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Canadian Society of Microbiologists Untitled 1

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WHAT'S NEW  ::  Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

July 22, 2022
Two Positions: MSc student- Food & Environmental Microbiology - Research Affiliate Program

Employer: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science and Technology Branch
Location: Agassiz, British Columbia
Closing Date: September 28, 2022

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Job Description

 Closing date extended to: 8 August 2022 - 23:59, Pacific Time 

The students will work on one of two interdepartmental projects which aim to mitigate antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Canadian agriculture. Project 1- Will assess the occurrence and antibiotic resistance patterns of several pathogenic bacterial species in wild birds, in British Columbia and assess the risk of transmission to organic poultry. Project 2- Will identify associations in resistance traits between bacterial isolates from dairy production systems, aquatic environments and the community within the same geographic location and timeframe in order to determine points for resistance mitigation.

Specific duties may include:

  • Collection of fecal and environmental (wildlife, soil, water, etc.) samples from poultry and dairy operations throughout the Fraser Valley.
  • Preparation of microbiological culture media and reagents.
  • Isolation and identification of bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, etc. as well as other Enterobacteriaceae
  • Characterization of bacterial isolates phenotypically by conducting antimicrobial susceptibility testing and genotypically using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS).
  • Preparation of reports and manuscripts for publication.
  • other duties related to those above.
Work environment
The Food Microbiomics program at the Agassiz Research & Development Centre was established in 2020 and is led by Dr. Rhiannon Wallace. Her research focuses on controlling foodborne pathogens and understanding the transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) between communities along the farm-fork-clinic continuum. The Agassiz Research and Development Centre is one of 20 research centres in Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s national network. The 310 hectare research facility is located in the eastern end of the highly productive Fraser Valley in the town of Agassiz. Under the supervision of Dr. Wallace, the student will work closely with a full-time Food Microbiology Research Technician at the Agassiz Research & Development Centre in a Containment Level 2 Microbiology Laboratory. The student will be working with human pathogens, so they must be willing to complete additional training and adhere to biosafety protocols. The student may also have opportunities to train, mentor and supervise undergraduate students. Work in the field, the laboratory, and at the computer can be expected.

Applicants will need to reside near Agassiz RDC to access labs, fields and facilities during the work period.
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

AAFC is committed to diversity and inclusion and is proud to be recognized as one of Canada’s best diversity employers. We welcome all applicants and strongly encourage candidates to self-declare if they belong to an Employment Equity designated group (i.e. Aboriginal Peoples, Persons with Disabilities, Visible Minorities or Women).

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).

Application Instructions

The projected start date is May 01, 2023 with an end date of August 31, 2025 (or depending on the candidate's availability or needs). It is expected that the student will work 16 hours per week.

$22.71 to $28.57 per hour (Varies as per level of education and experience.)

For further information on the organization, please visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

For further information on the Research Affiliate Program (RAP), please visit: Jobs.gc.ca

Closing date extended to: 8 August 2022 - 23:59, Pacific Time

Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada and Canadian citizens residing abroad and students abroad that meet the eligibility criteria of the RAP program.

To be considered for Research Affiliate Program (RAP) work opportunities, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be recognized as having full-time student status by the Canadian post-secondary academic institution at which you are currently enrolled, pending approval of acceptance, or in the process of submitting your application. (Proof of enrollment will be required prior to start date)
  • Be the minimum age to work in the province or territory where the job is located.

Apply online 

Information you must provide

  • Your résumé.
  • Contact information for 2 references.
  • A list of the courses you have taken as well as any courses that you are taking now, or that you will be taking this academic year

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


Currently enrolled or will be enrolled by the date of appointment in a MSc program in a recognize post-secondary academic institution with specialization in: in Food Science, Food Safety, Microbiology or a related field.

Note: If the successful applicant is not currently enrolled in the MSc program, they must enroll by the date of appointment.

Degree equivalency


Experience* in conducting scientific research
Experience* in basic microbiological and molecular biological techniques
*In the context of student recruitment in the Federal Public Service, the experience can be acquired through the studies, work experience, or volunteer activities.

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

Information on language requirements

Knowledge of experimental design and statistics.
Knowledge of the theories and techniques of microbiology and molecular biology as it relates to food safety.

Good interpersonal skills

Ability to plan, design and conduct scientific research.
Ability to conduct basic data analysis, statistical analysis and summarize results.
Ability to communicate well orally and in writing.

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

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

Conditions of employment

Reliability Status security clearance - Each student hired through the Research Affiliate Program (RAP) must meet the security requirements of the position as a condition of employment, and therefore will be asked by the hiring organization to complete security-relevant documents.

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

Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through https://www.canada.ca/en/services/jobs/opportunities/government.html

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

Candidates will be required to pay for their own travel related to assessment and successful candidates will be responsible for obtaining their own living accommodations.

Successful completion of both a RAP work assignment and your educational program may lead to a temporary or permanent federal public service position for which you meet the merit criteria and conditions of employment.


Preference will be given to Canadian citizens.

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

Contact information

RAP Team – Research Affiliate Program

Application Contacts

RAP Team – Research Affiliate Program


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CSM-SCM Secretariat
17 Dossetter Way
Ottawa, ON K1G 4S3

Tel: (613) 421-7229

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