Assistant Research Associate – GWP

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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and World Agroforestry (ICRAF) envision a more equitable world where trees in all landscapes, from drylands to the humid tropics, enhance the environment and well-being for all. CIFOR and ICRAF are non-profit science institutions that build and apply evidence to today’s most pressing challenges, including energy insecurity and the climate and biodiversity crises. Over a combined total of 65 years, we have built vast knowledge on forests and trees outside of forests in agricultural landscapes (agroforestry). Using a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to improve lives and to protect and restore ecosystems. Our work focuses on innovative research, partnering for impact, and engaging with stakeholders on policies and practices to benefit people and the planet. Founded in 1993 and 1978, CIFOR and ICRAF are members of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.

CIFOR-ICRAF is looking for a Assistant Research Associate – Global Wheat Program. The incumbent will provide support to the Scientist through trial preparation and planting, managing trails, data management and statistical data analysis. The position holder will be a key contact person for CIMMYT in the KALRO Njoro office and will oversee day to day activities on the CIMMYT research section.

The duty station will be in KALRO, NJORO, Kenya.

Duties and responsibilities:

1. Overseeing of Field experiments

  • Prepare field experiments (trials and nurseries), including trial designs and seed preparation using Fieldbook/EBS according to the breeder’s instructions.
  • Prepare field maps and planting plans for field trials.
  • Coordinate shipment of field trials to various testing locations within the region for timely planting, and retrieval of trial data from our collaborators (both NARS and seed companies) for timely consolidation and analysis.

2. Seed Processing and Storage

  • Lead seed processing and shipment with different partners, both internally and externally.
  • Manage cold storage facilities by consolidating germplasm inventories and developing SOPs.
  • In consultation with scientists identify germplasm that require seed increase.

3. Data management: Data Collection

  • Lead data input and analysis of field trials with guidance from the scientist.
  • Examine data for accuracy before analysis.
  • Prepare historical data for curation.

4. Data analysis

  • Timely statistical data analysis using different software depending on the objective of the experiment.
  • Genetic data analysis depending on the objective of the experiment.
  • Implement electronic data capture in all the field testing locations using the KDSmart or other appropriate application to ensure quick turnaround.
  • Assist M.Sc. and Ph.D. students in divers data analysis.

5. Assist in drafting project progress reports. Assist in preparing tables and figures from research results for project reports, publications, draft manuscripts, etc.

6. Capacity building and Supervision of casual labor

  • Provide training and backstopping services especially with Fieldbook and data analysis to NARS and seed company partners.
  • provide technical assistance to visiting scientists and students.
  • Supervise contract and casual labor in data taking according to instructions from multi-location trials in Kenya under both optimum and managed stress conditions.

7. Other

  • Implement mechanization and digitization in CIMMYT eastern Africa breeding program.
  • Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
  • Identify and mitigate potential risks within your work area.
  • Take reasonable care of own occupational health and safety and that of others as obliged by CIFOR-ICRAF’s Occupational Health and Safety Policy and cooperate with CIFOR-ICRAF in complying with requirements under any statutory health and safety provisions of relevant Country laws.
  • Participate in (insert team as appropriate) projects as may be required.

Education, knowledge and experience:

  • Master’s degree in plant breeding or bachelor’s degree in agriculture with minimum 3 years’ experience in plant breeding.
  • 4 to 5 years’ experience with good knowledge of theories, practices and procedures within a discipline.
  • Thorough knowledge of the field of work or specialized equipment.
  • Basic knowledge of administrative and/or operating protocols and procedures of research support function.
  • Basic Supervisory skills and experience.
  • Sufficient competency to use the standard Windows-based software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and email used at CIMMYT with occasional assistance.
  • Ability to effectively use corporate systems and other specialized applications. (User) e.g. Field book, R, SAS, META-R, AGD-R, and ADEL-R.
  • Basic skills in Windows Operating System and LAN.
  • Simple use of Complex systems.
  • Personal attributes and competencies:
    • Proficiency in spoken and written English
    • Knowledge about the key data required in a wheat breeding program,
    • Ability to write technical reports and draft manuscripts.
    • Excellent spoken and written communication skills (English).
    • Strong attention to detail.
    • Ability to work proactively and manage timelines to help keep teams on track.
    • Strong computer skills, with demonstrated experience using a wide range of computer applications (e.g., MS Word, MS Excel, Outlook, project management software, conferencing software such as Zoom, and SharePoint or other collaborative workspace tools).
    • Desirable experience working in institutions focused on research, agriculture, and/or of a donor-funded nature, and experience working in a multicultural environment.

This is a Locally Recruited Staff (LRS) position and on competitive remuneration in local currency, commensurate with skills and experience. A Kenyan national with a valid driver’s license. The appointment will be for a period of two (2) years, inclusive of a six-month probationary period, with the possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources.

Please apply here. The application deadline is 11 Apr, 2023. We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

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