527 days ago

Brock University


St. Catharines

, Ontario


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NSERC Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Plant Synthetic Biology
Professor or Associate Professor, Tenured

About the Position

The Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Mathematics and Science seeks applications from outstanding scientists for an NSERC Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Plant Synthetic Biology.

Consistent with the gender equity goals of the Canada Research Chairs Program and the Department of Biological Sciences, this position is targeted to individuals who self-identify as women. The successful candidate will apply molecular and/or genetic engineering approaches to enhance crop value, select or develop new strains/products, and/or address environmental concerns. The ideal candidate will be interested in developing collaborations with local Niagara agricultural industries and taking advantage of existing research and development support through Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and the Brock–Niagara Validation, Prototyping, and Manufacturing Institute (VPMI). There will be opportunities to collaborate with plant biologists in Biological Sciences as well as colleagues in the departments of Chemistry, Engineering, Computer Science, and elsewhere. Brock University is located a short drive from a cluster of research universities in southern Ontario.

The home department of Biological Sciences is a dynamic department within the Faculty of Mathematics and Science (see brocku.ca/mathematics- science/biology/). The department enjoys large and growing undergraduate and graduate student populations as well as active, diverse, and collaborative research faculty. Biological Sciences offers BSc, MSc, and PhD programs in Biological Sciences and in Biotechnology. Cross-appointments to other departments are also possible, including contributing to graduate programs currently being developed in the new Yousef Haj-Ahmad Department of Engineering.

The candidate’s laboratories are expected to be in the Cairns’ Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, which includes a 2,500 square foot shared main wet lab with 600 square feet of shared HQP office space. There is an adjacent 2,000 square foot phytotron and an additional 1,000 square feet of ancillary research space that houses plant tissue culture facilities. Additional laboratory space may also be available as needed. Mass spectrometry and next-generation sequencing capabilities are available on campus.


About Brock University

Brock University is located on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work in St. Catharines and the Niagara region. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement.

Established in 1964 and located in one of the most historic parts of Canada, the Niagara Region, Brock University is one of Canada’s top post-secondary institutions. Brock serves its community as a cultural, academic, and recreational centre, bringing excellent facilities to the people who created the University all those years ago. Brock is committed to building the Niagara community and to fostering an environment that serves its students and their neighbours. With a student population of almost 19,000, approximately 1,500 faculty and staff including over 600 faculty members, and a network of over 100,000 accomplished alumni, Brock University has forged a reputation as a modern and innovative comprehensive institution. Brock has six teaching Faculties offering a wide range of programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels. It also features one of Canada’s most diversified co-operative programs and a range of experiential, service, and creative learning opportunities. Brock is committed to fostering excellence in academic programs, research, creativity, and community-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship. With world-class facilities, providing over $11 million in awards programs to current and prospective students, ranked #2 in Canada for overall student satisfaction and #1 in Canada for mental health services, at Brock University, student success and the student experience are at their core.

Brock University is committed to building inclusivity and equity through understanding and respect for diverse identities. These commitments are reflected in our approaches to teaching and learning, scholarly and creative work, administration and service provision, and community engagement. Our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is grounded in the recognition that the strongest research, scholarship, and creative activity and the best research training environment require engagement of scholars from diverse backgrounds.

Consistent with Brock University’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, in recognition of the underrepresentation of members of the federally designated groups in the Canada Research Chairs program, and pursuant to Section 14 of the Ontario Human Rights Code, this position will be filled by a candidate who self-identifies as a woman. Women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities, people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons are encouraged to apply and to voluntarily self-identify as a member of a designated group as part of their application. To ensure accurate data regarding Brock’s Canada Research Chair program, all applicants are requested to respond to the voluntary self-identification questions presented in the online application system.

Differing career patterns may be more common among members of designated groups, and those who have experienced leaves from the workplace. These differences shall be taken into account in assessing the experiences and qualifications of applicants.

The Canada Research Chair (CRC) Program

The successful candidate will be eligible to hold a tenured appointment at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor. The successful candidate will be supported to prepare a nomination to the next available deadline for the Canada Research Chair (CRC) Program.

The Canada Research Chairs program recognizes outstanding scholars at all career stages and is a key mechanism for Canadian universities to attract and retain the best talent from around the world to achieve excellence in research and research training. Canada Research Chairs advance the frontiers of knowledge in their fields through their scholarly research, teaching, and supervision.

Tier 1 Chairs are tenable for seven years and renewable once for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. To meet the criteria of the program, individuals must demonstrate substantial accomplishments that have had major impact in their discipline at the international level. They also should have superior records of supervising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and are expected to attract and retain future researchers.

Nominations for Canada Research Chairs are subject to review and final approval through the CRC Program. Benefits associated with Chair appointments include teaching release and start-up research funds. A separate application may be made to the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) for research infrastructure needs. Eligibility criteria and CRC program information can be found at the following website: http://www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca. For more information about Brock’s CRC program, please contact Matthew Rätsep <mratsep@brocku.ca>.

Application Process and Timelines

Candidates are invited to submit an application that includes the following:

  • A letter of interest (suggested 2 pages) outlining:
    • Your qualifications for a successful Tier 1 Chair nomination funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; and
    • The fit of your profile and expertise with one or more of the identified research areas.
  • A description of your research plan (suggested 2–3 pages), including:
    • Your vision for the future research program as a Tier 1 CRC at Brock;
    • Novel opportunities for training highly qualified personnel; and
    • The potential for the Chair to enhance the scholarly leadership and innovation capacity of the Department, Faculty, and University in strategic areas.
  • An updated and complete curriculum vitae.
  • Up to six representative recent publications.
  • A statement of teaching philosophy, mentorship philosophy, interests related to departmental programs, and strategies to support diverse students (suggested 2 pages).
  • A statement of strengths and experiences in supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion in science through research, curriculum, community outreach, and student support (suggested 1 page).
  • The names and contact information of three referees who could provide confidential letters of assessment that speak to the candidates’ suitability to hold a faculty position and Tier 1 CRC at Brock University.

Please apply online using the “Apply” button. A single PDF document containing all application elements is preferred. (Note: File maximum of 5MB per attachment upload.)

Review of applications will begin May 1, 2023.

The effective date for the academic appointment may be as early as January 1, 2024, but is negotiable with the Faculty Dean. The appointment is subject to budgetary approval.

It is expected that this search will lead to a nomination in April 2024, for which a decision from the CRC Program is anticipated in October 2024, which is the earliest date when the CRC position can begin.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Fiona Hunter, Chair of Biological Sciences <fhunter@brocku.ca> or Dr. Jeff Stuart <jstuart@brocku.ca>, Chair of the CRC recruitment committee.

Initial posting date: January 19, 2023.


Applications should be submitted electronically through the Brock Careers website at the following link:




Our Commitment

Brock University is actively committed to diversity and the principles of employment equity and invites applications from all qualified candidates. Women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities, people with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons are encouraged to apply and to voluntarily self-identify as a member of a designated group as part of their application. LGBTQ is an umbrella category and shall be read to include two-spirited people. Candidates who wish to be considered as a member of one or more designated groups can fill out the Self-Identification questions included in the questionnaire at the time of application.


Brock University recently paused its COVID-19 vaccination and mask requirement although this decision is subject to change on short notice should the public health situation require it. If the University once again requires all employees working on campus and/or in-person with other employees, students, or members of the public to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be required to submit proof of vaccination. Those who meet specific and limited medical or human rights accommodation criteria may be required to participate in rapid antigen testing and enhanced screening protocols.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.


We will accommodate the needs of the applicants and the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) throughout all stages of the selection process, as outlined in the Employment Accommodation Policy https://brocku.ca/policies/wp-content/uploads/sites/94/Employment-Accommodation-Policy.pdf. Please advise: talent@brocku.ca  to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated through this process. Information received relating to accommodation measures will be addressed confidentially.


We appreciate all applications received; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.


At this time, initial interviews will be conducted virtually.


Learn more about Brock University by visiting www.brocku.ca


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