Research Assistant

In by Melissa

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
May 10, 2023
Lethbridge, Canada
Job Type
$63,720–$77,523 a year
  • Lethbridge


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$63,720–$77,523 a year
Job type
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science and Technology Branch
Lethbridge (Alberta)
$63,720 to $77,523For further information on the organization, please visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Discover the interesting work we do at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada Videos

Closing date: 24 May 2023 - 23:59, Pacific Time

Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada, and Canadian citizens and Permanent residents abroad.Apply online

Important messages

We are committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free work environment, starting with the hiring process. If you need to be accommodated during any phase of the evaluation process, please use the Contact information below to request specialized accommodation. All information received in relation to accommodation will be kept confidential.

Assessment accommodation

We want you to succeed! Our objective is to identify qualified candidates by fairly assessing their abilities. Assessment accommodations are intended to remove obstacles without altering the criteria being assessed so that all candidates can showcase their capabilities.

Please help us meet our commitment of providing an inclusive and barrier-free environment by letting us know if you require assessment accommodations, including assistance with the application process. Additional information on the assessment format(s) (for example: exam, interview) will be provided at each assessment stage.

As one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is proud to celebrate our achievement in creating a diverse, respectful, and positive workplace where all employees are valued and recognized for their unique qualities, ideas, voices and perspectives. We are dedicated to building and promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, representative of all Canadians regardless of race, ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socio-economic background or lived experience. By embracing diversity and inclusion, our department ensures broader discussions, better decisions, and a more positive workplace.


As part of an experienced team and under the supervision of a Research Scientist, the successful candidate will carry out experiments and activities associated with winter cereal breeding. The duties will include:

  • Setting up of seed for field planting, including treating seed, preparation of tests for multiple locations, arranging seed in planting order, organise various nurseries, packing, shipping to various locations.
  • Seeding of various types of plots (yield, bulk rows, head rows, etc.) using tractor and specialized seeders.
  • Staking of breeding plots in the field, maintaining plots, mowing pathways, roguing off types.
  • Collecting various agronomic data from the field (yield, height, heading days, maturity, lodging, disease and insect damage, etc.).
  • Carrying out specific agronomic treatments in experiments (e.g.: herbicide, fungicide and fertilizer treatments, growth regulators, etc.).
  • Preparing for harvesting of grain plots, including: labelling bags, arranging them in harvest order etc.
  • Harvesting heads, rows and small plots using head threshers, stationary combines and plot combines.
  • Arranging of seed in test order, weighing, cleaning and collecting grain data (test weight, thousand kernel weight, falling number, and protein concentration).
  • Analyzing of data using breeding program software and other statistical packages, and assist in interpreting results and generating reports based on the analysis.
  • Setting up of seed for indoor planting of seed increases, crossing blocks and transplanting into field settings.
  • Ability to complete emasculations and cross pollinations in order complete crossing blocks to generate new winter wheat germplasm.
  • Maintenance of plants in greenhouse and growth rooms. Assists in developing new protocols and modifying existing protocols.
  • Evaluation of experimental materials for resistance to the wheat curl mite, Russian wheat aphid, and various fungal diseases.
  • Organization and cataloging of seed using software.
  • Maintenance of seed collections.
  • Responsible for hiring, training and supervision of student and casual labour.
  • Maintenance of equipment and purchasing equipment for the program.
  • Other plant breeding related duties as required.

Work environment

AAFC is committed to diversity and inclusion. We have several networks dedicated to ensuring that the department continues to grow as an inclusive, accessible, respectful and diverse workplace. All employees are encouraged and welcomed to join the networks and participate in their activities and events.

  • The Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusiveness Network
  • The Indigenous Network Circle
  • The Managers' Community
  • The Persons with Disabilities Network
  • The Student Panel of Representatives for Orientation, Unity and Training
  • The Visible Minorities Network
  • The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network
  • The Young Professional's Network

Intent of the process

Immediate need: 1 full-time temporary position (from July 2023 to March 2026).

A pool of qualified and/or partially qualified candidates may be established and used to fill similar positions on a temporary or permanent basis.

In the event that an employee of the public service is qualified through this process, and there is a temporary need, he/she may be considered for acting, deployment, assignment or secondment opportunities.

Positions to be filled: 1

Information you must provide

Your résumé.

In order to be considered, your application must clearly explain how you meet the following (essential qualifications)

B. Sc. degree or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution with specialization in Agriculture, Plant Biology, Genetics, or other acceptable specialization relevant to the position.

If you were educated outside of Canada, you must have your certificates and/or diplomas assessed against Canadian education standards. Click on the link below to contact the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).

Degree equivalency

Experience operating field equipment such as tractors, plot seeders, combines, sprayers, mowers and small implements attached to a tractor.
Experience maintaining plants in a greenhouse or growth room.
Experience conducting field crop experiments.
Experience working with Microsoft Office and other software programs essential for field plot design and basic statistical analysis.
Experience providing technical support in a plant breeding research environment.

If you possess any of the following, your application must also clearly explain how you meet it (other qualifications)

Experience loading/unloading and hauling of field equipment on flatbed trailers.
Recent* experience in the emasculation and controlled pollination of plants, preferably cereals.

  • Recent experience is defined as experience gained within approximately the last 5 years.

The following will be applied / assessed at a later date (essential for the job)

English essential

Information on language requirements

Knowledge of plant breeding research related field operations.

Interactive Communication
Planning and Organizing
Problem Solving
Concern for Safety

Ability in the use of scientific instruments and tools and to apply scientific techniques and methodologies.
Ability in making observations, collecting and recording data accurately and interpreting and analyzing results.

The following may be applied / assessed at a later date (may be needed for the job)

Ability to supervise and train.

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada recognizes that the diversity of its employee population contributes to its strength and integrity. We are committed to achieving employment equity and developing a highly capable workforce that is representative of Canadian Society. We encourage women (especially in non-traditional occupations), Indigenous peoples (Aboriginal peoples), persons with disabilities, and members of visible minority groups to apply and declare themselves as part of one or more of the Employment Equity groups as selection may be limited to candidates belonging to one or more of the groups.

Information on employment equity

Ability and willingness to work flexible and overtime hours at peak times throughout the year, particularly from July to mid-October.

Conditions of employment

Reliability Status security clearance

Possession of a valid class 5 Alberta driver’s license, or other provincial/territorial equivalency.
Known allergies must be controlled through the use of personal protective equipment and/or medication and must not impinge upon the duties to be performed.
Ability and willingness to perform physically demanding work activities including moderate to heavy manual labour requiring bending and lifting objects (up to 25 kg).
Ability and willingness to work with hazardous materials (chemicals and pesticides).
Ability and willingness to work in field environments, greenhouse and laboratory for extended periods at a time.
Ability and willingness to work under various environmental and weather conditions (i.e. hot, cold, wet, dry).

Other information

The Public Service of Canada is committed to building a skilled and diverse workforce that reflects the Canadians we serve. We promote employment equity and encourage you to indicate if you belong to one of the designated groups when you apply.

Information on employment equity


You must meet all essential qualifications in order to be appointed to the position. Other qualifications may be a deciding factor in choosing the person to be appointed. Some essential and other qualifications will be assessed through your application. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate examples that illustrate how you meet each qualification. Failing to do so could result in your application being rejected.

Various assessment tools may be used, such as, standardized tests, interviews, references, board member knowledge, etc.

All communication relating to this process, including email correspondence may be used in the assessment of qualifications.

A random or top down selection of candidates may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.

Appointment decisions may be based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the strengths and weaknesses of the work team.
  • Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the specific duties of the position being staffed.
  • Depth, breadth, type of work-specific experience.
  • Level/degree of one or more competencies/qualifications.

A test may be administered.

An interview may be administered.

Reference checks may be sought.

You must provide proof of your education credentials.

Asset qualifications may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.


Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through

Persons with disabilities preventing them from applying on-line are asked to contact the email referenced below under "Contact Information".

Persons are entitled to participate in the appointment process in the official language of their choice. Applicants are asked to indicate their preferred official language in their application.

Communication for this process will be sent via email. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure accurate contact information is provided and updated as required. Candidates who apply to this selection process should include an email address that accepts email from unknown users (some email systems block these types of email).


Preference will be given to veterans first and then to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, with the exception of a job located in Nunavut, where Nunavut Inuit will be appointed first.

Information on the preference to veterans

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

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