APPLY: Latest Recruitment at IITA – International Institute of Tropical Agriculture


IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture) is guided by an ambitious strategy–to lift 11.5 million people out of poverty and revitalize 7.5 million hectares of farmland by 2020. We are a nonprofit organization founded in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported by several countries.

As one of 15 research centers in the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food secure future, IITA is engaged in several CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). Our mission is to enhance food security and improve livelihoods in Africa through research for development (R4D).

Applications are invited from interested and qualified candidates to apply for the latest recruitment at IITA.

Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops

Job Specifications:

Job Description:

  • Plant and animal genetic resources are the foundation for sustainable agriculture and global food security.
  • Genetic diversity enables plants to adapt to new pests and diseases as well as to threats from climate change, drought, soil erosion, and more.
  • Today, we are losing genetic resources at an unprecedented rate, while the world’s capacity to maintain food security decreases.
  • Agricultural sustainability is dependent on a strong conservation component.
  • IITA’s conservation activities started in the mid-seventies with the establishment of a genebank.
  • Depending on the species, collections are either stored in the field, seed, or in vitro genebanks.
  • IITA’s genebank holds the plant material (germplasm) of major food crops of Africa.
  • This germplasm is held in trust on behalf of humanity under the auspices of the United Nations. It is distributed without restriction for use in research for food and agriculture.
  • At the same time, there is a need for research and innovation to enhance conservation efficiencies for both seed and clonal crops.
  • The facilitation of germplasm uses by CGIAR breeding programs and others is also important, for example with respect to traits important for climate change and nutrition.

Position Responsibilities

  • Develop and lead a program of research to address the major constraints in the conservation and use of genetic resources of clonally propagated crops. Particularly:
    • Research on and implementation of IITA clonal crop (cassava and yam) cryopreservation and establishment of IITA cryobank.
    • Studies on key aspects of the biology of clonally propagated crops, especially regarding their response to tissue culture and the provision of clean planting materials.
    • Facilitate and ensure the use of the genebank accessions by breeding programs for genetic improvement.
    • Put in place a quality management system (QMS) up to international standards.
    • Publication in peer-review (Thompson) and high-impact and open-access journals.
    • Development of strong scientific collaborations inside and beyond ITA.
    • Resource mobilization.
  • Operational management of the in vitro and cryopreservation activities of the Genetic Resources Centre (GRC) toward meeting performance targets.
  • Training and capacity building of IITA staff and national partners in Africa and globally, including promotion of PGR use and technology transfer to partners.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • The candidate should have a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Plant Biology and Physiology, Genetics, Conservation Biology, or related fields from a highly recognized university.

Core Competencies:

  • Minimum of five years experience in either an advanced research institute or Commercial mass propagation company.
  • Expertise in plant biology and physiology, plant biotechnology including micropropagation and transformation.
  • Knowledge of molecular biology, conservation, cell biology, botanic, seed biology, or other related sciences is an asset.
  • Experience in a multidisciplinary research organization and cross-cultural environment, preferably in a not-for-profit organization.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are essential. French is highly desirable.
  • Excellent leadership and people management skills, with Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion (GDI) awareness and understanding.
  • Highly effective planning, organizational, and multi‐tasking skills with a positive attitude and strong administrative service orientation.

IITA offers an internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US Dollars.

Method of Application

Qualified and interested candidate should Apply by Clicking the Button below.


Deadline: Not Specified


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