Quantitative Genetics Specialist

Share this to :

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org. 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. ABI is hosted at CIMMYT, with access to state-of-the-art facilities as one of the largest CGIAR centers, with offices across the globe, and well-connected with the 12 other sister centers, all known for their high impact on agriculture in developing countries.

The One CGIAR Accelerated Breeding Initiative (ABI) is recruiting a Quantitative Genetics Specialist. ABI sets the vision and direction for all breeding in the CGIAR (Consultative group on international agricultural research), across all crops and regions, together with our partners, for the purpose of maximizing impact against the CGIAR 5 impact areas. The ABI proposal sets out an ambitious and exciting plan for the modernization and evolution of CGIAR breeding and partnerships with NARES toward greater impact. ABI draws from innovations in CGIAR centers, advanced research institutes, and the private sector, to provide access to cutting-edge tools, services, and best practices, application-oriented training, and practical advice.

The Quantitative Genetics Specialist will support developing world breeders to achieve higher rates of genetic gain and extract maximum value from new and proven technologies, tools, and services. The successful candidate will have a strong background and experience in quantitative genetics and biometrics with a deep understanding of how to manipulate plant breeding schemes by using the latest technologies. The successful candidate will work within the ABI Quantitative Genetics team, across CGIAR centers – in a wide range of regions and crops – 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. The holder of the position will report to the ABI Quantitative Genetics Lead.

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 ABI.

The position will be based at CIMMYT-Nairobi Campus in Kenya, involving significant international travel.

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 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 qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • PhD in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, biometrics, or related fields with at least 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 should exhibit the following competencies: Problem-Solving and Decision Making, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Teamwork, and Communication.

The position is for an initial fixed term of 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 home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply online for IRS23119_Quantitative Genetics Specialist.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Friday, April 28th, 2023. Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. 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.

Share this to :