GC Jobs

Graduate Student (MSc/PhD) - Research Affiliate Program

Reference number: AGR23J-059095-000173
Selection process number: 23-AGR-RAP-33A
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science and Technology Branch
Kentville (Nova Scotia)
The projected start date is May 6, 2024 with an end date of March 31, 2027 (or depending on the candidate's availability or needs). It is expected that the student will work 15 to 18 hours per week.
$22.71 to $34.59 per hour (Master's: $22.71 to $28.57; Doctorate: $26.72 to $34.59 - Varies as per level of education and experience.)

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

For further information on the Research Affiliate Program (RAP), please visit: Jobs.gc.ca

Closing date: 15 December 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, candidates must meet the following criteria:

- 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 your 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 successful candidate will have the opportunities to conduct a research experiment in laboratory, greenhouse, and fields to understand the fungal diseases of grapevine, strawberry and apple as well as to explore the management options. The potential research areas include: (i) Detection of viral and fungal pathogens in grapevine, strawberry and apple plants (ii) isolation and characterization of causal agents associated with grapevine, strawberry and apple diseases such as gray mould, apple replant and apple sudden death (ii) understand the pathogen biology and disease cycle (iii) exploitation of host-pathogen interaction/host resistance (iv) characterization of plant associated microbiome. In addition to academic competence, basic knowledge of the fruit production system will be highly appreciated. The student will have the opportunities to interact with growers, industry partners, other graduate students, and research technicians. The successful candidate should have good work ethics, a strong sense of responsibilities, ability to work in team environments, and enthusiasm to work in both controlled environments and fields.

The day-to-day work will take place at two locations: Acadia or Dalhousie University during periods of course work and Kentville Research and Development Centre, NS for the field, greenhouse, and laboratory research.

Work environment

The Kentville Research and Development Centre (KRDC) is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) national network of 20 research centers. It is located in Kentville, in western Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Today, research is focused on horticulture, functional foods and post-harvest processing of horticultural products. The center focuses its research in three key areas: primary production and integrated crop production technology for the Atlantic region, food safety and quality and environmental stewardship, and improving performance of the agricultural production system.

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

Laboratory work will require some prerequisite safety training. About 60 to 70% of the work will be in controlled environments and remaining portions includes field work.

Intent of the process

The intent of this process is to fill 1 position for a Graduate Student (MSc/PhD). However, depending on the availability of funds, up to 2 positions may be staffed based on future needs.

Positions to be filled: 1

Information you must provide

Your résumé.

Contact information for 3 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 Master’s or Ph.D. program at Acadia or Dalhousie University in the field of Plant Pathology, Plant Sciences, Microbiology, Agriculture, Molecular Biology or a related field.

Note: Must be currently recognized as having full-time student status in the academic institution in which you are presently enrolled, pending approval of acceptance or in the process of submitting your application. 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 molecular biology and plant microbe interactions.
Experience* in doing laboratory, greenhouse or field trials of plant inoculation with microbe.
Experience* in the study and functional interaction analysis of plant associated microbiome.

* In the context of student recruitment in the federal public service, experience can be acquired through studies, work experience and volunteer activities.

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

English essential

Information on language requirements

Knowledge of plant and plant associated microorganism.
Knowledge of molecular biology and techniques such as DNA, RNA extraction and PCR and sequencing.
Knowledge of experimental design or statistics.

Creativity and innovation
Planning and organizing

Ability to communicate effectively in writing and oral.
Ability to plan, design, and set up experiments.
Ability to collect, record, and analyze data, summarize results and contribute to report/manuscript preparation.
Ability to handle multiple tasks or project activities.

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.

Ability and willingness to work outdoors in various weather conditions for long periods of time.
Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends.

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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