DuPont Research Scientist, Molecular Breeding (PhD) in Johnston, Iowa

Research Scientist, Molecular Breeding (PhD) (Job Number: RES00004057)


The scientist will support the development and deployment of molecular breeding in corn and sorghum Latin America North and Australia. This includes hands-on phenotypic and genetic analysis, training, and supporting appropriate field activities related to the deployment of molecular breeding. The position will be located in Johnston, Iowa or Guadalajara, Mexico.

Duty/Responsibility and % of Time

  1. Support molecular breeding deployment in corn including hands-on phenotypic and genetic analysis, provide training of new tools, field experimentation, mine and share genetic information across the breeding organization; and appropriate precision phenotyping (40%).

  2. Collaborate with in-house marker development and production genotyping groups as well as with the software development group for tool development and deployment to meet the breeding organization needs (10%).

  3. Work with breeders to develop strategies for identifying the underlying genetic factors responsible for traits important to the breeding program (20%).

  4. Lead a discovery breeding program targeting specific traits based on breeding programs and business unit’s needs (20%).

  5. Perform administrative tasks related to estimation of demand and management of resources and control the use of these resources within an expected timeline by effectively working on a multi-departmental group (10%).


  • Apply existing genetic analysis methods to new experiments and traits. Share results among breeders to improve the breeding and advancement process.

  • Share methodology and molecular breeding approaches with other crops or geographic regions to improve the efficiency of the process. Identify specific needs for the crop and common strategies that would benefit other crops and regions.

  • Interact with different groups to meet goals defined for development or enhancement of a molecular breeding strategy.

  • Given a set of traits with different heritabilities, develop a strategy to identify the underlying genetic factors.


  • Design genetic experiments to identify the genetic factors underlying traits important to the breeding organization resulting in improved breeding programs. Optimize the use of resources for better exploration of the genetic basis of key traits.

  • Mine genetic information to identify genetic regions that influence traits of economic importance and share these across the breeding organization resulting in improved breeding processes.


  • PhD in plant breeding or plant genetics, with an emphasis in the areas of genetics and molecular genetics.

  • An independent, highly motivated, and self-directed scientist is required.

  • Comprehensive knowledge and applied research experience in plant genetics or plant breeding.

  • Demonstrated excellence in the management, analysis, and interpretation of scientific data sets as used for crop improvement.

  • Strong communication and organizational skills; proven ability to work well in a team environment. Pronounced ability to network and coordinate research efforts across groups/departments.

  • Experience or familiarity with quantitative/population genetics.

  • Experience with QTL mapping and whole-genome prediction methodologies.

  • Spanish language proficiency is a must.

Primary Location: NA-United States-Iowa-Johnston

Organization: Pioneer

Schedule: Full-time

Education Level: Doctorate Degree (over 19 years)

Employee Status: Regular

Job Type: Experienced

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