Research Assistant II (Leuven, Belgium)

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The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) deliver research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

The Alliance works with local, national and multinational partners across Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, and with the public and private sectors. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services.

With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.

The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.           


About the position

Based at the Bioversity International Transit Center in Leuven, Belgium hosted by KULeuven, and under the supervision of the Senior Scientist, Biodiversity for Food & Agriculture, the Research Assistant II will support the daily operation of the phenotyping team. The selected candidate will support the establishment of different current, and future climates in a highthroughput growth chamber called the “BananaTainer” and will assist to operate the online transpiration monitoring phenospex platform in the greenhouse. Bioversity International Transit Center Leuven is a home for the international banana collection and is internationally considered as the leading center for banana diversity research.



  • Prepare in-vitro culture and hydroponics media for the multiplication of the different banana varieties.
  • Operate the BananaTainer and the phenospex platform and carry out climate control.
  • Record and assist in the control of possible pests and disease pressure.
  • Document plant growth and development.
  • Assist in data collection and archiving in accordance with lab requirements.
  • Support training activities for students and researchers.
  • Record the execution of research procedures and experimental protocols and review data quality to ensure consistency with established guidelines.
  • Assist in the collection/sharing of data and ensure compliance with experimental protocols to support research/experimental projects.


Essential Requirements

  • Technical diploma (bachelor’s degree desirable) in horticulture, agriculture, or biotechnology.
  • Previous relevant work experience in a horticulture company.
  • Knowledge of horticulture techniques including climate steering and control.
  • Precise, well-organized, and structured work approach.
  • Well-developed skills in personal organization, priority setting, problem-solving, and accuracy.
  • Flexibility and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.
  • Results-oriented and an eager-to-learn attitude, particularly in the field of plant science research.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people from different cultural and national backgrounds.


Desirable Requirements

  • Knowledge of plant in-vitro tissue culture.
  • Basic knowledge of Word and data processing programs.
  • Excellent command of the English language.


Terms of employment

This is a locally recruited position which will be based in Leuven, Belgium. The salary is level 5, on a scale of 14 levels, with level 14 being the highest. The salary range starts from Euro 36,220 per annum. The remuneration package includes a competitive salary, leave provisions, medical and life insurance, and non-contributory retirement plan. The contract will be for a period of 1 year, subject to a probationary period of 6 months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of funds.

Please note that eligible applicants must have the legal status to live and work in the European Union. Citizens of EU countries and citizens of non-EU countries are individually responsible for compliance with requirements and formalities established by the national immigration law of the country where they stay and carry out their working activity.



Please apply online through the website ( no later than 12 February 2024 attaching a curriculum vitae, motivation letter, both in English, and contact information (e.g. names, email address) of at least three references.


Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Closing date for applications: 12 February 2024

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