The 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 secure future.
We are recruiting to fill the position below:
Job Title: Associate Scientist, Cassava Breeder
Location: Ibadan, Oyo
Contract Type: 3-year renewable contract
- The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Associate Scientist, Cassava Breeder.
- IITA seeks a highly motivated individual to work on cassava breeding using genomic selection within the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project. The primary activities include phenotypic and genotypic characterization of germplasm populations, describing genetic architecture of breeding traits and implementation of genomic selection and marker-assisted selection. Other opportunities are exploration of a large repository of genomic and phenotype cassava data (www.cassavabase.org) produced in the first phase of the project.
- The Next Generation Cassava Breeding (www.nextgencassava.org) project aims to significantly increase the rate of genetic gain in cassava breeding and unlock the full potential of cassava, a staple crop central to food security and livelihoods across Africa. The project implements Genomic Selection to accelerate breeding cycles to develop high yielding, climate resilient, higher pest and disease resistant varieties that meet farmer and consumer demands.
- As part of the NextGen project, you will get broad exposure and work closely with a global genomics and breeding community, including Cornell University, National Root Crops Research Institute in Nigeria, the National Crops Resources Research Institute in Uganda, Tanzania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries, the International Center of Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Boyce Thompson Institute, and USDA-ARS.
- Mentor young breeders in the region on modernization of cassava breeding programs.
- Publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.
- Stay current on relevant technical advances.
- Supervise PhD and MSc students with international universities.
- Develop improved cassava lines by working at the interphase between field breeding, genomic selection and marker assisted selection.
- Implement multi-environment field trials to evaluate performance of new populations and make advancement decisions to support the breeding pipeline.
- Carry out routine single and multi-environment mixed-model analysis of field trial data.
- Carry out population genetic analyses to describe germplasm collections using genome-wide SNP markers.
- Develop and validate new phenotyping platforms for end-user preferences cassava breeding (e.g. NIRS).
- This position will involve extensive travels within Nigeria and Africa to co-coordinate with the Project Leader, a cassava breeding community of practice in the national programs of DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi and Cote d’Ivoire.
- Provide technical backstopping in data analytical developments and process improvement for national partner programs in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania
- Participate in resource mobilization with cassava research teams.
- The candidate should have a PhD degree in Plant or Animal Breeding or Agronomy with cognate experience of at least 5 years.
- Strong record of innovation and process improvement in breeding.
- Strong understanding of management and utilization of large data sets.
- Fluency in English is required, and a working knowledge of French is a strong advantage.
- Strong background in breeding, quantitative genetics, statistics, and molecular technologies.
- Highly self-motivated, detail-oriented, and innovative.
- Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
- Good project management skills.
- Demonstrated experience with statistical programming in R.
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 U.S. Dollars.
How To Apply
Interested applicants should complete the online application attaching detailed cover letter and curriculum vitae saved with their names in Microsoft word format, The application must include the names and e-mail addresses of three professional referees which must include the applicant’s current or previous direct Supervisor, professional colleague and evidence of current remuneration package.
Click here to apply
Application Deadline 20th June, 2019.
Note: IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from female candidates.