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Maize Genomics and Molecular Breeding Specialist


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

CIMMYT is looking for a reputed, result-oriented mid-career scientist with appropriate technical and personal skills to lead a scientific research group focusing on strategic and applied genomics research with strong applications in the global maize breeding efforts. The successful candidate will integrate world-class maize genomics work for increasing the rates of genetic gain in maize breeding programs, targeting low- and middle-income countries for greater impact on food and nutrition security and adaptation to the changing climates. The position will oversee a team of junior scientists and graduate students, based at the Henan Agricultural University in China, to undertake high-quality research in the areas of maize genomic selection, molecular breeding, and breeding informatics. The position will be linked with the maize breeding networks of CIMMYT and Henan Agricultural University and will provide strategic directions on maize breeding program re-design to most cost-effectively utilize innovations in the areas of genomics and breeding informatics.

The position will define priority research areas in coordination with CIMMYT’s Global Maize and Genetic Resources Program and Henan Agricultural University.

The position is based at Zhengzhou, Henan province (China).

Specific duties:

  • Undertake high-quality research on maize genomics, and implement strategies to effectively discover, validate and deploy breeder-ready markers and genomic tools for germplasm enhancement, especially for traits relevant for maize farmers in the tropical and sub-tropical regions.
  • Utilize CIMMYT maize breeding data to simulate and critically assess strategies based on cost and logistics constraints of maize breeding programs, and recommend germplasm use and breeding program re-design strategies to optimize genetic gain through the application of genomic information.
  • Effectively develop and implement optimal data management pipelines and user-interface tools to enable routine utilization of genomic prediction for multiple traits within CIMMYT’s global maize breeding program.
  • Liaise with CIMMYT Biometrics and Statistics Unit and Information Technology Unit to integrate relevant statistical methods into user-friendly breeding decision support tools.
  • Monitor and report changes in genetic gain through applied strategies within the context of CIMMYT maize breeding efforts.
  • Rigorously document and publish research findings in high impact journals and contribute to the dissemination of results.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • PhD in genetics or plant breeding or related field.
  • Minimum 7 years’ post-doctoral experience.
  • Substantial publication record relevant to the application of genomic information within applied breeding programs.
  • In-depth understanding of practical breeding applications and logistical constraints relevant to breeding programs targeting the developing world.
  • Enthusiasm to work in a fast growing multi-cultural environment and develop a world leading academic team in maize genomics.
  • Excellent oral and written, and communication and presentation skills in English.
  • Competencies:
    • Achievement orientation
    • Decision making.
    • Multi-Cultural Awareness/ Sensitivity
    • Teamwork
    • Collaboration
    • Communication
    • Relationship with External Stakeholders

The position will be part of four career-track positons hired in collaboration between CIMMYT and Henan Agricultural University (HAU). HAU is a first-tier agricultural university in China. It has the vision of doubling and internationalizing its faculty over the coming five years. State-of-the-art facilities and equipment for the four research teams are provided at an entirely new university campus. Funding for the positions has been established through an agreement between CIMMYT and HAU. HAU hosts the National Key Laboratory for Wheat and Maize Crop Science and the only National Collaborative Innovation Center for Agriculture in China. Because of this, the Government gives the center a top priority for development and international collaboration. The positions are CIMMYT staff positions and follow its international policies. Modern and spacious housing is provided at the campus. The host city, Zhengzhou, has an international school and airport, and high speed train connection to Beijing.

CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing provided on campus, transport, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply here for IRS17114 Maize Genomics and Molecular Breeding Specialist. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on March 1st 2017. Incomplete applications (CV and Cover Letter) will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Enrique Martinez, at e.m.sanchez@cgiar.org.
Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
This position will remain open until filled.

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.