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Field Trials Officers

Feb. 12, 2019, 1:29 p.m.

Field trials officers are responsible for designing, conducting and monitoring the effects of experiments/trials on animals and plants in the field, glasshouses and laboratories.

Information from trials may be required to ascertain product safety, to enhance marketing/sales information or to develop new uses for products. Primary responsibilities include:

  • setting research aims and objectives

  • liaising with clients, research personnel and technical development staff

  • producing project plans and budgets

  • collecting, recording, analysing and interpreting data

  • observing field conditions

  • following strict test guidelines

  • assessing the prevalence of diseases and/or pests

  • considering selections for breeding purposes

  • communicating unfavourable results from tests, including trials failures

  • writing technical publications and reports

  • keeping up to date with current developments

  • making presentations

  • attending trade shows and demonstrations

  • using specialist computer applications for recording and analysing data.

 

Qualifications and training required

 

A good degree in biological sciences, biotechnology, botany, genetics, agriculture, horticulture or crop/plant science is normally the minimum academic requirement for entry into the profession. Agricultural/field trials/plant breeding work experience is particularly beneficial and essential for any candidates without an agricultural-related degree. Relevant experience can be gained via work shadowing, vacation work and placements.

 

Key skills for field trials officers

 

Employers look for evidence of independence, patience and good communication, technical and analytical skills. A full driving licence is also normally required.

 

Typical employers

 

  • Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS)

  • National Institute of Agricultural Botany

  • Commercial agrochemical, pharmaceutical and animal health companies

  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

  • The James Hutton Institute

 



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