Sweetpotato Breeder Senior Scientist (2024-41)

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The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking to recruit an energetic and results-oriented Senior Scientist to establish a sweetpotato breeding program and oversee the breeding activities in West Africa.


The position: The selected candidate will develop and implement a sweetpotato breeding program and coordinating a breeding network aimed at catering the west Africa sweetpotato market segments. The selected candidate will work closely with local partner organizations including CGIAR and NARES institutions, as well as other partners to establish a crossing and evaluation program aiming at the delivery of superior varieties able to support rapid adoption rates by farmers. The Sweetpotato Breeder Senior Scientist will be based in one of our offices in West Africa where she/he will establish the program and the breeding network. The incumbent will function as a member of the CIP global breeding team and report to the CIP Africa breeding lead.

 

Key Responsibilities:

 

Science leadership

  • Lead and manage sweetpotato breeding programs, focusing on developing high-yielding, disease-resistant, and climate-resilient varieties.
  • Collaborate with local and international research institutions, farmers, and stakeholders to ensure the adoption of new varieties.
  • Conduct genetic analysis and utilize modern breeding techniques, including marker-assisted selection and genomic tools.
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data to inform breeding decisions and strategies.
  • Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals and present results at scientific conferences.
  • Mentor and train junior scientists, technicians, and students in sweetpotato breeding techniques and methodologies.
  • Collaborate closely with CIP social scientists, economists and gender specialists’ teams to ensure the update and refinement of Product Profiles and Market Segments served.
  • Maintain updated estimates of genetic gains.
  • Represent the sweetpotato breeding program in both internal and external meetings, and promote the visibility of progress and success through active engagement with the communications team

 Strategic Planning & Management

  • Establish and coordinate West Africa sweetpotato breeding network.
  • Coordinate the yearly planning process and revision of the breeding pipelines.
  • Organize product advancement meetings.
  • Identify and guide the development of concept notes and research ideas for resource mobilization purposes.
  • Support and contribute to the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the partners annual workplans and budgets of the funded activities.
  • Facilitate collaborative research among/within NARS in SSA.
  • Building linkages among multiple partners including NARS, NGOs, seed companies/associations and policy makers to ensure a vibrant and responsive breeding program.
  • Manages the sweetpotato breeding budget and the budget allocation process.


Requirements

  • PhD degree in Plant Breeding or other Crop Sciences with minimum of 10-year experience of active crop breeding with an excellent understanding of the role of breeding in sustainable agricultural development, food and nutrition security and inclusive economic development.
  • International experience of 8 years’ experience of active work in breeding programs. Previous experience in clonal crop breeding in Africa would be considered a plus.
  • Ability to lead and develop multidisciplinary teams, communicate a common vision among diverse partners and effectively work with diverse stakeholders including senior government officials.
  • Extensive knowledge in variety release processes.

 

Skills:

  • Strong and effective leadership skills.
  • Demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships and attracting funding.
  • Able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Fluency in English is required, and knowledge of other local language is an asset.



Benefits

  • Exciting career opportunity in an international, well renowned organization with a track record of success and accomplishments.
  • 3-year contract with possibility of renewal. 
  • Internationally competitive salary, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. Internationally competitive pension and health plans


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