Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops

  • Full Time
  • ibadan

Website  The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops.

Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally Propagated Crops

(Ref No: DDG-R4D/GRS/CPC/11/22)

Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications

for the internationally recruited position of Genetic Resources Scientist for Clonally

Propagated Crops.

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that

generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger,

malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across

sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase

employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global

agriculture research partnership for a food-secure future. Please visit for

more information on IITA.

Plant and animal genetic resources are the foundation for sustainable agriculture and global

food security. Genetic diversity enables plants to adapt to new pests and diseases as well as to

threats from climate change, drought, soil erosion, and more. Today, we are losing genetic

resources at an unprecedented rate, while the world’s capacity to maintain food security

decreases. Agricultural sustainability is dependent on a strong conservation component.

IITA’s conservation activities started in the mid-seventies with the establishment of a

genebank. Depending on the species, collections are either stored in the field, seed, or in vitro

genebanks. IITA’s genebank holds the plant material (germplasm) of major food crops of

Africa. This germplasm is held in trust on behalf of humanity under the auspices of the

United Nations. It is distributed without restriction for use in research for food and


At the same time, there is a need for research and innovation to enhance conservation

efficiencies for both seed and clonal crops. The facilitation of germplasm uses by CGIAR

breeding programs and others is also important, for example with respect to traits important

for climate change and nutrition.

Position Responsibilities

  • Develop and lead a program of research to address the major constraints in the

conservation and use of genetic resources of clonally propagated crops. Particularly:

  • Research on and implementation of IITA clonal crop (cassava and yam)

cryopreservation and establishment of IITA cryobank.

  • Studies on key aspects of the biology of clonally propagated crops, especially

regarding their response to tissue culture and the provision of clean planting materials.

  • Facilitate and ensure the use of the genebank accessions by breeding programs for

genetic improvement.

  • Put in place a quality management system (QMS) up to international standards.
  • Publication in peer-review (Thompson) and high-impact and open-access journals.
  • Development of strong scientific collaborations inside and beyond ITA.
  • Resource mobilization.
  • Operational management of the in vitro and cryopreservation activities of the Genetic

Resources Centre (GRC) toward meeting performance targets.

  • Training and capacity building of IITA staff and national partners in Africa and globally,

including promotion of PGR use and technology transfer to partners.

  • Perform other job-related duties as may be assigned by your supervisor.

Educational Qualifications

The candidate should have a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Plant Biology and Physiology,

Genetics, Conservation Biology, or related fields from a highly recognized university.

Core Competencies

  • Minimum of five years experience in either an advanced research institute or Commercial

mass propagation company.

  • Expertise in plant biology and physiology, plant biotechnology including

micropropagation and transformation.

  • Knowledge of molecular biology, conservation, cell biology, botanic, seed biology, or

other related sciences is an asset.

  • Experience in a multidisciplinary research organization and cross-cultural environment,

preferably in a not-for-profit organization.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are essential. French is

highly desirable.

  • Excellent leadership and people management skills, with Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion

(GDI) awareness and understanding.

  • Highly effective planning, organizational, and multi‐tasking skills with a positive attitude

and strong administrative service orientation.

Duty Station: Ibadan, Nigeria.

General information: The contract will be for an initial period of three years. IITA offers an

internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US Dollars.

Applications: Applications must include a cover letter, which should address how the

candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for,

curriculum vitae, and names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include

either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct

Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be

addressed to the Head of Human Resources. Please complete our online application form

using this link:

Closing Date: 10th December 2022

IITA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to building a diverse

workforce, particularly welcoming applications from women.

While all applications will be acknowledged, please note that only shortlisted candidates

will be contacted.

To apply for this job please visit