GC Jobs

Collections Biologist at Plant Gene Resources of Canada

Reference number: AGR22J-045795-000099
Selection process number: 22-AGR-MBSK-EA-STB-013019
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science & Technology Branch
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)
Permanent Full-Time
$65,662 to $89,411

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

Discover the interesting work we do at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Videos

Closing date: 1 September 2022 - 23:59, Pacific Time

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

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

We want you to succeed! Our objective is to identify qualified candidates by fairly assessing their abilities. Assessment accommodations are intended to remove obstacles without altering the criteria being assessed so that all candidates can showcase their capabilities.

Please help us meet our commitment of providing an inclusive and barrier-free environment by letting us know if you require assessment accommodations, including assistance with the application process. Additional information on the assessment format(s) (for example: exam, interview) will be provided at each assessment stage.

As one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is proud to celebrate our achievement in creating a diverse, respectful, and positive workplace where all employees are valued and recognized for their unique qualities, ideas, voices and perspectives. We are dedicated to building and promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, representative of all Canadians regardless of race, ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socio-economic background or lived experience. By embracing diversity and inclusion, our department ensures broader discussions, better decisions, and a more positive workplace.

We welcome all candidates, including Indigenous Peoples, Black, other racialized groups, persons with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ2+ community to apply and strongly encourage candidates to self-declare if they belong to an Employment Equity designated group (i.e. Indigenous (Aboriginal*) Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Women or Visible Minorities - Black people and other racialized groups).

*The term “Aboriginal” is used within this job advertisement as it relates to the Employment Equity Act and other legislative frameworks. The term “Indigenous” is used where possible, in alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.


Providing guidance to PGRC Research Assistants in generating a documenting characterization, evaluation and inventory data of various crop groups and crop wild relatives.
Support collection maintenance of various crop groups by deciding on germplasm regeneration and viability assessments following international standards.
Using and contributing to improvement of a complex genebank database system (GRIN-Global) for efficient internal genebank management.
Identifying seed germplasm useful for genebank clients available from PGRC collections or other national and international genebanks.
Identifying and acquiring germplasm, including through colleting at natural habitats, for Plant Gene Resources of Canada (PGRC) following international standards.
Communicating with genebankc clients and providing advice for accession PGRC germplasm holdings to support research and breeding.
Participating in various stakeholder meetings representing PGRC.
Assisting PGRC colleagues with duties related to germplasm regeneration and characterization at PGRC, including laboratory, greenhouse and field work.
Summarizing and analyzing data and information and assisting Curator and Research Scientists in writing scientific papers, preparing posters and presentations.
Purchasing supplies for general genebank operation; providing detailed specifications for major equipment purchases.
Participating in general lab, greenhouse and field operations including hiring, training and assigning work to students and casuals; enforcing safety procedures and scheduling the use of resources.

Work environment

The work environment will be the PGRC area at the AAFC Saskatoon Research and Development Centre of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Work will also be conducted in the associated greenhouse and research farm, in the seed storage vaults at minus 18 and plus 4 degrees Celsius, and in office space. Computer work will be required. Work with hazardous chemicals will be required. Overnight travel will be required. Participation in germplasm collecting activities in fields and in wild habitats occurs. Temporary exposure to dusty, hot, wet or cold environments may occur when conducting greenhouse and field.

Intent of the process

Immediate need: One Permanent Full-Time position

A pool of qualified and partially qualified candidates may be established and may be used to staff similar positions with various tenures.

Positions to be filled: 1

Information you must provide

Your résumé.

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

Graduation with a degree from a recognized post-secondary institution with specialization in a biological science, in horticulture, plant breeding, or other fields relevant to the duties of the position.

If you were educated outside of Canada, you must have your certificates and/or diplomas assessed against Canadian education standards. Click on the link below to contact the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).

Degree equivalency

Extensive(*) experience in plant propagation, preservation handling and regeneration of living plant material of cultivated plants or their crop wild relatives that are relevant for Canadian agriculture.
(*) Extensive experience is defined as the depth and breadth of the experience normally associated with having performed a broad range of various, complex related activities on a full time basis for approximately a period of 1 year.
Experience in the application of standards and best practices pertinent to the maintenance of biological collections.
Experience in data handling and data management.
Experience in the supervision of technical support staff, casuals or students.

If you possess any of the following, your application must also clearly explain how you meet it (other qualifications)

Experience in the management of biological collections.

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

English essential

Information on language requirements

Knowledge of the principles, theories and practices of plant reproductive biology, plant physiology, and genetics.
Knowledge of international standards and Canadian acts and regulations applicable to the maintenance of genebank collections, the handling of plant germplasm samples and the sharing of germplasm nationally and internationally.
Knowledge of major Canadian crop plants, agricultural and botanical science, and environmental issues pertinent to agricultural and horticultural production.
Knowledge of the major issues that can affect live or preserved collections (for example: identity preservation, taxonomic identification, contamination, pests and pathogens, etc.) and current methods for addressing them.

Attention to detail
Planning and organization
Analytical thinking

Ability to present work related information orally and in writing to various audiences.
Ability to manage a team

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

Ability and willingness to operate farm equipment.

Conditions of employment

Reliability Status security clearance

Possession of a valid, class 5 Saskatchewan driver’s license, or other provincial/territorial equivalency.
Ability and willingness to travel.
Ability and willingness to work irregular work hours.
Ability and willingness to work with live or preserved biological samples, microorganisms or plants treated with pesticides.
Ability and willingness to work in field and greenhouse environments.
Known allergies must be controlled through the use of personal protective equipment and/or medication and must not impinge upon the duties to be performed.

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


You must meet all essential qualifications in order to be appointed to the position. Other qualifications may be a deciding factor in choosing the person to be appointed. Some essential and other qualifications will be assessed through your application. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate examples that illustrate how you meet each qualification. Failing to do so could result in your application being rejected.

Various assessment tools may be used, such as, standardized tests, interviews, references, board member knowledge, etc.

All communication relating to this process, including email correspondence may be used in the assessment of qualifications.

A random or top down selection of candidates may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.

Appointment decisions may be based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the strengths and weaknesses of the work team.
- Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the specific duties of the position being staffed.
- Depth, breadth, type of work-specific experience.
- Level/degree of one or more competencies/qualifications.

A test may be administered.

An interview may be administered.

Reference checks may be sought.

You must provide proof of your education credentials.

Asset qualifications may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.


Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/jobs/services/gc-jobs.html.

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

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).


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

Information on the preference to veterans

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

Contact information

Josianne LeBlanc, Human Resources Advisor
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