Research Opportunities

Post-doctoral fellowship Opportunity in Agricultural sciences with specialization in Foodomics

Boreal Ecosystem Research Initiative, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, Canada.

Position background and summary:

As indicated in the Province’s “Way Forward”, approximately 10% of the food consumed in the Province is locally produced whereas, 90% is imported from the mainland. The goal highlighted in the “Way Forward” is to double food production by 2022 to move one step forward in achieving food self-sufficiency in the province. Doubling food self-sufficiency will require vertical expansion in crop production, livestock and other farmed products, for example, increase secondary processing or value addition of those commodities which will generate 500 employment opportunities per year throughout the province. In order to achieve this, the farming industry needs labor with the requisite expertise, experience, and knowledge. This deficit in knowledge, skills, and expertise limit the capacity of farmers in the province to diversify their production output, value-added products and consequently the agriculture sector in the province. Additionally, the Association of new Canadian’s “Food Truck project” provides a greater potential as former refugees with experience and skills in developing value-added and secondary processing products on the food truck. Some of these former refugees have the skills and desire to develop their own food-based business. This is an opportunity to support and foster entrepreneurship in former refugees with their existing skill-set, which could be an added positive outcome from this project. This project will also provide an opportunity to engage the public, interest groups, processors, farmers, and underrepresented communities.

Duties and responsibilities:

The successful candidate will work with the Association of New Canadians, Scientists at Memorial University, Farmers, Advisors from the Provincial Government, Secondary Food Processors and Refugees to develop innovative food products and/or production processes, conduct product analysis, foster greater collaborations/engagement/outreach between the groups, report preparation and other activities deemed necessary to complete the project.

The successful candidate is expected to generate peer-reviewed publications in top-tier scientific journals, be able to supervise undergraduate and graduate students, and serve as Co-PI on future proposals.


Preferred qualifications:

PhD in Agricultural sciences, Biochemistry, Biology, Food Science, Food Technology, Food Chemistry or other relevant discipline with specialization in Foodomics.  The candidate must have strong analytical skills, monitoring equipment and developing protocols to carryout secondary food processing and value addition. Experience with mass spectrometry and chromatography, conducting research experiments under a controlled environment, statistics and database management including, but not limited to skills in SAS/Minitab, R, XLSTATs or equivalent, outreach and engagement activities are required.  Proven track record of creativity/ innovation in research. Team management, report writing, maintaining funder and research partner relationships, proposal writing skills and experience are beneficial skills for this opportunity.


Project support:

This is a two-year position with a one-year trial period. Successful candidates will be paid $50,000 per annum (University benefits package is not included).

Please send a letter of interest, complete CV including publication list. Indicate in your cover letter secondary food processing or food development related expertise, team management/outreach activities, specific analytical and statistical expertise and experience and how these fit with the job responsibilities and preferred qualification for this position. Please submit your cover letter and complete contact information for at least 3 academic references by Sep. 30, 2019. The position will remain open until filled and is contingent on funding.


Please send your information via e-mail in pdf format to


For further information relating to this position, please contact Dr. Mumtaz Cheema; or Dr. Raymond Thomas;

Memorial University is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce. It welcomes nominations of and applications from women, members of minority groups as well as from others who would bring additional dimensions to the university’s research, and teaching.

Current postings on MUN system:

Graduate Student (PhD/MSc) Opportunities are Currently Available for Highly Motivated Students at Memorial University of Newfoundland


Project Title: Determine the potential of Rock Dust (RD) in boreal forest reclamation following precious metal mining

This fully funded PhD/MSc studentship will be based at the Boreal Ecosystem Research Facility, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, Canada. This project will have an outstanding training opportunity at both field and laboratory scales and direct research collaboration with the largest gold mining company in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Project background and summary:


A major challenge by our industry partner (Anaconda Mining) is to successfully restore, reclaim or re-vegetate boreal forest site following resource (gold) mining using native species highly adaptable to germinate, grow and become established on the disturbed sites, particularly in the presence of varying abiotic stressors (eg poor nutrient soils, drought, low or high soil pH, or extreme temperatures). Seed priming has been used with great success to induce abiotic stress tolerance in several agriculture crop species, but the application to non-resource boreal forest species for forest reclamation is limited. Priming refers to the technique of hydrating seeds in solutions or in combination with a solid matrix to improve seed germination rate, and uniformity. In addition to improving germination, priming has been shown to increase seed vigor (ability of seeds to produce normal seedlings under adverse growing conditions). As such, a number of priming techniques have been reported in the scientific literature. The beneficial effects of priming was shown to be dependent on the nature of the priming agent, priming duration, concentration, and plant species. Additionally, some priming compounds was shown to induce broad spectrum adaptation to abiotic and biotic stressors. By products of the mining industry have not been explored for their capabilities in mine site or boreal forest reclamation after resource mining. We are interested in using by products from the mining industry investigate their potential either as a natural carrier or in solution to improve germination, seedling vigor and establishment on RD amended sites. This could potentially enhance the tolerance of native plants to grow and become established on RD amended sites. We are also interested in exploring different native plant mixture that maybe suitable for growth on RD amended sites. Student with background in plant ecology/biology, environmental science, environmental chemistry or related area with mass spectrometry, vibrational spectrometry experience is encouraged to apply.


APPLICATION: Send a cover letter, c.v., copies of transcripts, a writing sample, and contact details for three references to Dr. Lakshman Galagedara ( or Dr. Raymond Thomas ( The anticipated start is the Winter term (January) 2020. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. We thank you for your interest and will only contact applicants selected for interviews.


We give priority for Canadian students or international students who are already in Canada.

Other Opportunities

  • Research opportunities exist for 1 undergraduate to study nutritional and sensory profiles of  novel edible Newfoundland white Chanterelle mushroom.

  • PhD student for research work in  food science.

  • PhD or MSc student for research work in agriculture production (indoor or field based studies).

  • PhD student for research work  in Chemical imaging and  lipid modeling.