Job Vacancy: Potato Breeder Scientist - SSA, Nairobi, Kenya - ONGOING RECRUITMENT

Potato Breeder Scientist - SSA

The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking an experienced potato breeder scientist who has strong initiative and motivation to join its international team working to breed improved potato varieties that would help address food security and poverty reduction in developing countries. The scientist will be a member of the Genetics and Crop Improvement team at CIP and will contribute to the utilization of the unique genetic resources kept by the organization for developing potato varieties that meet the needs of developing countries in the 21st century.
The Position: The Potato Breeder Scientist will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, in an international research environment, and is also responsible for supporting breeding and capacity building in other African countries. The scientist will seek to combine in novel potato varieties multiple characteristics including disease resistance, stress tolerance, nutritional traits and a range of other characteristics which would benefit producers and consumers. The scientist will be responsible for implementation of a potato breeding program in Africa and for the interactions with critical partners and stakeholders. The incumbent is expected to source new germplasm from a wide range of populations and accessions deriving from advanced breeding lines, landraces, and wild species in collaboration with other members of CIP’s Genetic, Genomics and Crop Improvement team.
A major activity will be the establishment of a germplasm evaluation network with partner institutes of priority SSA countries with the ultimate goal of regular releases of new varieties. Besides technical excellence the position requires sound program and project management skills and experience. As head of the SSA breeding program the incumbent will be accountable for administrative and technical management and reporting towards achieving pre-defined outputs.
Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Plan, prioritize and implement regional use of CIP-bred potato germplasm for population improvement and variety development through an Africa-based breeding/crossing program.
  • Work with a team of breeding and evaluation specialists to characterize and improve access to information on performance of potato clones and varieties
  • Develop efficient and participatory ways of evaluating adaptation and utility of improved populations in target environments and cropping systems
  • Ensure constant germplasm evaluation and selection for the development of new varieties in collaboration with national partners.
  • Program and project management
  • Publish and communicate research results through journals, Internet and other outlets
  • Develop concept notes and proposals in strategic research areas to sustain breeding activity
  • Validate and use molecular markers to improve efficiency of trait introgression and genetic gain
  • Contribute to the global efforts in potato germplasm conservation and use and to capacity building of partners in national agricultural research systems.
Selection Criteria:
  • PhD degree in Plant Breeding.
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in potato breeding including practical field breeding and the use of population genetics approaches.
  • Excellent knowledge of genetics, agronomy, plant protection, statistics and assessment and use of Genotype x Environment x Management interaction
  • A good track record in variety development would be a strong advantage
  • Knowledge of marker-assisted selection tools and strategies for breeding vegetatively-propagated crops.
  • Relevant publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience in experimental design, agronomy and field experimentation; excellent computer literacy and data management skills.
  • Experience in program and project management
  • Strong communication and networking skills; Interest and demonstrated ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English; knowledge of French, Portuguese or Spanish would be an asset.
  • Strong team player, self-motivated, goal-oriented and committed to shared goals.
Conditions: The employment contract will be for three-year term with three months of probation period and renewal following satisfactory performance. Salary will be internationally competitive, commensurate with experience. Regional and international travel is required. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth. CIP seeks diversity and gender balance in its staff.

Applications: Applicants should apply online through our CIP’s Job Opportunities website ( ), including a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin onSeptember 3rd, 2016 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short listed candidates will be contacted.
All applications will be acknowledged; only short listed candidates will be contacted.
Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at
CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply
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