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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of Banana Breeder. The position is based in Tanzania. This position is responsible for applying modern research tools to develop improved banana cultivars through the use of adapted and introduced germplasm. The job holder will work with other IITA scientists, national and international partners to breed suitable cultivars for a range of uses. The successful candidate will also be expected to take a leadership role in identifying new opportunities for banana production in East and Southern Africa through liaison with other IITA scientists, donors, national governments, the private sector and other potential industrial users.

The Banana Breeder will report to the Director of East Africa Regional Hub at IITA. More specifically, he/she will:
  • Provide leadership for interdisciplinary research leading to banana/plantain crop improvement at IITA; especially in east, central, and West Africa.
  • Develop highly productive, adapted banana hybrids and/or breeding populations, introgressing desirable traits such as better nutritive content, disease and pest resistance
  • Apply creative approaches for the exploitation of cytogenetics, genomics and NGS data for germplasm enhancement and improvement of the banana crop
  • High quality research in the area of breeding methodology, MAB, next-generation sequencing and biotic/abiotic stress tolerance
  • Develop and extend effective partnerships and collaborative relationships with
  • National researchers at NARES, universities, etc.
  • Collaborating CGIAR and other partners in cross-cutting research, e.g. with CRP 3.4: Roots, Tubers and Bananas; CRP 4: Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, and others
  • Researchers at advanced research institutes
  • Mentor and backstop graduate students involved in related research
  • Publish scientific output in peer-reviewed journals, technical reports, IITA bulletins, or other fora; represent IITA at scientific conferences
  • Participate in resource mobilization through cooperative development of concept notes and proposals, representing IITA in donor relations as needed, providing technical backstopping as requested.
  • Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
  • This position is under the administrative oversight of the Director of East Africa Regional Hub. It also reports to the Director of Biotechnology and Genetic Improvement for quality of science and it collaborates closely with the IITA Coordinator of CRP3.4.

Educational Qualifications:
The candidate should have a PhD degree in plant genetics, genomics, plant breeding, or related field

Core Competencies:
  • Must be capable of conducting a field-breeding program with multidisciplinary and multi-locational research activities resulting in peer reviewed publications.
  • Must have demonstrated experience in cytogenetic or genomic assessment of polypoids such as banana, alfalfa, potato, or any other species.
  • Strong scientific publication record
  • Familiarity with on-farm research methods
  • Computer literacy and statistical data analysis capabilities
  • Ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural environment
  • Excellent leadership, mentoring, management, interpersonal, and team building skills
  • Working knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Excellent skills in English and working knowledge of Spanish, French or Portuguese preferred
General information:
Initial appointment is for three years. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

How to apply?
Applications including curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three referees should be addressed to the Human Resources Manager. Please complete its online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/irs-online-application.

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 candidates. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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