ILRI Vacancy : Post-Doctoral Scientist – Feed and Forages Biosciences

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Post-doctoral Scientist for its Feed & Forage Biosciences program, a new research program established to build capacity in upstream research on feeds and forages. The program aims to take advantage of opportunities afforded by recent scientific developments in genomics and related sciences, together with the extensive collection of genetic resources held in ILRI’s forage genebank.
ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases.
ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of approximately 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of around USD 83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia.
The role will contribute to the team working in the area of forage genetic resource evaluation and exploitation, more specifically to carry out research related to gene discovery and genomics assisted improvement of forages. This is a laboratory and bioinformatics based position, activities include:
  • Undertaking genomic analyses, including accessing and searching genomic data and publications for candidate genes and gene variants associated with target traits, and, undertaking multiple sequence alignments and molecular phylogenetic analyses to enhance our understanding of developmental genetics and hereditary.
  • DNA/RNA extraction and sequence analysis, studying differential gene expression and developing an understanding of biological networks. These data will also be utilised to generate a comprehensive unigene collection as a mapping reference and to extract polymorphisms existing between genotypes.
  • Development of GBS-derived markers which, together with gene-based SSR and SNP markers developed from the RNA-seq results will be used to begin genotyping accessions.
  • A PhD and up to 3 years’ experience in plant molecular biology/molecular breeding/ bioinformatics or a related discipline. Specific knowledge in the area of improvement of tropical and sub-tropical forages would be considered an advantage.
  • Experience in interrogating genomic databases and the design of molecular markers, preferably with expertise in Genomic Selection and/or Genotyping by Sequencing technologies. Abilities in Python/SQL/R scripting would be considered an advantage.
  • Experience and practical skills in DNA/RNA based protocols and laboratory trouble shooting and the ability to plan and implement laboratory research activities independently, following ILRI research compliance guidelines.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (both written and oral), with demonstrated ability to communicate complex information to a range of audiences in a clear and confident manner.
  • Strong organizational skills and a demonstrated ability to deliver successful project outcomes (both independently and within a team environment), taking initiative, being proactive at problem solving and prioritizing and organizing your own work as required.
Post location: The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Position level: Post-doctoral level.
Duration: The position is on a 2 year fixed term contract.
Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes medical insurance, life insurance and allowances for: education, housing, home leave, and annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.
Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal, the position will remain open until filled.  The position title and reference number: F&F/Bios/04/2016 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.
Those who had already applied in response to our advertisement no. F&F/Bios/04/2016 need NOT apply again.
We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.
To find out more about ILRI visit our website at
To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at
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