Regional Breeding Theme Lead — Asia

ICRISAT seeks applications for a Regional Breeding Theme Lead position for RP- Asia. The position is based at ICRISAT headquarters in Patancheru, Hyderabad, Telangana and reports administratively to the Research Program Director — Asia, and functionally to the Global Head — Breeding.

ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. ICRISAT and its partners help empower those living in the semi-arid tropics, especially smallholder farmers, to overcome poverty, hunger, malnutrition and a degraded environment through more efficient and profitable agriculture.

ICRISAT is headquartered in Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and five country offices in Sub-Saharan Africa. ICRISAT, established in 1972, is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. For more details, see 



  • As Regional Breeding Theme Lead, oversee the breeding programs in Asia for all of ICRISAT’s mandate crops (groundnut, chickpea, pigeon pea, finger millet, sorghum and pearl millet) to ensure alignment with ICRISAT strategy and operational plans
  • Have principle responsibility for at least one of ICRISAT’s mandate crops breeding program to exemplify modern breeding concepts to maximize genetic gain at a cost effective rate
  • Mentor and consult with the ICRISAT Asia breeding team and NARS partner breeding community and strategize with breeders on current breeding methodologies, and develop plans that optimize the utilization of new breeding techniques and tools
  • Engage with members of the Asia breeding team to adopt new tools and approaches for optimizing breeding pipelines, including data-based decision making, digitization, Rapid Generation Advancement, automation and mechanization
  • Work in partnership with scientists from other disciplines and interact with NARS, industry partners and end users (farmers, extension agents, traders, consumers, etc.) from different organizations to design well defined and clearly prioritized Product Profiles for all the crops in the Target Population of Environments
  • Work with breeders to design and evaluate current and new breeding schemes through simulation, retrospective analysis and pilot testing to improve efficiency of breeding programs and deliver on the Product Profiles
  • Use database breeding management systems for management of pedigree, nurseries, yield and disease trials, experimental data and seed inventory
  • Closely engage with the statisticians to apply proper experimental designs, analyze, summarize, and interpret data of the experiments and evaluation trials and prepare reports. Publish papers in reputed journals
  • Proactively develop grant project proposals with colleagues to deliver impact for the Asian Crop Improvement Program to beneficiaries (farmers, extension agents, traders, consumers, etc.) from different countries.

Essential criteria:

  • PhD in plant breeding or closely related fields with a minimum of 10 years of relevant experience
  • In-depth understanding of theoretical and practical breeding applications and processes requisite for modern breeding programs
  • A solid understanding of new and established tools that support modern breeding application of self-pollinated/cross-pollinated crops and capacity development approaches that will accelerate their use in breeding programs for the developing world
  • Good leadership, communication and mentorship skills
  • Recognized aptitude to work as a member of interdisciplinary teams in a multicultural environment with the ability to interact with partner organizations and donors
  • Experience in budgeting and time management skills, through a results focused, pragmatic approach and solid decision-making skills


  • Experience with product replacement strategies and stage-gate processes
  • Understanding of crops and breeding programs targeted for the developing world, including those from the CGIAR, national systems and the private sector
  • Working knowledge of genomics-assisted breeding, quantitative genetics theory and its application in practical plant breeding and breeding data management system.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of other regional Languages are desirable and will be an asset.


This is an internationally recruited staff (IRS) position for three years with an attractive and competitive salary and benefits package payable in US dollars. 

How to apply:

Applicants should apply on or before 28-April-2019, with latest Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about your professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged. However, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please CLICK HERE to submit your application.

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer