• Jobs at International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

  • Posted on: 17 November, 2014 Deadline: 10 December, 2014
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  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Yam Breeder and Postdoctoral Fellow, Yam Disease Phenotyping Specialist.

    Yam Breeder

     

    Job Description

    • IITA seeks a highly motivated and qualified individual to participate as a senior plant breeder in a new project on 'Enhancing Yam Breeding for Increased Productivity and Improved Quality in West Africa (AfricaYam)' supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
    • Project activities will be carried out through collaborative research between IITA and the national yam programs of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria; the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center (IBRC) in Japan; the James Hutton Institute (JHI), UK; the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Development (CIRAD), France; and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI), Cornell University, USA.
    • This initiative is focused on breeding superior yam varieties for high yield, good quality and resistance to diseases (anthracnose and yam mosaic virus).
    • This project will also focus on regional testing of currently available promising breeding selections; phenotyping bi-parental populations, mapping and genome-wide association studies for key agronomic and quality traits; additional re-sequencing, sequence analysis for generation of genomic tools for genotyping populations, genome-wide association studies, and testing the feasibility of genomic selection; constructing and using a open access’ database for curation and integration of yam research data; and capacity building.
    • The successful candidate will report to the Regional Director for Western Africa and the Director in charge of Biotechnology and Crop Improvement

    The Yam Breeder will undertake the following activities:

    • Plan, implement, and oversee yam breeding activities in the project to ensure that outputs are delivered according to the agreed results framework and results tracker.
    • Backstop and strengthen the national yam breeding programs in the four project member countries.
    • Guide and promote participatory breeding by partners and farmers.
    • Supervise PhD and MSc research linked to yam breeding.
    • Organize communication and dissemination of research results.
    • Write project progress reports and publish research articles in international peer reviewed and open access journals.
    • Organize the production and supply of planting materials of improved yam varieties to partners.
    • Participate in resource mobilization for yam breeding.
    • Any other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor.

    Minimum Qualification & Experience

    • The candidate should have a PhD in plant breeding from a recognized university and more than seven (7) years of post-PhD experience.

    Skills & Abilities

    • Strong knowledge and experience in classical plant breeding and successful variety development, preferably in a root or tuber crop.
    • 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; knowledge of French would be an asset.
    • Demonstrated ability to write and publish articles in peer reviewed international journals.
    • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-cultural environment.
    • Willingness to travel extensively within the West Africa sub-region.
    • Research experience in sub-Saharan Africa is an asset.

    Terms & Conditions

    • 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.

    go to method of application »

    Postdoctoral Fellow, Yam Disease Phenotyping Specialist

     

    Job Description

    • We are seeking a highly motivated individual with experience in plant virology/pathology to participate in the yam disease phenotyping activities mainly in Nigeria but also in Ghana, Benin, and Cote d'Ivoire. The successful candidate will contribute to testing of existing phenotyping methods and finding innovative modern methods for rapid and accurate phenotyping of yam for viral and fungal diseases, and contribute to the research on deciphering mechanisms of resistance. The incumbent will ensure that outputs are delivered according to an agreed results framework and results tracker, to support the yam breeding and genomic selection activities.
    • He/She will work under the supervision of the Head of Virology & Molecular Diagnostics and report to the Regional Director for Western Africa and the Director in charge of Biotechnology and Crop Improvement. He/she will also work closely with the yam breeding program.
    • IITA seeks a qualified individual to participate as 'Yam Disease Phenotyping Specialist' in the new initiative on 'AfricaYam: Enhancing Yam Breeding for Increased Productivity and Improved Quality in West Africa', operating in West Africa, and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
    • Project activities will be carried out through collaborative research between IITA and the national yam programs of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria; the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), and the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center (IBRC) in Japan; the James Hutton Institute (JHI), UK; the Centre de Cooperation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Development (CIRAD), France; and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI), Cornell University, USA. This initiative is focused on breeding superior yam varieties for high yield, good quality and resistance to diseases (anthracnose and yam mosaic virus).
    • This project will also focus on regional testing of currently available promising breeding selections; phenotyping bi-parental populations, mapping and genome-wide association studies for key agronomic and quality traits; additional re-sequencing, sequence analysis for generation of genomic tools for genotyping populations, genome-wide association studies, and testing the feasibility of genomic selection; constructing and using a 'open access' database for curation and integration of yam research data; and capacity building.

    Position/Responsibilities

    • Implement and oversee yam disease phenotyping activities.
    • Develop and implement innovative approaches for disease phenotyping.
    • Facilitate integration of phenotyping with variety evaluation and breeding for resistance to viruses.
    • Facilitate training in phenotyping methods and support trainees (degree and non-degree).
    • Organize communication and dissemination undertakings, reporting and publishing of results in international peer reviewed journals.
    • Support effective partnerships and linkages.
    • Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

    Educational Qualifications

    • The candidate should have a PhD in plant virology/pathology or allied disciplines from a highly recognized university, with good understanding of host-pathogen interactions and skills in phenotyping, application of molecular biological methods for pathogen detection, and data analysis.

    Core Competencies

    • Strong knowledge and experience in plant virology/pathology, supported by experience in phenotyping plants for disease resistance; application of molecular tools for diagnostics, understanding host-pathogen interactions, application of quantitative diagnostic tools, such as real time PCR, maintenance of pathogen cultures and insect vector transmission, familiarity or working experience with nextgen sequencing technologies (e.g small RNA deep sequencing, RNAseq).
    • Knowledge of application of modern phenotyping tools (digital data capture devices, etc).
    • 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. French is an added advantage. .
    • Demonstrated ability to write and publish articles in peer reviewed international journals.
    • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-cultural environment.
    • Willingness to travel extensively within the West Africa sub-region.
    • Research experience with clonally propagated crops is an asset.

    General information

    • Initial appointment is for two years. It can be renewed on the basis of performance and availability of funds. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

    Method of Application

    To apply for any of the positions, use the links below

    Yam Breeder
    Postdoctoral Fellow, Yam Disease Phenotyping Specialist

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