assisting in finalizing the project plan and technical workflow and work plan.
  • Attending fortnightly project team technical meetings and providing updates at these meetings.
  • Completing and communicating the milestone reports with the Project Manager and Lead Project Supervisor.
  • Organizing and coordinating the project update and progress reports.
  • Drafting publications and presentations.
  • Presenting scientific data to a range of audiences and venues.
  • Preparing standard operating procedures and leading training demonstrations for other staff on the developed procedures.
  • Long-term planning to ensure project continuity.
  • Preference will be given to applicants with proven planning and organisational skills, who are outcome focused, and have experience working within a containment laboratory and quality environment, e.g. ISO 17025.

    An availability to work weekends as part of regular rostered work will be required. During Biosecurity Responses you may also be required to work weekends and / or holidays in order to meet operational requirements.

    Mō tō mātou rōpū - About the Team

    The Plant Health & Environment Laboratory (PHEL) is part of MPI's Diagnostic and Surveillance Services (DSS) of the Operations Branch.

    PHEL is the national reference centre for the identification of all suspected exotic, new and emerging pests and diseases of plants, and arthropod pests affecting the environment.

    PHEL also provide diagnostic services to primary industries to facilitate trade. The laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025.

    We have specialised facilities including a Level 3B quarantine glasshouse and Level 3 tissue culture facility, containment laboratories, equipment for molecular and serological procedures, a transmission electron microscope, light microscopes (enabled for remote diagnostics), and reference collections of pests.

    Me pēhea te tuku tono - How to Apply

    To view the position description and / or apply for the role please click "APPLY FOR THIS JOB" or visit the MPI Careers Site.

    For tracking and reporting purposes, all applications must be submitted through our online careers portal.

    To apply for this role you must hold the right to work in New Zealand or be eligible to obtain it - click here to find out more about work visa eligibility and options.

    The closing date is 20 November 2021

    If you have any questions about the role, please email

    The Ministry for Primary Industries is committed to providing a working environment that embraces and values inclusion and diversity.

    Your unique talents and experience will help us deliver exceptional services to our communities in Aotearoa. In return you'll enjoy an inclusive and flexible working environment in a diverse team of people while you're growing your career here in NZ and internationally.

    We actively encourage applications from all backgrounds. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to tell us when you apply so that we can assist you through the recruitment process.

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