Research Assistant (Natural Sciences & Science Education Academic Group) [NTU-MSE-Facile Non-T]  

  • The National Institute of Education invites suitable applications for the position of Research Assistant on a 3-month contract which ends on 31st January 2019 at the Natural Sciences and Science Education Academic Group

    Project Title: Facile non-toxic formulation for smart water management for horticulture/agriculture application

    Project Introduction
    Soil water repellency reduces the affinity of soil to water such that the soil resists wetting for a period ranging from a few seconds to hours, days or weeks. When penetration is disrupted, water has a greater tendency to evaporate instead of entering the soil. This phenomenon is detrimental for plant growth. Without sufficient moisture, these terrains will dry out faster and need additional irrigation, while the runoff collects in lower areas, creating wet spots that contribute to soil compaction and encourage disease. In a tropical environment like Singapore, all these water losses become even more enhanced especially during periods of “drought”. Soil water repellency has substantial effects on the hydrological and geomorphological properties of soil. These include the reduced infiltration capacity of soils, enhanced overland flow and accelerated soil erosion, uneven wetting patterns, development of preferential flow and the accelerated leaching of agrichemicals.

    Our research will aim to make use of a chemical method (as this provides flexibility in formulation) to address this issue holistically. This is something missing in all the different approaches available so far. Consequently, for this issue of water repellency, we aim not only to enhance the wettability of soil, but also to retain the moisture content of soil for a period.  In this project, we would like to reduce the cost further and address the upscalability of the synthetic route. Also, we will be extending this formulation to various food crops and investigate whether there are any toxic metabolites and undesirable remnant chemicals.


  • Essential
     • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Biology related discipline
     • Good content knowledge in general 
     • Good botanical experiences
     • Strong interpersonal, written and verbal communication skills
     • Excellent organizational skills and work within deadlines
     • Prior experience in life science research
     • Able to work independently with minimum supervision
     • Familiar with skills in Plant Physiology and Molecular Biology


  •  • Carry out routine green house and lab works
     • Ensure reliable and on-time collection of data
     • Conduct independent research; perform literature and database searches
     • Manage research data; keep up-to-date research records
     • Contribute to the production of research reports and publications
     • Maintain the lab in good order; help in general lab preparation
     • Perform other tasks as required by Principal Investigator


  • Applicants should complete and submit the following item/s:

    • Application form for Research Positions
    • Cover letter explaining how you meet the requirements of this position
    • Supporting documents as stated on the job application form
    • Other documents to support your qualifications

    Please send your application to:

    Asst Prof Chen Zhong
    Natural Sciences and Science Education 
    National Institute of Education
    1 Nanyang Walk
    Singapore 637616
    Tel: (65) 6790 3846
    Fax: (65) 6896 9414

    **We regret that only shortlisted applicants will be notified**

  • 23 Oct 2018
  • NIE staff can take chartered buses at their own expense from or near their homes to the NIE campus. This is subject to availability of seats.