International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the
world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger,
malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development
(R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries.
IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity,
reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from
agriculture. IITA is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 in
Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following
crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is
a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food
IITA invites applications for the internationally recruited position below:
Job Title: Project Leader
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
- IITA seeks a highly motivated and qualified individual with
experience in leading interdisciplinary and international projects to
serve as ‘Project Leader’ for a project on ‘Enhancing Yam Breeding for
Increased Productivity and Improved Quality in West Africa (AfricaYam)’
supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Project
activities involve collaborative research between IITA and the national
yam programs of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria; the Japan
International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and
the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center (IBRC) in Japan; the James
Hutton Institute (JHI), UK; the Centre de Coopération Internationale en
Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), France; and the
Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI), Cornell University,
- The successful candidate will oversee and coordinate project
activities to ensure that outputs are delivered on time, within budget,
and meet quality assurance standards according to an agreed results
framework and results tracker.
- He/she will be assisted in execution of these tasks by a Project Administrator and a Project Assistant.
- The Project Manager will report to the Regional Director for
Western Africa and the Director in charge of Biotechnology and Crop
- This project is focused on breeding superior yam varieties for
high yield, good quality and resistance to diseases (anthracnose and yam
mosaic virus). It also includes regional testing of promising breeding
selections; phenotyping bi-parental populations, mapping and genome-wide
association studies for key agronomic and quality traits; generation of
genomic tools for genotyping populations, genome-wide association
studies, and testing the feasibility of genomic selection; constructing
and using a ‘open access’ database for curation and integration of yam
research data; and capacity building.
- Coordinate an inter-disciplinary, international and culturally
diverse project team; manage financial assets and ensure implementation
of AfricaYam as per the project results framework and results tracker.
- Facilitate the operations of the project’s Technical Advisory Committee.
- Coordinate organization of project events, including training/technical workshops and annual planning and review meetings.
- Support relevant partners in project execution, management and
sharing of information and knowledge, and effective stakeholder
- Ensure effective communication within the project team, identify shortfalls and devise contingency plans.
- Represent the project to external stakeholders at scientific and other regional meetings.
- Apply best practices and tools for project management, including
budgeting, procurements, data management, troubleshooting, as well as
high quality monitoring and evaluation (M&E) with support from
IITA’s M&E officer.
- Manage contracts between IITA and project partners and ensure synergy between project partners.
- Coordinate the required technical and financial reporting to the
donor in consultation with project members, IITA’s Project
Administration Office and the Finance Directorate.
- The candidate should have a PhD degree in Plant or Agricultural
Sciences or other relevant discipline from a recognized university.
- At least 10 years of post-PhD experience.
- Experience in managing multidisciplinary and international
projects and demonstrated skills in team building and creation of
synergies between project partners and activities.
- Experience in working with a wide range of partners, including national and international research.
The contract will be for an initial period of three years with
possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funding.
IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should forward their Application
including Covering letter which should address how the candidate’s
background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position
applied for, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three professional
referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current
or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at
his/her present or former place of work).
- IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
- Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Application Deadline 30th June, 2016.