GC Jobs

Microbial Ecology Graduate Student - Research Affiliate Program

Reference number: AGR23J-059095-000138
Selection process number: 23-AGR-RAP-32
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 December 20, 2027 (or depending on the candidate's availability or needs). It is expected that the student will work 20 hours per week.
$26.72 to $34.59 per hour (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: 29 September 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.

Update: Please note that the selection process has been amended to extend the closing date to September 29, 2023 - 23:59, Pacific Time.

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 project is a multi-disciplinary study looking at the impacts of grazing management practices in grasslands and pastures in Western Canada on soil microbiomes and their role in carbon cycling and sequestration. The student will have an opportunity to define and develop their research project based on their interests within the framework of the collaborative project. Potential areas of focus could include the use of prescribed fire for pasture rejuvenation or the impact of grazing practices on soil greenhouse gas emissions.

Work environment

The Agassiz Research and Development Centre was established by the Government of Canada under The Experimental Farm Station Act in 1886. The Centre consists of two independent research sites: Agassiz and Summerland. It is also associated with a satellite location—the Clearbrook sub-station, located 50 kilometres away in Abbotsford, British Columbia.

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.

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 institution in the following specializations: Soil Science.

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. The Student should meet the admissions criteria for the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems program.

Degree equivalency

Experience* in microbial ecology, plant ecology or soil ecology research.
Experience* in conducting laboratory, greenhouse or field trials.
Experience* with the use of metagenomics for the analysis of soil or plant microbiomes.

* 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 microbiology and molecular biology techniques.
Knowledge of experimental design and statistics.

Interpersonal skills
Creativity and innovation
Planning and organizing

Ability to conduct basic data analysis, statistical analysis and summarize results.
Ability to communicate effectively in writing and oral.

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 Conditions:
Able and willingness to travel for field work in Western Canada.
Able and willingness to work outdoors in various weather conditions for long periods of time.
Able and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends.
Able and willingness to work in laboratory, greenhouse, and/or field environments for extended periods at a time.

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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