Cassava Breeder Postdoctoral Fellow needed at IITA, Ibadan 2018

Filed in Jobs by on September 12, 2018 0 Comments

Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited postdoctoral fellow position of Cassava Breeder.

Cassava Breeder Postdoctoral Fellow needed at IITA, Ibadan 2018

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. Please visit for more information on IITA.


IITA seeks a highly motivated individual to work on cassava breeding using genomic selection within the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project. The primary activities include phenotypic and genotypic characterization of germplasm populations, describing genetic architecture of breeding traits and implementation of genomic selection and marker-assisted selection. Other opportunities are exploration of a large repository of genomic and phenotype cassava data ( produced in the first phase of the project.


The Next Generation Cassava Breeding ( project aims to significantly increase the rate of genetic gain in cassava breeding and unlock the full potential of cassava, a staple crop  central  to  food  security  and  livelihoods  across  Africa.  The  project  implements  Genomic Selection to accelerate breeding cycles to develop high yielding, climate resilient, higher pest and disease resistant varieties that meet farmer and consumer demands. As part of the NEXTGEN project, the postdoctoral fellow will get broad exposure and work closely with a global genomics and breeding community, including Cornell University, National Root Crops Research Institute in Nigeria, the National  Crops  Resources  Research  Institute  in  Uganda,  Tanzania’s  Ministry  of  Agriculture, Livestock,  and  Fisheries, the  International  Center  for  Tropical  Agriculture  (CIAT), the  Boyce Thompson Institute, and USDA-ARS.


Position Responsibilities

The Postdoctoral Fellow will undertake the following tasks:

Main responsibilities:

  • Develop improved cassava lines by working at the interface between field breeding, genomic selection and marker assisted selection.
  • Implement multi-environment field trials to evaluate performance of new populations and make advancement decisions to support the breeding pipeline.
  • Carry out routine single and multi-environment mixed-model analysis of field trial data.
  • Carry out population genetic analyses to describe germplasm collections using genome-wide SNP


  • Develop and validate new phenotyping platforms for cassava breeding (e.g. NIR).
  • Publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.
  • Stay current on relevant technical advances.

Other responsibilities

  • This position will involve extensive travels within Nigeria and Africa to co-coordinate a cassava breeding community of practice within the national programs of DR Congo, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Zambia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi and Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Provide technical backstopping in data analytical developments and process improvement for national partner programs in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania.
  • Participate in resource mobilization with cassava research teams.


Educational Qualifications

The candidate should have a Ph. D in plant or animal breeding or agronomy.


Core Competencies

  • Strong background in breeding, quantitative genetics, statistics, and molecular technologies.
  • Highly self-motivated, detail-oriented, and innovative.
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills.
  • Good project management skills.
  • Demonstrated experience with statistical programming in R.
  • Strong record of innovation and process improvement in breeding.
  • Strong understanding of management and utilization of large data sets.
  • Experience working in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to communicate in both English and French is desirable.


Duty station: IITA Headquarters, Ibadan, Nigeria.


General information:

The  contract  will  be  for  an  initial  period  of  two  years  with  possibility  of  renewal  based  on performance  and  availability  of  funding.  IITA  offers  internationally  competitive  remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.


Applications: Applications must include covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, 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. Please complete our online application form using this link:


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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