Quantitative Biologist

11 Jan 2023 16:10 | Anonymous

The Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) is a rapidly expanding Institute based at the University of Saskatchewan. Our Vision is a world where everyone has access to safe and nutritious food.  This is a bold vision, one that we will strive to achieve through investing in out talent. In line with our Mission, we will work with our employees, partners and stakeholders to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food.

We are guided by our Values of: Innovation. Excellence. Collaboration. Integrity. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.


As a research scientist you are critical to advancing sustainable food security by working collaboratively with cross-functional teams to improve crops grown in western Canada as well as those important for food security throughout the world by developing and deploying state-of-the-art quantitative-genetic models and methods for the analysis of phenotypic and genomic data to improve genetic gain in plant breeding programs. 


As a research scientist you will report to the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and work with computer scientists, plant breeders and other geneticists to deliver superior products to our customers by accelerating genetic gain. This position will work closely with our technology platforms which include the Omics and Precision Agriculture Lab (OPAL), Data Management and Analytics (DMA), Engineering Biology, Cell Biology, and Plant Growth Facilities.

Your success requires you understand the interconnectedness of GIFS and the impact that changes and operations have on all the platforms, programs, clients, and the reputation of GIFS. Key characteristics of the role include a strong commitment to safety, support of change management, and leadership through exemplification of GIFS values. Other characteristics include well-developed organizational and project management skills, the ability to establish and maintain relationships as well as to influence others while implementing difficult and challenging decisions. Agility, speed, and focus are essential to achieving milestones, deliverables, and outcomes.

This is a complex, high-volume position requiring the ability to work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. Working with competing deadlines, shifting priorities, and good judgement is the norm. Problems encountered can be complex and require collaboration, analysis, research, and planning to resolve. The standard for the quality of work and timely completion of projects is high. Considerable discretion is required as the position is privy to and works with confidential proprietary information.


  • Use state-of-the-art quantitative genetic models to use genomic and phenotypic data to improve genetic gain in plant breeding programs
    • Recommend and deploy statistical analyses for Genomic Selection
    • Develop and code software that uses algorithms incorporating environmental, spatial and as genetic data to identify superior genotypes
    • Develop customized analyses for visualization of data and results
  • Collaborate with software architects to implement your analyses into systems and pipelines
  • Collaborate with Plant Breeders of multiple crops across several geographies to develop breeding programs that accelerate genetic gain
  • Provide expertise to collaborations with external partners.
  • Stay current with the relevant scientific literature and implement new methods and analyses as appropriate
  • Publishing in the scientific literature is encouraged
  • Build and nurture positive and collaborative relationships with people at all levels in multiple organizations, while also contributing to the culture of GIFS.


  • Ph.D. in Quantitative Genetics, Plant Breeding, Animal Breeding, Statistics, or a related field.
  • Detailed knowledge of quantitative-genetic and statistical theory and an interest in applying this knowledge to real-world problems in plant breeding.
  • Knowledge and experience in statistical analysis methods, including mixed linear models, Bayesian models, dimension reduction techniques, and machine/deep learning methods.
  • Proficiency in computing including R, Python, or related programming and analysis tools.  Knowledge of programming languages such as C, or C++.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage and manipulate large data sets.
  • Interest in working with seed businesses. 


  • A proven leader and innovative problem solver capable of overcoming challenging and complex issues in a fast-paced environment and growing market.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, including the ability to convey complex technical ideas to non-specialist audiences.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and work effectively within a high achieving team environment.
  • Sound judgment, discretion, diplomacy, and professional integrity.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to establish and maintain professional relationships that support exceptional collaboration.
  • Ability to gather, analyze, and present information with attention to detail.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse working environment.

Department: Global Inst for Food Security
Employment Group:
Research Associates - PSAC
Full Time Equivalent (FTE):
The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Posted Date:
Closing Date:
Number of Openings:
Work Location: May be eligible for hybrid work under the terms of USask's Alternative Workspace Guidelines

See the full posting & Apply here: https://usask.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/14/home/requisition/8483?c=usask&_ga=2.3598384.1880631585.1652109410-847580155.1617914519

© Canadian Society of Plant Biologists

Corporate Sponsors

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software