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Variety Testing Manager

This job is closed and is displayed for reference only. 

Job summary

£49420 - £61617
Around 37.00 per week
Closing Date
04 June 2021 at midnight
IRC85995 E
Employment Type
Permanent Employee

We are currently seeking applications for a Variety Testing Manager within the Agricultural and Economy based in Rodding Road, Edinburgh. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

SASA is a Division of the Scottish Government Directorate for Agriculture and Rural Delivery Directorate (ARDD) and is located on the west side of Edinburgh in a modern, purpose-built building. SASA provides advice and scientific services to the Agriculture and Rural Economy (ARE) Directorate and the rest of the Scottish Government in relation to crops and the environment.

The Variety Testing Manager will lead a team based at SASA consisting of upto 2 x B3, 4 x B2, 2 x B1 and 4 x A4 as well as seasonal staff as required.
The Variety Testing team's 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 UK National List and/or for the award of Plant Breeders' Rights under International, UK and Scottish legislation. For agricultural crops including Potatoes, Grass, Clover and Swedes the team also carry out an additional agronomic test called Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU).

SASA holds a substantial seed collection of modern varieties as well as wild species, landrace populations, genetic lines, mutants and traditional varieties. By holding these collections SASA plays an important role in Plant Genetic Resources in Scotland. The Scottish Landrace Protection Scheme (SLPS) is administered at SASA. This provides a safety net for growers of landrace varieties in Scotland to deposit and preserve safety duplicate seed samples under deep freeze conditions.

The post-holder will consult and coordinate their work (and that of the team) with colleagues in Scotland (Plant Health, Horticulture, Seeds & Potatoes Policy Team) and the UK (APHA, Defra, NIAB and other DAs, etc.) as well as internationally through UPOV. There will also be regular engagement with stakeholders and other organisations including BSPB, AHDB, SRUC, JHI. The post holder may chair one or more of the UK DUS/VCU Groups, and with the individual crop specialists present trial results at DUS and VCU meetings.

The post holder will work closely with the Head of Seeds, Variety and Trials Support in preparation of budgets and costings and in allocation of resources, as well as in considering the strategic direction of Variety Testing at SASA particularly in the light of EU exit and responses to the climate emergency. Much of the work of the team is cyclical in nature though volumes can vary from year to year, this requires good organisational skills, flexibility and the ability to move resources to the points of greatest need.

Qualifications Required
For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of 3 Highers or equivalent.

Have at least 10 years' scientific or technical experience in a science delivery area of relevance to the post or hold a degree or a post-graduate Masters or PhD in a relevant scientific discipline combined with at least 6 years relevant experience"

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria
1.A knowledge and comprehensive understanding of variety testing in Scotland and the UK, with specialist experience of working in a specific area of variety testing in the UK.
2.Excellent people management, interpersonal and networking skills with the ability to motivate, support and develop a specialist team.
3.Experience of working collaboratively with a range of internal and external stakeholders including policy makers to achieve specific outcomes.
4.Excellent organisational and management skills with the ability to manage competing priorities whilst working to tight deadlines.

Nationality requirements
This job is broadly open to the following groups:
• UK nationals
• nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UKs
• nationals of the Republic of Ireland
• nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
• relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
• relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
• certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further Information
For further information on this vacancy please download and review the "Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants" which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Mike Parker at Mike.Parker@sasa.gov.scot.

Important Information Regarding Interviews
In recognition of the Scottish Government's ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team via recruitment@gov.scot.


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