MSc Position: Nitrogen-use Efficiency of Two Crop Species in a Model Rotation

University of Saskatchewan

We are seeking a candidate for an MSc project focused on improving the nitrogen-use efficiency of two crop species in a model rotation (lentil-wheat) through a multi-species breeding strategy designed to encourage genotypic complementarities and nitrogen uptake. 

The student will participate in a Nitrogen tracking study through a lentil-wheat rotation in greenhouse trials. Phenotypic data will be collected for both lentil and wheat, and combined with the lentil genotypic data in an association mapping exercise. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Kate Congreves and Dr. Kirstin Bett from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan (USask). The project is a part of a larger Genome Canada project called ACTIVATE (led by Dr. Kirstin Bett and Dr. Curtis Pozniak). This project aims to instigate an innovative, technology-driven, multi-species breeding strategy to maximize interspecific interactions across time and space to improve performance across the cropping system as opposed to the traditional approach of improving performance of individual crops in isolation. This approach is aimed at increasing plant biomass and harvest index (thus capturing more CO2) and reducing synthetic N use (a major contributor to agriculture GHG emissions) while increasing grain yield per unit area. 

Applicants are expected to hold an undergraduate degree in Crop Science or a related field from a recognized university. Candidates must exceed the minimum grade and English language requirements to enter the graduate program in the Department of Plant Sciences (visit experience in soil science or plant genetics is preferred. The position is fully funded for a two-year term and based at USask. The successful candidate will have opportunities to apply for supplemental scholarships and teachingassistant positions. 

We embrace equity, diversity and inclusion and seek lab members who can contribute to a welcoming, engaging environment for students and researchers of all genders, races, abilities, and backgrounds. Ideally, the candidate will begin this summer. 

For further information and to apply, please send the following material to [email protected]

  • Statement of interest (1 page max)
  • Academic CV 
  • Copy of academic transcripts and an example of your own writing 
  • Contact information for three referees We thank all applicants in advance, and will respond to successful candidates.

Department: Plant Sciences
Status: Term
Employment Group: Graduate Students – PSAC
Rate of Pay: Current rates of pay
Posted Date: 5/25/2023
Closing Date: 6/30/2023
Number of Openings: 1
Work Location: May be eligible for hybrid work under the terms of USask’s Alternative Workspace Guidelines

Please review the University of Saskatchewan’s health and safety requirements for faculty, staff andstudents in consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The University is committed to employment equity, diversity, and inclusion, and are proud to support career opportunities for Indigenous peoples to reflect the community we serve. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on the accommodation request. We continue to grow our partnerships with Indigenous communities across the province, nationally, and internationally and value the unique perspective that Indigenous employees provide to strengthen these relationships. Verification of Indigenous Membership/Citizenship at the University of Saskatchewan is led and determined by the deybwewin taapwaywin tapwewin: Indigenous Truth policy and Standing Committee in accordance with the processes developed to enact the policy. Successful candidates that assert Indigenous membership/citizenship will be asked to complete the verification process of Indigenous membership/citizenship with documentation. The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. Together, we are uplifting Indigenization to a place of prominence at the University of Saskatchewan.

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