ID: 2022-2251
Salary: £27,231.00/Per Annum

This may be the role for you if you are someone who enjoys working outdoors, has a keen interest in botany and/or agronomy and is adaptable to deal with seasonal peaks in workload and flexible to cope with the vagaries of the weather.

The Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate (ARE) is the largest in the Scottish Government, with over 1,300 staff based in Saughton House and Area Offices across Scotland.

SASA is a Division of the Scottish Government Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Economy (ARE). The Variety Testing team, within Agricultural Science Delivery, comprises of 12 permanent members of staff whose work includes undertaking Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) trials on a range of vegetable and agricultural crops. These trials are necessary for new varieties to gain entry onto the Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB & NI) National Lists and/or for the award of Plant Breeders’ Rights. For agricultural crops an additional agronomic test called Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU) is also undertaken.

As DUS Technical Officer you will work under the direction of the DUS Trials Manager to plan and design DUS trials of vegetable and agricultural crops. In addition, you will coordinate the sowing, raising, and monitoring of plant material in field and glasshouse grown trials. Liaise with Trials Support staff to maintain good crop husbandry practices.

Having an understanding of Quality Assurance and data handling would be beneficial in carrying out this role.

You will also have the opportunity to expand your Information Technology skills, particularly with populating and interrogating ACCESS databases and EXCEL spreadsheets.

SASA holds a substantial seed collection of modern varieties as well as wild species, landrace populations, genetic lines, mutants, and traditional varieties that are no longer in commerce. By holding these collections SASA plays an important role in Plant Genetic Resources in Scotland and the UK. The Scottish Landrace Protection Scheme (SLPS) is also administered at SASA by the Variety Testing team. This provides a safety net for growers of landrace varieties in Scotland to deposit and preserve safety duplicate seed samples under deep freeze conditions.

• Work under the direction of the DUS Trials Manager to plan and design DUS trials of vegetable and agricultural crops. Assist in the sowing, raising, and monitoring of plant material in field and glasshouse grown trials. Liaise with Trials Support Staff to maintain good crop husbandry practices.
• Supervision of a small team in the collection of harvested plant material from DUS and VCU trials and ensure the accurate recording of data from these trials.
• Support the DUS Trials Manager in the preparation and presentation of trial data and reports to the UK Vegetable DUS Centre.
• Manage the addition and extraction of seed to and from the UK Statutory Seed Reference Collection as well as dispatching out-going seed samples.
• Contribute to maintaining and populating ACCESS crop databases with current status, stock and descriptive information.
• Take part in cross-branch work with Seed Certification by growing and checking the varietal identity and purity of samples of non-cereal control plots to ensure compliance with appropriate seed standards.
• Work with the current Area Quality Manager with a view to taking over responsibility for ensuring all Quality Assurance (QA) activities conform to the requirement of SASA’s Quality Policy. This will include managing and co-ordinating internal audits and associated documentation and making sure these are completed to timescale.
• Purchasing of items on behalf of the team as and when required.
• Line-management responsibility for at least 1 member of staff.

• Analysis and Use of Evidence
• Communications and Engagement
• Self-Awareness
• People Management

Essential Criteria & Qualifications
Essential Criteria:
1. Demonstrate the practical ‘hands-on’ experience of raising and maintaining plant material in a trials environment whilst ensuring accuracy and quality standards are adhered to.
2. Evidence of strong numeracy skills developed through collation, organisation and use of data to support decision making.
3. Excellent communication skills with experience of delivering clear and concise information to a range of audiences.
4. Proven organisational skills to plan and prioritise own workload and that of others to meet agreed deadlines despite changing priorities.

Location: Edinburgh, EH12 9JF

Interview and Assessment: Dates to be confirmed

Feedback will only be provided if you attend interview or Assessment.

Minimum time in post:
You will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of three years unless successful at gaining promotion to a higher Band or Grade.

In the event that further posts are required, a reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for up to 12 months.

Additional Information:
For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification” which you will find below.

Band B Person Specification

To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date using evidence based examples to demonstrate your knowledge/skills (300 words). Remember, your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

Important Information Regarding Interviews:
In recognition of ongoing measures and guidance in response to Covid-19, a decision has been taken that all interviews will be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

All applicants must ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview via MS Teams and ensure that Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds to undertake the interview.

For information regarding this post please contact:
Hiring Manager – Lesley McCarthy
Email - Lesley.McCarthy@sasa.gov.scot

Scottish Government's ambition is to be a world leading, diverse employer where people can be themselves at work. We want to help you demonstrate your full potential whatever type of assessment is used. If you require any adjustments to our recruitment process, please let us know via scottishgovernmentrecruitment@gov.scot

As part of any recruitment process, Scottish Government and associated public bodies collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants and applicants for public appointments.

Personal information you provide in the recruitment process will be made available to Scottish Government and our additional data processors.

To apply, please go to our website https://core-scottishgovernment.icims.com/jobs/2251/dus-technical-officer/job?hub=10&mobile=false&width=1185&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=0&jun1offset=60

Tel: Not specified | E-mail: Lesley.McCarthy@sasa.gov.scot
Web: https://core-scottishgovernment.icims.com/jobs/2251/dus-technical-officer/job?hub=10&mobile=false&width=1185&height=500&bga=true&needsRedirect=false&jan1offset=0&jun1offset=60 | Closing Date: Thursday 7th April 2022

(Uploaded 17/3/22)