Contract Postdoctoral Fellow, Cassava Molecular Breeder
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Postdoctoral Fellow, Cassava Molecular Breeder (Ref: DDG-R4D/PDF/CMB/ING/08/18)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the
internationally recruited postdoctoral fellow position of Cassava 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, we
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. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.
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, the
postdoctoral fellow 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 for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the Boyce
Thompson Institute, and USDA-ARS.
The Postdoctoral Fellow will undertake the following tasks:
• 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
• Participate in capacity development activities within IITA and with partners.
• Supervise and manage national staff and graduate students as needed.
• Participate in resource mobilization with cassava research teams.
• Publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.
• Stay current on relevant technical advances.
The candidate should have a Ph. D in plant or animal breeding or agronomy.
• 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.
• Strong record of innovation and process improvement in breeding.
• Strong understanding of management and utilization of large data sets.
• Experience working in a multicultural environment.
Duty station: IITA Headquarters, Ibadan, Nigeria.
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 of Human
Resources. Please complete our online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/careers
Closing Date: The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.