Institution Name: 
Massey University
Type of institution: 
Contact person: 
W McNabb
- -
New Zealand
Contact email: 
Job description: 

The Riddet Institute is a world-best research centre in food and nutritional sciences, providing fundamental scientific understanding and training for a new generation of science leaders. The Institute integrates partner organisations (Massey University (host), Auckland and Otago Universities, AgResearch and Plant & Food Research) and disciplines, leading a “NZ Inc” approach to food research, and generates knowledge and capability that transforms the New Zealand food industry.

We are seeking high-achieving researchers to undertake postdoctoral research projects as part of the Riddet Institute CoRE programme. This specific project is broadly in digestive physiology and nutrient uptake kinetics. The Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Officer will form part of a multidisciplinary team in nutrition, digestive physiology and the kinetics of nutrient uptake from food by the human body.

Main supervisor: Professor Warren McNabb, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Other Supervisors: Professor Paul Moughan, Riddet Institute, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

The Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Officer will form part of a multidisciplinary team in nutrition, digestive physiology and the kinetics of nutrient uptake from food by the human body.

The essence of this project is to develop new understanding of the complex interactions between the structural aspects of the components of food, proteins, fats, carbohydrates etc. on their digestion. This will include the additional complexity of considering different foods when consumed as a meal. The focus of the project is to assess the effect of interactions on gut physio-chemistry, digestion and absorption kinetics.

Techniques such as isotopic labelling, in vitro/ex vivo digestion and fermentation models, a gut-cannulated, blood-vessel-catheterised pig model and human nutritional trials will be used to study the effects of dietary components on stomach and intestinal digesta properties, transit times, nutrient uptake, the kinetics of nutrient uptake, endogenous protein flows, digesta mucin production, enzyme activities, plasma metabolites and satiety-related plasma hormones.

The successful candidate will have completed a PhD in nutrition, digestive physiology or related disciplines with preference given to someone with expertise in digestive physiology and the kinetics of nutrient uptake.

The salary will depend on experience but will be in the range for Postdoctoral Fellows at Massey University, with appointment for a term of two years.

Applicants please send your CV including a statement of your research interests and goals and at least two referees, plus your university transcripts when uploading your application to the following website:

Email enquiries regarding the position can be sent to

Applicants must hold a PhD in a suitable discipline and demonstrated experience of previous postgraduate research relevant to one of these three topics.

Please refer to the specifics of the individual projects and their requirements in the "information for applicants" as you must clearly specify the project you are applying for and describe why you are the best candidate for the appointment.

Email enquiries regarding the positions can be sent to

Purpose statement

The Postdoctoral/Research Officer position is dedicated to the Riddet Institute CoRE research programme and specifically to a project on the effects of dietary components on digestion and nutrient uptake kinetics. The programme is funded by Riddet Institute CoRE research programme.

The roles and responsibilities of the Fellowship relate to the project objectives, and the Fellow will also be expected to contribute to the scholarly and collegial endeavours of the Riddet Institute. Responsible to Project Lead Supervisor

Key accountabilities

The performance of the postdoctoral scientist will be assessed by the line manager in the following key result areas:

Research Strategy and Delivery
• Contributes and develops high quality research plans, outputs and achievement of project milestones relevant to structuring foods for optimal functionality and health within budget.
• Contributes to funding applications in the area of food structures and properties that attract significant revenue and offer solutions to existing and new customers.
• Contributes to work that provides solutions to complex/unique problems and results in the generation of new knowledge, IP, patents, policy and products.
• In collaboration with staff across the Riddet Institute, identifies new opportunities for delivering food solutions that will grow the NZ economy and which advance scientific knowledge and theory.
• Displays a collaborative work ethic, including a team approach that draws on knowledge and capability from across the Centre of Research Excellence to deliver best outcomes.
• Where needed, to undertake specialist training and/or carry out research projects in the area of digestion and nutrient uptake kinetics in overseas laboratories.

Scientific Excellence
• Consistently delivers high quality, relevant research through publication in appropriate international journals.
• Provides mentoring and coaching to postgraduate students (where relevant) to enhance the development of capabilities in food structures and food functionality.
• Contributes to the advancement of scientific knowledge by presenting at conferences, serving on journal review panels, chairing conference sessions etc.
• Maintains an active involvement in the wider food and nutrition research communities which extends, protects and promotes personal and Riddet Institute recognition both nationally and internationally.

Other Projects and Health and Safety
• Undertakes other reasonable duties as and when required
• Ensures legislative compliance, (e.g., Department of Labour, HSNO, EPA Animal and Human Ethics) and appropriate data security.
• Complies with health and safety policies as set by Massey University and legislature and at all times, makes safety of themselves and others in the workplace the priority.

Required Knowledge: 


PhD in the required related disciplines


• Demonstrated experience in research related to nutrition, digestive physiological, nutrient kinetics or related areas.
• A proven track record of publications in high-quality international journals.
• Uses “best” scientific methodology for all research, including literature searching, hypothesis-based experimental design and statistical analysis, and follows rigorous documentation procedures for all research. Has a good understanding of intellectual property and experience with “big data”.
Personal attributes and behaviours

• Takes responsibility for effective and timely completion of own work.
• Creative thinker, inquisitive, is able to visualize and describe innovative ideas and solutions.
• Is able to interpret, evaluate and analyse data, information and processes to support outcomes and make feasible proposals or recommendations.
• Works co-operatively with other team members to meet collective goals or performance milestones.
• Understands limits of own authority and knows when to consult or inform others.
• Works effectively with a wide range of people.
• Sets and models a culture that leverages differences and supports diversity.
• Communicates clearly and concisely.
• Proactively works to build and maintain internal and external relationships and networks to share knowledge and achieve goals.
• Demonstrated ability to write technical reports and research papers.
• Behaves in a fair, honest, consistent and ethical manner
• Challenges unacceptable, unethical behaviour.
• Honours work commitments.
• Respects confidentiality.

Expiration date: 
Sunday, 26. November 2017
Required Language(s):