GC Jobs

PhD student- Food & Environmental Microbiology - Research Affiliate Program

Reference number: AGR23J-023788-000381
Selection process number: 23-AGR-RAP-55
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science and Technology Branch
Agassiz (British Columbia)
The projected start date is May 1, 2024 with an end date of March 31, 2028 (or depending on the candidate's availability or needs). It is expected that the student will work 18 hours per week.
$26.72 to $34.59 per hour

For further information on the organization, please visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

For further information on the Research Affiliate Program (RAP), please visit Research Affiliate Program (RAP)

Closing date: 3 November 2023 - 23:59, Pacific Time

Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada, Canadian citizens and Permanent residents abroad.

To be considered for Research Affiliate Program (RAP) work opportunities, all candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria by the date of appointment:

- Be recognized as having full-time student status at an accredited Canadian post-secondary academic institution (this includes students with a disability deemed to have full-time status). Individuals pending approval of acceptance, or in the process of submitting applications are encouraged to apply as proof of enrollment will only be required prior to the start date.

- Be enrolled in an academic program that requires research as part of the curriculum.

- Be the minimum age to work in the province or territory where the job is located.

Important messages

We are committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free work environment, starting with the hiring process. If you need to be accommodated during any phase of the evaluation process, please use the Contact information below to request specialized accommodation. All information received in relation to accommodation will be kept confidential.

Assessment accommodation

AAFC is committed to diversity and inclusion and is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s best diversity employers. We welcome all applicants and strongly encourage candidates to self-declare if they belong to an Employment Equity designated group (i.e. Aboriginal Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Visible Minorities or Women).

Persons are entitled to participate in the appointment process in the official language of their choice. Applicants are asked to indicate their preferred official language in their application.

Communication for this process will be sent via email. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure accurate contact information is provided and updated as required. Candidates who apply to this selection process should include an email address that accepts email from unknown users (some email systems block these types of email).


The student will work on a national project that aims to increase field vegetable yield and resilience to abiotic and biotic stresses through microbial engineering. The candidate will be responsible for providing both analytical and technical support for greenhouse and field experiments involving plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Other tasks may include preparation and handling of microbial cultures involving proper aseptic technique; DNA/RNA extraction; dPCR analysis, preparing DNA for sequencing and routine laboratory maintenance. The candidate will also contribute to the drafting of internal project reports and manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed scientific journals for publication.

Work environment

The Agassiz Research and Development Centre was established by the Government of Canada under The Experimental Farm Station Act in 1886. The Agassiz Research and Development Centre is one of 20 research centres in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s national network. The 310 hectare research facility is located in the eastern end of the highly productive Fraser Valley in the town of Agassiz.

The scientific research of the Agassiz Research and Development Centre addresses national agricultural priorities in the areas of horticultural and field crop production and protection. These priorities include helping to adapt and remain competitive in domestic and global markets. The research mainly focuses on peri-urban agriculture, which seeks to improve understanding of the flows, interactions and impacts of agriculture systems within densely populated regions.

Day-to-day work will take place at a Government of Canada research facility – a professional and relaxed setting.

The student will work within the Food Microbiomics and Microbial Ecology Research programs at the Agassiz Research & Development Centre. The student will work closely with a full-time Food Microbiology Research Technician and a Microbial Ecology Research Technician. The student will spend some time working in a Containment Level 2 Microbiology Laboratory, so they must be willing to complete additional training and adhere to biosafety protocols. The student may also have opportunities to train, mentor and supervise undergraduate students. Work in the field, the laboratory, and at the computer can be expected.

AAFC is committed to diversity and inclusion. We have several networks dedicated to ensuring that the department continues to grow as an inclusive, accessible, respectful and diverse workplace. All employees are encouraged and welcomed to join the networks and participate in their activities and events.

• The Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusiveness Network
• The Indigenous Network Circle
• The Managers' Community
• The Persons with Disabilities Network
• The Student Panel of Representatives for Orientation, Unity and Training
• The Visible Minorities Network
• The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network
• The Young Professional's Network

Positions to be filled: 1

Information you must provide

Your résumé.

Contact information for 2 references.

A list of the courses you have taken as well as any courses that you are taking now, or that you will be taking this academic year

In order to be considered, your application must clearly explain how you meet the following (essential qualifications)

Currently enrolled or will be enrolled by the date of appointment in a PhD program at an accredited post-secondary academic institution specializing in Food Science, Microbiology or Soil Science.

Note: If the successful applicant is not currently enrolled in the PhD program, they must enroll by the date of appointment. Proof of enrollment will be required prior to start date and must be returning to full-time studies for your next academic term.

Degree equivalency

Experience* in microbial ecology, plant ecology or soil ecology research.
Experience* in reviewing, interpreting and summarizing scientific data.
Experience* in conducting laboratory, greenhouse or field trials.

*In the context of student recruitment in the Federal Public Service, the experience can be acquired through the studies, work experience, or volunteer activities.

The following will be applied / assessed at a later date (essential for the job)

English essential

Information on language requirements

Knowledge of experimental design and statistics.
Knowledge of the theories and techniques of microbiology and molecular biology.

Interpersonal skills

Ability to plan, design and conduct scientific research.
Ability to conduct basic data analysis, statistical analysis and summarize results.
Ability to communicate well orally and in writing.

The following may be applied / assessed at a later date (may be needed for the job)

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada recognizes that the diversity of its employee population contributes to its strength and integrity. We are committed to achieving employment equity and developing a highly capable workforce that is representative of Canadian Society. We encourage women (especially in non-traditional occupations), Indigenous peoples (Aboriginal peoples), persons with disabilities, and members of visible minority groups to apply and declare themselves as part of one or more of the Employment Equity groups as selection may be limited to candidates belonging to one or more of the groups.

Information on employment equity

Conditions of employment

Reliability Status security clearance - Each student hired through the Research Affiliate Program (RAP) must meet the security requirements of the position as a condition of employment, and therefore will be asked by the hiring organization to complete security-relevant documents.

Other information

The Public Service of Canada is committed to building a skilled and diverse workforce that reflects the Canadians we serve. We promote employment equity and encourage you to indicate if you belong to one of the designated groups when you apply.

Information on employment equity

Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/opportunities/government.html.

Persons with disabilities preventing them from applying on-line are asked to contact the email referenced below under “Contact Information”.

Candidates will be required to pay for their own travel related to assessment and successful candidates will be responsible for obtaining their own living accommodations.

Successful completion of both a RAP work assignment and your educational program may lead to a temporary or permanent federal public service position for which you meet the merit criteria and conditions of employment.


Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, with the exception of a job located in Nunavut, where Nunavut Inuit will be appointed first.

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

Contact information

RAP Team – Research Affiliate Program
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