Scientist-Genebank [WCA]

ICRISAT seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to assume the position as a Scientist-Genebank, to be based in Niamey, Niger. The scientist will coordinate activities of ICRISAT’s Regional Genebanks in Africa; manage the genebank staff, germplasm conservation, characterization, and evaluation of germplasm to deliver Genebank Platform activities in the West and Central Africa (WCA) and East and South Africa (ESA) under supervision of the Head-Genebank.

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-confessional and non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics is home to over 2 billion people, with 650 million of these being the poorest of the poor. 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, established in 1972, and is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. For more details, visit

About the role:

The selected individual will be responsible for the Genebank activities in both WCA and ESA including: managing the genebank staff, receiving and collecting new germplasm, safe and legal distribution of germplasm in compliance with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), management of genebank information (database, etc.) and material accordingly to international standards and ICRISAT Genebank Manual, and characterization and evaluation and associated research projects. The position requires careful personnel and budget management. The candidate will plan and conduct related research to improve the efficiency, characterization, evaluation, utilization, and conservation of the Germplasm collection. The selected individual will report technically to the Head of the Genebank in India, ICRISAT. Some national and international travel will be required. Genebank staff in WCA (Niamey, Niger) and ESA (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) will report to the selected scientist.


  • Support Head of the Genebank with management of the WCA (Niamey, Niger) and ESA (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe) regional genebanks activities and delivery of the commitments established in Genebank platform.
  • Manage staff, budget and activities in both regions under the coordination of the Genebank Head.
  • Ensure efficient distribution of germplasm and breeding lines to partners’ compliance with intellectual property laws, treaties, material transfer agreements, phytosanitary regulations relating to genetic resources and germplasm movement/exchange.
  • Ensure safety back up of accessions and breeding lines at appropriate locations according to international protocols and agreements.
  • Guarantee the conservation of germplasm under long-term and medium-term storage in Niamey and medium-term in Bulawayo genebanks and implementation of QMS standards.
  • Monitoring of viability of conserved germplasm.
  • Ensure reporting obligations to the Genebank Platform activities.
  • Ensure the characterization, evaluation and documentation of accessions, enabling the conservation and enhanced utilization of collections.
  • Managing information for accessions and use through maintaining, improving and expanding datasets for conservation and promoting their use through GRIN-Global and Genesys.
  • Develop and submit grant proposals for conservation, increase and utilization of the in-trust collections, and participate in fund raising for the endowment and other major initiatives for conservation, use and enhancement of the in-trust collections
  • Develop partnerships and enhance capacity of NARS partners in managing and using germplasm collections.
  • Network with collaborators and organizations like the Crop Trust, Genebank Manager’s group and national associations for information exchange.
  • Develop and submit grant proposals for research and conduct assessment of the contribution of key traits in the adaptation of germplasm, including wild germplasm material, to water-limited environment made across reference collections of germplasm (in collaboration with the breeding programs).
  • Develop and submit grant proposals for research to better understand the physiological mechanisms of tolerance to drought, heat and low nutrients and other important traits on ICRISAT mandated crops in order to promote the use of the germplasm and the development of sub-sets.

Eligibility :

  • D degree in Plant Sciences/Physiology/Phenotyping/Genetic Resources or closely related field.
  • Minimum of six-year experience in germplasm management, including conservation, characterization and evaluation.
  • Knowledge in plant physiology is essential.
  • Basic knowledge in molecular biology will be an advantage.
  • Familiarity of legal matters related to genetic resources such as intellectual property, especially relative to the International Plant Treaty (ITPGRFA), Standard Material Transfer Agreements (SMTA), the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), the Nagoya Protocol, and international phytosanitary regulations.
  • Seed quality management, seed conservation (medium- and long-term).
  • Experience in phenotyping (standard and high throughput).
  • Capable and competent to negotiate germplasm collection and distribution permits with responsible authorities.
  • Demonstrated success in attracting research funding and publishing research results.
  • Team management experience.
  • Excellent communications skills in English and French proficiency are required. 


This is an Internally Recruited Staff [IRS] position for 3 years.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply on or before 20 August 2019; with a letter of motivation, latest curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about their professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Please CLICK HERE to submit your application

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer