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Technician - Grow It York

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University of York
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
26,341 - 27,924 a year (reduced pro-rata)
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Role Description


Technician – Grow It York


The role will be based at Grow It York in Spark*York (Piccadilly, YO1 9PB). You will be a member of the Department of Biology, which is one of the UK's leading Biology departments, and we are renowned internationally for our research. This is combined with a commitment to teaching and outstanding student satisfaction, and we have been recognised consistently for our family-friendly policies and are proud of our Athena SWAN Gold Award. We aim to ensure that there is a supportive culture across all staff groups and levels. We promote good practice and a strong culture of equality in higher education. Further information can be found on our website ( We want to recruit the best people for our roles, and there is some flexibility on how the 0.4FTE of this role is split across the days of the week. Please indicate in your application your flexible working preferences (e.g. days/hours).



We are looking for a Research Technician to play a key role in running Grow It York – an urban vertical farm which is part of a multi-university project called FixOurFood. FixOurFood aims to co-create a regenerative food system for Yorkshire – a food system that delivers healthy people and a healthy planet. FixOurFood is unique in that we are working on a set of real-life action-orientated interventions and one of the interventions is the urban vertical farm, Grow It York, hosted at Spark:York. This technical position will run the indoor vertical farm and assist with research into its environmental and social impacts. We are interested in how the farm can lead to environmental benefits for local food businesses, how it could enhance consumption of leafy vegetables in the local area, and have positive social benefits for individuals and communities. You will work within a multidisciplinary team under the supervision of Dr Alana Kluczkovski and Prof Katherine Denby. 


The main duties and responsibilities of this role will be:

  • To provide technical and scientific support to Grow It York. This will involve all aspects of running the vertical farm including: growing plants; cleaning and maintenance of the farm equipment; harvesting and packaging produce; record keeping; liaison with food businesses and community food hubs; management and ordering of supplies. You will work under your own initiative as well as part of a wider team.
  • To maintain accurate records of work undertaken and communicate results via reports or presentations.
  • To understand, promote and apply COSHH/Risk Assessment, departmental health and safety protocols, and UK food safety and hygiene standards ensuring procedures are followed at all times.


Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • Degree or equivalent in biological sciences or appropriate experience
  • Knowledge of plant biology and ability to implement a range of practical techniques used in plant science
  • Experience of growing plants and maintaining high standards of plant health
  • Ability to perform complex technical tasks to a consistently high standard with attention to detail, and to keep detailed records of activities and use these to improve procedures
  • In depth knowledge of relevant safety regulations and procedures for example, COSHH and risk assessment, and good microbiological practice
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to maintain a positive, open attitude toward others, to value and support colleagues

Interview date:  January 19th 2022

For informal enquiries: please contact Prof. Katherine Denby on


The University strives to be diverse and inclusive  – a place where we can ALL be ourselves.

We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic background, who are underrepresented at the University. 

We offer family friendly, flexible working arrangements, with forums and inclusive facilities to support our staff. #EqualityatYork

Athena Gold 2017 




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