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Plant Molecular Breeder - BecA Job in Nairobi Kenya

Vacancy Number: PMB/BecA/08/11 

 BecA-ILRI Hub 

 Nairobi, Kenya 

 3-years fixed term appointment 

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality livestock science, communications and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development.

ILRI is one of 15 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ILRI has campuses in Kenya (headquarters) and Ethiopia, with other offices located in other regions of Africa (Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria) as well as in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Vietnam) and East Asia (China). 

ILRI also manages the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub at ILRI, a new centre for excellence in modern plant and animal biology in Africa. BecA is an initiative developed within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)/ African Union African Biosciences initiative.

It consists of a Hub based on the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya and a network of regional nodes and other affiliated laboratories and organizations throughout the region. The BecA Hub facilities are world class, including a range of molecular, plant transformation, and genomics laboratories and equipment (e.g. 454 sequencing, Biosafety level 3 laboratory, plant growth facilities).

The Hub hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in science offer promise to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s development. Capacity building is a major goal of all activities.

The scope covers agriculture and food security and their intersections with human health and nutrition, and the sustainable use of Africa’s natural resources.

Further information is available at

The BecA Hub seeks to recruit a
 Crop Molecular Breeder whose focus will be the development and/or validation and application of marker-assisted germplasm enhancement with a focus on major constraints of importance in African agriculture. 

This includes genetic mapping, marker validation, MAS implementation using high-throughput genotyping systems plus training and technical backstopping of NARS partners in the region. This is an international appointment reporting to the BecA Hub Director.

Experience in any of the following areas will be considered an asset:
  • Knowledge of component trait analysis;
  • Molecular breeding simulation and decision support tools;
  • Double haploid and other rapid crop improvement technologies;
  • Applying biotechnologies in developing countries;
  • Quantitative phenotyping of a range of agronomic traits;
  • Biometric and bioinformatics analyses.
Essential Skills and Qualifications will include: 
  • Ph.D. degree in plant genetics, molecular biology and/or plant breeding;
  • Familiarity with large-scale germplasm collections and field breeding programs and a strong background in quantitative genetics;
  • Experience in high throughput genotyping system;
  • Knowledge of SSR, SNP and gene-based marker development, validation and application;
  • Application of MASn plant breeding.
  • Interest in international agricultural research and development;
  • Ability to work well as part of multidisciplinary teams;
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English language.
Terms of appointment: The position is Scientist/Research Level 5A and is on a 3 year fixed term appointment. We offer a competitive international remuneration and benefits package which includes: Pensions Medical insurances Life insurance and allowances for Children’s Educations Housings Security Relocation Home leave travel and annual leave entitlement of 30 days per annum plus 11 paid public holidays. 

Applicants should send a cover letter explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and indicating earliest availability, curriculum vitae and the names and addresses (including telephone, fax and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to email: by 30 September 2011.

The position title and reference number Plant Molecular Breeder: PMB/BecA/08/11 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email applications. Due to the high volume of applications that we receive, we regret but only online applications will be considered and only short listed candidates will be contacted.

To find out more about ILRI and the BecA-ILRI Hub, visit our websites at and 

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

Qualified candidates from African countries, particularly women, are encouraged to apply.

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