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Crop Molecular Breeder

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Last Date: July 26, 2010
Email: (Reference:


Vacancy Number: CMB/BecA/05/10

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks to recruit a Crop Molecular Breeder whose focus will be the development and/or validation and application of marker-assisted germplasm enhancement with a focus on major constraints of importance in African agriculture.

Department: Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA – Hub)

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Duration: 3 years

The Africa-based, globally networked International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) helps reduce poverty, hunger and environmental degradation by enhancing animal agriculture in developing countries. ILRI positions its work at the dynamic interface of poverty alleviation and sustainable livestock livelihoods. Our staff works in partnerships and alliances with hundreds of organisations in developed and developing countries, including some of the finest universities and research institutions in the world. ILRI also manages Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA)-ILRI Hub, a new centre for excellence in modern plant and animal biology in Africa. It consists of a Hub based on the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya and a network of regional nodes and other affiliated laboratories and organizations throughout the region. The BecA-ILRI Hub facilitates, hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in science offer promise to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s development. Capacity building is a major goal of all activities. The scope covers agriculture and food security and their intersections with human health and nutrition, and the sustainable use of Africa’s natural resources. Further information is available at

The BecA-ILRI Hub seeks to recruit a Crop Molecular Breeder whose focus will be the development and/or validation and application of marker-assisted germplasm enhancement with a focus on major constraints of importance in African agriculture. This includes genetic mapping, marker validation, MAS implementation using high-throughput genotyping systems plus training and technical backstopping of NARS partners in the region. This is an international appointment reporting to the BecA-ILRI Hub Director.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications will include:

  • Ph.D. degree in plant genetics, molecular biology and/or plant breeding
  • Familiarity with large-scale germplasm collections and field breeding programs and a strong background in quantitative genetics
  • Experience in high throughput genotyping system
  • Knowledge of SSR, SNP and gene-based marker development, validation and application
  • Application of MAS in plant breeding
  • Interest in international agricultural research and development
  • Ability to work well as part of multidisciplinary teams
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English language

Experience in any of the following areas will be considered an asset:

  • Knowledge of component trait analysis
  • Molecular breeding simulation and decision support tools
  • Double haploid and other rapid crop improvement technologies
  • Applying biotechnologies in developing countries
  • Quantitative phenotyping of a range of agronomic traits
  • Biometric and bioinformatics analyses

Terms of appointment: This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus and is on initial 3-year contract renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars. Salary and benefits will be in line with those provided within ILRI’s IRS scheme.

Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and indicating earliest availability, detailed CV, names and contact details (Telephone, E-mail) of three professional referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experienceto e-mail: Screening of applications will commence on 26th July 2010 until the position is filled.

The position title and reference number “CROP MOLECULAR BREEDER-CMB/BecA/05/10” should be clearly indicated on the subject line of the email application. We regret but only online applications will be considered and only short listed candidates will be contacted.

To find more about ILRI and the BecA-ILRI Hub, visit our websites at and

ILRI is an equal opportunities employer. Qualified candidates from African countries, particularly women, are encouraged to apply.

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