Elsoms Seeds Ltd is the leading independent plant breeding and seed company based in the UK. We seek to appoint a phytopathologist to work at our head office site in Spalding, Lincolnshire. The job holder will work as part of Elsoms' Research and Development team. The key objective of the role is to work closely with our plant breeders to develop new vegetable crop varieties with outstanding disease resistance.

The successful applicant for this exciting challenge will have significant experience of and appropriate qualifications in plant pathology, or a closely related discipline. They will work on a wide variety of diseases and crop types and will develop novel methods to identify, test-for, inoculate and culture disease-causing organisms. They will also interact with the research community and our customers to identify new and emerging diseases. The appointee must have a positive and enthusiastic approach to their work. They must also be innovative, a team player, a problem solver and a good communicator. They will be expected to have a high level of computer literacy and be prepared for occasional travel in the UK and Europe. Training will be provided where necessary.

Key responsibilities:

  • Set up trials for disease resistance screening for relevant diseases in all crops, in accordance with the needs of the breeding team.
  • Source, isolate, maintain and multiply pathogens
  • Management of phytopathology resources (keeping disease culture collection organised and viable)
  • Maintain a clean, safe working environment and follow safe working practices
  • Carry out seed disease testing according to laboratory protocols
  • Keep procedures and protocols up to date, help develop new testing protocols, and maintain accurate laboratory records.
  • Liaise with researchers and institutes to further develop our knowledge and improve on existing practices
  • Highlight current and potential threats to key crops from pathological organisms and make recommendations for action
  • Takes responsibility for biosecurity at Elsoms sites
  • Assist with feedback and advice to customers
  • Attend regular meetings to discuss workload and identify and resolve problems
  • Actively contribute to the departmental strategy and support other departmental managers


  • Degree in Biological Science or equivalent by experience
  • GLP training/COSHH is desirable


  • Experience working in plant pathology
  • Experience working in agriculture or horticulture
  • Experience collaborating with external research organisations
  • Good attention to details
  • Computer literate, good numeracy and literacy skills
  • Able to communicate appropriately with team members and internal and external customers
  • Planning and organising skills (self and team)
  • Ability to handle routine tasks and procedures
  • Collaboration skills but equally capable of working alone
  • Ability to remain calm and focused when working under pressure

Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Benefits include a contributory pension scheme and life insurance. 

Please apply in the strictest confidence to Gwen Marshall, Elsoms Seeds Ltd., Pinchbeck Road, Spalding, PE11 1QG.

Tel: 01775 715012 or email on