Quantitative Genetics Specialist

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The CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform (www.excellenceinbreeding.org) is recruiting a Quantitative Genetics Specialist. EiB supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. By providing important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, the CGIAR centers help realize the founding mission of the CGIAR system – they target low-and-middle-income countries for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development.

The Platform is part of the new CGIAR portfolio of research programs and platforms (www.cgiar.org/our-strategy), and is led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries (www.cimmyt.org).

The EiB is recruiting a Quantitative Genetics/Biometrics Specialist to support developing world breeders to achieve higher rates of genetic gain and extract maximum value from new and proven technologies. The specialist will work within the EiB module on optimizing breeding schemes, which works with breeding teams to optimize breeding schemes, respond appropriately to changes in resources and to extract maximum value from implementation of new technologies, tools or services to the breeding process.

The successful candidate will have a strong background and experience in quantitative genetics with a deep understanding of how to manipulate plant breeding schemes by using the latest technologies. The successful candidate will work with EiB members worldwide – in a wide range of regions and crops – in order to optimize breeding schemes according to elements of the breeder’s equation in order to achieve the highest possible rate of genetic gain per dollar invested and per unit of time using simulation technologies, optimization and applied quantitative genetics experience, among other means.

By providing one-on-one consultation, workshops and online communication via the platform’s purpose built ‘toolbox,’ the successful candidate will contribute to raising standards of breeding operations at CGIAR and NARS breeding programs in line with targets set by EiB.

The location of this position will be at the CIMMYT office in Nairobi, Kenya. The position may begin remotely from your home base or current location if organizational approval for the relocation to Kenya is delayed due to COVID 19.

Specific duties:

  • Engaging with member breeding teams to create awareness of new tools and approaches for optimizing breeding pipelines.
  • Working with breeders to design and evaluate new and current breeding schemes through simulation, retrospective analysis and pilot testing.
  • Developing strategy in collaboration with breeders and developing plans to optimize the use of new breeding tools and methodologies.
  • Mentoring and consulting with the partner breeding community.
  • Contribute to the development of a training strategy and materials for implementation.
  • Leading and contributing to both virtual and hands-on training and mentorship activities targeted at member breeding teams in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Providing support to internal and external reviews and evaluations.
  • Contributing to publications derived from the breeding optimization project.

Required academic qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • PhD in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, biometrics or related fields with a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience. Experience in private industry is a plus but not required.
  • In-depth understanding of practical breeding applications and logistical constraints that will be relevant to breeding programs targeting the developing world (i.e. CGIAR centers, national systems and private sector organizations).
  • Expertise in statistical analysis software (R, mixed modeling, perhaps machine learning, etc.) and a creative and innovative mindset.
  • A good understanding of quantitative genetics and underlying mathematical theory.
  • Good reporting and communication skills in English (working language).
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Communication, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Critical Thinking and Teamwork.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply here for IRS20148_Quantitative Genetics Specialist. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Thursday, March 4th, 2021. Applications must include a CV with three work references and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For questions about the position, please contact Eduardo Covarrubias (g.covarrubias@cgiar.org ; (+52 595 125 5905). For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at y.castillo@cgiar.org
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
This position will remain open until filled.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

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