Deadline: Application is on-going
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the
internationally recruited position of Associate Scientist, Molecular Breeder.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates
agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty,
and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, they
improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural
resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food
secure future.
IITA seeks a highly motivated individual to work as Associate Scientist -Molecular Breeder in the ongoing project ‘Enhancing yam breeding for increased productivity and improved quality in West Africa (AfricaYam)’.
The project team is working towards a vision to increase yam productivity whilst reducing production costs and environmental impact by developing and deploying varieties with higher yield, greater resistance to pests and diseases and improved tuber quality. Led by IITA, the project involves a network of research organizations in the four main producer countries of the yam belt
of West Africa: the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the Ebonyi State
University (EBSU) in Nigeria; two research institutes under the Council for Scientific and Industrial
Research (CSIR) in Ghana (the Crops Research Institute and the Savanna Agricultural Research
Institute); le Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Côte d’Ivoire; and l’Universitéd’Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Dassa Center, Benin. Partners outside West Africa are: the
Centre de Coopération Internationale en RechercheAgronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), France; the Iwate Biotechnolgy Research Center (IBRC), Japan; the James Hutton Institute (JHI), UK; Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Japan; and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI), Cornell University, USA.
Position Responsibilities
•Contribute to genomic resource development and deployment for germplasm enhancement of
yam and work with the breeder to identify priority target traits, develop breeding approaches, and
implement efficient and cost effective molecular tools for the project.
•Utilize existing and novel markers and genotyping systems to develop and validate functional
•Develop suitable marker-trait association approaches including QTL mapping, genome-wide
association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection for relevant traits in existing and newly developed populations.
•Collaborate with breeders and scientists in related disciplines to develop and implement improved
phenotyping protocols.
•Establish collaboration with advanced labs in the areas of gene/marker discovery and trait capture
techniques with the aim of deploying comparative and functional genomics approaches to
enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of yam breeding.
•Develop strategies to translate information from sequencing and genotyping systems and the
corresponding data management and analysis methods to enhance yam improvement.
•Supervise and manage national staff and graduate students as needed.
•Participate in resource mobilization with yam research teams.
•Publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.
•Participate actively in project review and planning meetings and in reporting on progress.
•Perform any other activities as may be assigned.
Educational Qualifications
The candidate should have a PhD in genetics, molecular biology, plant breeding, or related fields.
Core Competencies:
•At least 2 years of post-PhD experience in a crop breeding program.
•Knowledge and experience in plant genetics, genomics, breeding, and bioinformatics.
•Ability to integrate high quality phenotyping with genotyping.
•Experience with project activity implementation and monitoring.
•Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
•Excellent spoken and written English. Fluency in French will be an asset.
•Demonstrated ability to publish articles in peer reviewed international journals.
•Ability to work as a member of a team.
Duty station
: IITA Headquarters, Ibadan, Nigeria
.General information: The contract will be for an initial period of two years with possibility of
renewal based on performance and availability of funding. IITA offers internationally competitive
remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.
Applications must include 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). The application should be addressed to the Head, Human Resources Service.
Application is open till a suitable candidate is found.
Visit webpage for more information here.
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