Research Officer - Tree Improvement

Job Contract: Permanent

Basic Function:

The main focus of this role is to progress and develop existing research programmes to produce resilient quality planting material for deployment in Irish forestry.

The successful candidate will be expected to work with different species and develop new methodologies to support future tree improvement efforts in Ireland.

The successful candidate will ideally have experience in plant handling and plant improvement and ideally will have an understanding of the mechanisms for resistance against pathogens and pests in plants and will also have a good knowledge of quantitative genetics, and new breeding and selection techniques to accelerate genetic gain.


Forests account for over 770,000 hectares or 11% of land area in Ireland.

These forests are comprised of a range of tree species planted pure and in mixture.

The future potential of this forest area and newly planted forests is dictated to a large extent by the type and quality of plating material that is used in reforestation and establishment.

A major requirement is for an adequate supply of well adapted quality planting stock of the appropriate tree species which will help ensure that Irish forests are optimised for the future in relation to their potential productive capacity, their contribution to ecosystem services and are well adapted to address biotic and abiotic challenges including climate change and invasive pathogens and pests.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Candidates must have an honours Level 8 degree in in forestry/plant science/plant biotechnology or a related discipline.
  • A PhD degree in a relevant discipline.

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Post-Doctoral research experience in genetics/tree improvement would be an advantage.

A more detailed job description can be accessed on

Applications should be made on-line through

The completed application documents must be forwarded so as to reach the Public Appointments Service no later than 12:00 noon, Friday, 5th of March 2021.

posted: 11 February 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.