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Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Posted on Wed 23rd Nov, 2022 - --- (0 comments)

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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops

Reference No: DDG-R4D/GRS/CPC/11/22
Location: Ibadan, Oyo
Duration: The Contract will be for an initial period of three years


  • 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.
  • Perform other job-related duties as may be assigned by your supervisor.

Educational Qualifications

  • 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 multiā€tasking skills with a positive attitude and strong administrative service orientation.

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

Application Closing Date
10th December, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here for more information (PDF)

Application Instruction

  • Applications must include a Cover Letter, which should address how the candidate’s background / experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, Curriculum Vitae, and 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.


  • IITA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse workforce, particularly welcoming applications from women.
  • While all applications will be acknowledged, please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


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