Senior Scientist I – Breeding and Seed System at IRRI

About IRRI

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and over 1,000 staff.

Working with in-country partners, IRRI develops advanced rice varieties that yield more grain and better withstand pests and disease as well as flooding, drought, and other harmful effects of climate change.

Job Purpose

The main task of the Rice Breeding Innovations (RBI) Department is to deliver on these key priorities guided by its OneRice breeding strategy and framework in the areas of breeding for favorable and unfavorable environments based on prioritized market segments, host plant resistance, quantitative genetics, and seed delivery systems across Asia and Africa. As the donor focus is shifting to Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically to increase the rates of genetic gains and replacement rates of older and obsolete varieties, this role will be crucial in increasing the impact and outreach of RBI and with the national partners specifically in Tanzania as one of the most important partner countries for IRRI.

This position will be responsible for delivering on existing important projects in Tanzania to ensure the continuity of future funding through proactive donor engagement and management of regional expectations from East and South African (ESA) national partners. Specifically, the focus would be on integrating all the aspects of upstream and downstream research of the OneRice breeding strategy and framework and resource mobilization.

This position will be based in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and is open for international applications.

Roles and Responsibilities
Oversee the rice breeding program and product delivery in prioritized market segments in line with target product concepts in East and South Africa with a focus on Tanzania
Be the focal point for IRRI for RBI activities in the country working closely with TARI and IRRI teams in the country and ESA
Effectively leverage IRRI’s HQ and regional capacity to deliver on IRRI’s mission effectivity aligned with OneCGIAR/GI in Tanzania
Innovate in increasing the rates of genetic gain using population improvement and recurrent selection approach together with the breeding team
Oversee the NARES breeding and seed system network trials
Promote an enabling environment, mentor scientists and staff in the team and manage performance for the team to grow
Collaborate with governments, donors, rice R&D partners, and private enterprises to align with client and donor expectations.
Align with Department and Unit Leaders and Research Support Services to assure cross-unit synergy within IRRI
Maintain and proactively develop networks & partnerships with various research teams including public and private entities
Successfully mobilize funds to ensure continuity of IRRI’s mission in Tanzania
Consistent delivery of improved varieties to replace older and obsolete mega varieties for farmers in prioritized market segments
Seed system focus to ensure that the varietal replacement is through critical engagements with seed system stakeholders
Develop and optimize the breeding program using quantitative optimization in close collaboration with the biometrics team
Actively seek external funds and secure partnerships for research and development needs and strengthening IRRI’s presence in ESA
Publish the important and relevant scientific findings in peer-reviewed journals
Qualifications
PhD degree in Agriculture, Molecular Biology, or Genetics
At least 10 years of post-PhD experience in Plant Breeding and Crop Improvement

Skills Required

Mandatory

Demonstrated history of implementing modern breeding methods in CGIAR-rapid
and data-driven breeding & testing program
Clear understanding of quantitative genetic theories and principles
Operating in a matrix organization; proactive and effective communication
Planning and execution of regional activities on breeding and seed systems in Africa
Experience in resource mobilization preferably in Africa
Managing a team with diverse skill sets, backgrounds, and interpersonal skills at regional and global levels
Preferred

Strong experience in managing CGIAR modern breeding, delivery, and dissemination, molecular markers platforms, and resource management.
IRRI offers a highly extensive employee benefits package inclusive of globally-covered medical insurance, retirement plan, life and accident insurance and other allowances.

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