Research Scholarships at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada – 2023



The University of Saskatchewan in Canada is offering exciting research opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing doctoral, postdoctoral, and undergraduate studies. These scholarships are part of a collaborative and well-funded project led by the Bennett Lab, focusing on exploring multi-trophic interactions in grassland ecosystems and identifying management interventions to enhance ecosystem services. The research specifically investigates how plant species and genetic composition influence soil microbial communities and their impact on various ecosystem services. Through observational studies, field experiments, and greenhouse studies, participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers across multiple fields and integrate data for comprehensive analyses.

PhD Students:

The Bennett Lab is seeking a motivated PhD student to join their team. The successful candidate will work on existing and new field experiments, examining the composition and diversity of plant species and genotypes in seeded grassland systems. The goal is to optimize productivity, carbon sequestration, pollination services, and natural pest control. The student will have flexibility to develop their own ideas and collaborate with other researchers in the lab and larger projects. Applicants must have received or anticipate receiving an MSc in a relevant discipline before November 2023. The position requires relocation to Saskatoon, SK due to significant fieldwork. The preferred start date is September 2023 or January 2024, with a minimum stipend of $25,000 per year for four years.

Undergraduate Students:

The Bennett Lab also welcomes undergraduate students to participate in research. There are several opportunities available, including positions for the upcoming summer. Interested students should contact the lab with their CV and unofficial transcripts to discuss potential fits. Additionally, students looking to conduct their thesis work within the lab are encouraged to make early contact during the Winter term of the previous year.

Postdoctoral Fellows:

Two postdoctoral positions are available in the Bennett Lab. The successful candidates will primarily work on integrating existing and incoming data to understand the relationship between plant and soil microbial communities, plant productivity, soil carbon, and plant-insect interactions. Responsibilities include coordinating data collection, leading greenhouse experiments, and conducting integrative data analysis in collaboration with senior researchers. Applicants must have received a PhD in a relevant discipline within the last five years or anticipate completing their defense before November 2023. The positions require relocation to Saskatoon, SK, and offer a one-year initial appointment with the possibility of renewal for up to four years. Salary starts at $55,000 per year plus benefits.

Technical Staff:

The lab is seeking a technician with skills in molecular biology. The technician will be responsible for sample processing, including DNA extraction and sequencing library preparation for soil and insect samples, as well as other measurements on plant and soil samples. Strong interpersonal and organizational skills are required to coordinate sample collection and pre-processing among multiple research groups. Applicants should hold an MSc in ecology, agriculture, microbiology, soil science, entomology, or a related field, or possess an equivalent combination of education and experience. Desired qualifications include experience with high-throughput extraction protocols, sequencing library preparation, long-read sequencing, bioinformatics, NIR spectroscopy, and elemental analysis. The position has an initial appointment of one year, renewable for up to four years, and offers a salary ranging from $53,000 to $71,700 per year, depending on education and experience.

To apply for any of these positions, interested candidates should send a cover letter stating the position of interest, a description of how their interests and experience align with the position, and a CV to Jon Bennett ( PhD applicants should also include a copy of their transcripts. Applications will remain open until suitable candidates are found.

These research scholarships at the University of Saskatchewan present unique opportunities for individuals interested in multidisciplinary studies focused on grassland ecosystems. Participants will gain valuable experience, contribute to impactful research, and collaborate with a diverse team of researchers. The University of Saskatchewan is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence, making it an ideal institution for students seeking a dynamic and supportive research environment.

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