JRF position at IISER Kolkata

Junior Research Fellow (JRF) position at IISER Kolkata – Apply Now

Applications are invited for one Junior Research Fellow (JRF) at IISER Kolkata for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research in Madhya Pradesh

We require one Junior Research Fellow immediately for a project on ‘Monitoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Ecosystem Enhancement under the Green India Mission’, funded by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.

The JRF will carry out field research and analysis on Plant Diversity and Ecosystem Services for 11 Forest Divisions of Madhya Pradesh. The JRF will be based at IISER Kolkata but will dedicate extensive time on fieldwork in the forests of Madhya Pradesh, followed by landscape ecological analyses at IISER Kolkata.

Title of Project : Monitoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for Ecosystem Enhancement under the Green India Mission: Phase 2

Number of positions available : 1

Funding Agency: Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board, Bhopal,

Project PI : Dr Robert John Chandran, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, IISER Kolkata

Essential Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in Botany/ Forestry/ Environmental Sciences/ Ecology/ Life Sciences with a strong knowledge and orientation in plant ecology or field taxonomy.
  • A minimum of one year of field research experience (excluding MSc/MTech dissertation) in ecology or biodiversity is highly desirable.
  • The ability for field taxonomy of plants and field work will be critical for the implementation of this project and therefore, so these qualities are deemed most important.

Desirable Qualifications : Experience in field ecological research over multiple years in multiple sites is desirable. Applicants who have qualified CSIR/UGC NET-LS and/or GATE will be preferred.

Duration and Salary:

  • The employment will be for a period of 12 months.
  • The selected candidates will be paid Rs. 31,000 monthly (consolidated).
  • The travel, accommodation, and food costs during fieldwork will be borne by the project.

Age limit:

  • Not more than 32 years on the last date of application. Age relaxation will be as per GOI rules.
  • Relaxation in age may be considered in case of exceptionally meritorious candidates.

How to Apply : Interested candidates are requested to send by email a detailed CV, which includes a clear statement of suitability for the position, along with scanned mark sheets, certificates, and proof of work experience. The email address [email protected]. Include the subject line “Plant Biodiversity JRF”

Last date and time for receiving applications : 20th September 2023, 11:59 pm

Interview :

  • Shortlisted candidates will first be called for an online interaction with the project proponents for initial screening after which the candidates will be further shortlisted for a formal interview.
  • The shortlisted candidates will receive a call letter mentioning the time and date of the interview/interaction via email.
  • The formal interview will be conducted online or on site at IISER Kolkata campus, depending on preference of the candidate.
  • No TA/DA will be provided to the candidate for the interview.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Selected candidates are expected to undertake exhaustive fieldwork for several months at a stretch.
  • The project is ongoing and the selected candidates are expected to join immediately after selection.
  • All posts are purely temporary and contractual in nature.
  • The number of candidates to be shortlisted will be decided on the basis of the applications received. Mere fulfilment of the eligibility criteria does not guarantee a call for an interview.
  • The appointment of the candidate will be governed by the terms and conditions of the said project of the funding agency.

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Here are some potential interview questions and answers for the Junior Research Fellow (JRF) position at IISER Kolkata:

1. Can you briefly describe your educational background and research experience, especially in the field of plant ecology or biodiversity?

Answer: I hold a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences, and my academic background has provided me with a solid foundation in ecology and biodiversity. I have also completed coursework related to plant ecology during my studies. In addition to my academic qualifications, I have gained valuable research experience during my previous fieldwork and projects, which included biodiversity assessments and ecological research in various ecosystems.

2. This role involves extensive fieldwork in the forests of Madhya Pradesh. Can you tell us about your previous field research experiences and how they have prepared you for this challenging aspect of the job?

Answer: I have over a year of field research experience, which involved conducting ecological surveys, biodiversity assessments, and plant taxonomy work in different ecosystems. These experiences have equipped me with the skills necessary for fieldwork, such as data collection, specimen identification, and the ability to work effectively in diverse field conditions. I am confident in my ability to handle the challenges associated with fieldwork in Madhya Pradesh’s forests.

3. The project emphasizes the importance of field taxonomy of plants. Can you provide examples of your previous work in plant taxonomy and how it contributes to your suitability for this role?

Answer: During my previous research projects, I conducted plant taxonomy work to identify and classify plant species. I have experience in using taxonomic keys, herbarium techniques, and specimen collection. This background in plant taxonomy is directly relevant to the project’s goals, as it will enable me to accurately assess and document plant diversity in the Madhya Pradesh forests.

4. The project mentions landscape ecological analyses. Can you explain your familiarity with such analyses and any tools or software you have used for this purpose?

Answer: I have experience in conducting landscape ecological analyses during my academic coursework and previous research projects. I have used geographic information systems (GIS) and software like ArcGIS to analyze landscape patterns and ecological processes. These tools have allowed me to assess habitat fragmentation, connectivity, and other landscape-level factors. I am prepared to apply these skills to analyze the data collected during the fieldwork for this project.

5. The position requires an ability to work independently in challenging field conditions. Can you provide an example of a situation where you demonstrated strong initiative and problem-solving skills during your fieldwork?

Answer: During one of my previous field research projects, I encountered unexpected challenges related to data collection due to adverse weather conditions. To overcome this, I adapted my sampling strategy, collaborated closely with my team, and extended the fieldwork period to ensure comprehensive data collection. This experience taught me the importance of adaptability and problem-solving in field research, skills that will be valuable in this role.

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