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Research Technicians 

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois is hiring several research technicians to assist the RIPE project. Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Positions 

Realizing Increased Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE) is a project that aims to improve photosynthesis to equip farmers worldwide with higher-yielding crops to ensure everyone has enough food to lead a healthy and productive life. RIPE is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, and the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office who are committed to ensuring Global Access and making the project’s technologies available to the farmers who need them the most.

As RIPE moves an increasing number of transgenic traits from model to crop systems, our capacity for crop transformation needs to increase. To meet this, a new state-of-the-art facility, Crop Transformation Facility (CTF), has been built on the University of Illinois Research Park. We are now searching to expand our qualified staff committed to the public-good objectives of RIPE.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Below are five job positions that we are looking for. If you have any questions, please contact the RIPE Senior Project Manager, Lisa Emerson, at

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Construct Assembly Technician 

Successful candidates will be working on the construction and validation of plasmids for plant transformation. Required skills expected of candidates include knowledge of molecular cloning, PCR, lab documentation, excellent organizational skills, excellent communication skills, and ability to prioritize multiple tasks effectively. It is preferred that candidates also have knowledge of electronic lab notebooks (Benchling), Sanger sequencing/sequence alignments, and automation techniques.

You can apply for this position here

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Soybean/Tobacco Transformation Technician 

The successful candidate for this position will be responsible for the conduction of plant transformations in soybean and/or tobacco. Required experiences include aseptic laboratory technique and sterile handling. Technicians are also required to have knowledge of DNA isolation and PCR. 

You can apply for this position here.

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Soybean Pipeline Sub-Manager/Lab Manager 

The appointee will serve as the sub-manager directly under the CTF transformation Pipeline Manager. This position will be responsible for managing the CTF lab, have direct oversight of the soybean transformation pipeline, oversee the transformation activities of the Soybean Transformation Technician(s), conduct the transformation and regeneration of soybean, and assist with tobacco transformation as needed.

You can apply for this position here

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Tobacco Pipeline Sub-Manager

The appointee will serve as the sub-manager directly under the CTF Transformation Pipeline Manager. This position will be responsible for the direct oversight of the tobacco transformation pipeline, oversee the transformation activities of the Tobacco Transformation Technician(s), conduct the transformation and regeneration of tobacco, and assist with soybean transformation as needed. 

You can apply for this position here.

Crop Transformation Facility (CTF) Transformation Pipeline Manager 

The CTF Transformation Pipeline Manager will serve as Manager and Research Developer for the CTF pipeline of transformations in tobacco and soybean. They will research the viability of CRISPR gene editing as a means to up-regulate the expression of key photosynthetic genes. They will also train and supervise a team of technicians and undergraduates in construct development, genetic transformation, regeneration of plants through greenhouse culture, and provide confirmation of transformation through sequencing and expression analysis.

You can apply for this position here.


RIPE Communications Manager

The Communications Manager is a key member of the RIPE project administrative team and is responsible for the project’s strategic communications which promote our research successes and increases project visibility with the RIPE team, sponsors, media, the plant science community, governmental agencies, and the general public. 

This position will develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy for multiple research projects. This strategy will build both national and international recognition amongst the scientific community, the general public, and funding agencies.

You can apply for this position here.

Postdoctoral Researchers 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has an open call for postdoctoral research fellows to help engineer photosynthesis for sustainable yield increases in both food and bioenergy crops under global change conditions. The IGB serves as a cross-disciplinary melting pot, enabling team scaling from bioengineering in silico and in vivo through physiological high-throughput phenotyping to field crop performance testing. 

Successful candidates will support several research efforts including:

Applicants must have obtained a Ph.D. (or equivalent) in the last 8 years in molecular biology, mathematical modeling of biological systems, plant physiology, crop sciences, or related fields. Commitment to make a difference and to work in a team is required. 

We are now accepting applications to fill at least seven vacancies but will consider adding positions to recruit more top talent to Illinois. Other labs with openings include Donald R. Ort and Carl J. Bernacchi. Submit your CV, Research Statement, and three references to ROGUE Project Manager Yun Li at To be given full consideration, applications must be received by April 13, 2020

Graduate Students

Dr. Long is not accepting graduate students currently.

Undergraduate Students

The Long Lab is currently accepting undergraduate research applications. Please contact a lab member who you are interested in working with or email the team. You can gain research experience through coursework in the School of Integrative Biology (IB 390, IB 490, PBIO 599, BIOL 599) or the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB 290, 492). You can also join the Environmental Fellows Program Capstone ProjectUndergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology (UMEB) program, or the TRIO McNair Scholars Program

Illinois Summer Fellows

Each year, we accept applications for students from the University of Oxford who are interested in living in Illinois and working alongside our top-notch team over the summer. Learn more about the Illinois Summer Fellowship. For more information, contact Josh Capili

2021 ISF Program COVID-19 Updates

The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has commenced and welcomes optimism for what our future holds. However, we must continue to be as diligent as ever in adhering to safety precautions. 

With this said, we are sad to announce that the ISF program for 2021 is canceled. We will not be accepting any ISF applications for this year, however, we look forward to when it is safer for everyone to meet together again. We hope that we can resume our program in 2022. More information for the 2022 ISF program is to come. 

Thank you in advance for your understanding as we work through this next phase of the pandemic.