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International Potato Center (CIP) is Seeking a Potato Breeder

21.03.10 Age: 61 days
Category: News
By: Jorge L. Alonso G.

The position is based in Ethiopia

Potato Breeder - Ref: 10-11/PB/IRS/SSA

The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a well-qualified and self-motivated Scientist to join its international team working to develop and test new potato populations and varieties. The position is based in Ethiopia.

The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research organization with a global mandate to conduct research on genetic resources of potatoes, sweetpotatoes, and other Andean roots and tubers, crop genetic enhancement and improvement, integrated crop management and sustainable management of natural resources. CIP's vision is to contribute from its areas of expertise to the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular those goals that relate to poverty, hunger, child and maternal mortality, and sustainable development. CIP has its headquarters in Lima, Peru with staff and activities in locations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. CIP is a member of the Alliance of the CGIAR Centers, a network of 15 research centers mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 60 donor members.

Program Description: CIP's Global Genetic Enhancement Program evaluates and adapts landrace, wild and improved accessions of potato germplasm held in the CIP genebank to diverse tropical highland, subtropical lowland and temperate systems. CIP's multi-disciplinary SSA team focuses on constraints and opportunities for profitable and sustainable root and tuber crop production and use in Africa  

Position Description: As a member of the Global Genetic Enhancement Program, the Scientist will contribute to more effective use of potato genetic resources, greater breeding progress, capacity strengthening and greater impact.  The Scientist will seek to combine multiple characteristics including virus resistance, heat tolerance, late blight resistance and consumer qualities through interdisciplinary and participatory research. The Scientist will ensure the implementation of state-of-the art potato breeding and deployment approaches in the Tropical Highlands Potato Program; and interact with partners on potato research and germplasm needs, germplasm deployment and use of CIP potato germplasm.

Specific responsibilities include:
•    Planning, prioritizing and implementing local use of CIP-held potato germplasm for population improvement and variety development through an SSA-based crossing program.
•    Working with a team of breeding and germplasm specialists to characterize and improve access to information on pedigree and performance of potato genetic resources.
•    Developing efficient and participatory ways of evaluating adaptation and utility of improved populations in target environments and systems.
•    Publishing and communicating research results through journals, Internet and other outlets.
•    Developing concept notes and proposals in strategic research areas.
•    Contributing to the global system of potato germplasm conservation and use and capacity building of partners in national agricultural research systems.

The successful candidate will have:
•    PhD degree in Plant Breeding or associated discipline
•    A minimum of 5 years post-graduate experience in potato breeding including practical field breeding and the use of state of the art population genetics approaches.
•    Excellent knowledge of quantitative genetics, plant protection, statistics and assessment and use of Genotype x Environment interaction for breeding and variety development.
•    Knowledge of the utility of molecular tools and strategies for breeding vegetatively-propagated crops. Relevant publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
•    Experience in experimental design, agronomy and field experimentation; excellent computer literacy.
•    Interest and ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
•    Excellent written and spoken English; Knowledge of Spanish, French and/or Portuguese is desirable.
Conditions:  The employment contract will be for a three-year term. Employment conditions include an attractive remuneration package, including health care, home leave, and other benefits.  Regional and international travel is required.  CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.

Applications:  Applicants should apply by email, sending a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate's professional qualifications and work experience to Rosario Marcovich at The reference of the position should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email message. Screening of applications will begin on April 5, 2010 and will continue until the post is filled.

All applications will be acknowledged; only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

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