Job Ref: DDG-R4D/A-SLARI/08/12)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of a Research for Development Advisor to SLARI.
IITA is an international non-profit research-for-development (R4D) organization created in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Our R4D is anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty by reducing producer and consumer risks, enhancing crop quality and productivity, and generating wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.
In consultation with the Program Coordination Unit (PCU) in Sierra Leone, Director General of SLARI, and WAAPP country teams, the Research for Development Advisor to SLARI will, among other assignments:
- Provide leadership for interdisciplinary research leading to cassava crop improvement at SLARI; this will include the:
- Development of highly productive, adapted cassava varieties and/or breeding populations, with desired traits such as disease and pest resistance, better nutrient use efficiency, as well as higher root and leaf qualities for household and industrial uses
- Design, planning and implementation of on-farm and demonstration trials of near-finished cassava varieties
- Development/strengthening of a sustainable system for production and delivery of high quality planting materials
- Mentor SLARI staff and graduate students involved in cassava research for development; including guidance in the:
- design of project proposals on emerging needs as part of an exit strategy from the WAAP project
- development of research briefs and allied information resources aimed at agricultural research managers, policy makers and development partners to promote public awareness of, and corrective research responses and solutions to, pre- and post- harvest problems of key concern along value chains.
- writing of scientific papers for publication in peer reviewed journals
- preparation of presentations on activities, results and impacts of the cassava value chain at scientific meetings within and outside the country
- Lead the preparation of the technical reports as required by the donor and in conformity with IITA requirements;
- Organize training courses and study visits related to the cassava value chain for national program scientists and technicians; and assist the organization of annual planning meetings related to the cassava value chain;
- Facilitate arrangements to introduce technologies developed at IITA and elsewhere for in-country testing, adaptation and evaluation, and advice on management of the technical resources to effect desired changes.
- Report to IITA and keep SLARI and the WAAP team leader in the country duly informed about activities and progress.
Duty Station: Njala Agricultural Research Centre, Njala, Sierra Leone
Education: PhD in Agriculture with a major in Plant Breeding.
Working Experience: A minimum of 12 years experience in tropical agriculture, with at least six of these devoted to research on cassava in Africa.
The ideal candidate must:
- Have demonstrated experience in running a successful cassava breeding program.
- Be competent in the use of Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Have a good record of strengthening capacities of national research programs, preferably on root crops.
- Have good understanding of seed systems for clonally propagated crops.
- Be able to communicate fluently in English.
Key Competencies Required:
- Excellent leadership, management, interpersonal, and team building skills.
- Ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural environment.
- Good experience of collaboration with NARS scientists.
- Familiarity with on-farm research methods.
General Information: Initial appointment is for three years (renewable) starting as soon as possible. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.
Applications: Applications including covering letter, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three referees should be addressed to the Human Resources Manager. Please complete our online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/irs-online-application
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.