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Research Technician – Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN)


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT® (www.cimmyt.org), is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries, and through offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Through strong science and effective partnerships, we create, share, and use knowledge and agricultural technologies to increase food security, improve the productivity and profitability of farming systems, and sustain natural resources in developing countries. We participate in an extensive global network of people and organizations who share similar research and development goals, including the public and private sector, non-governmental and civil society organizations, farmers, and the development assistance community.

The Research Technician – Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) will provide technical support to the CIMMYT Maize Pathologist in Kenyan field locations in conducting various disease phenotyping trials.

The position will be based in CIMMYT field office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Pathology support for conducting maize disease screening trials at the various locations in Kenya.
  • Support disease diagnosis and diseased maize sample collection during disease survey.
  • Support the Maize Pathologist for SSA in the planning and implementation of artificial inoculation greenhouse and field trials.
  • Ensure timely inoculation if needed, also provide the suitable environmental conditions such as mist or irrigations.
  • Assist with management of casual labour, work in close supervision with other site technicians and in timely implementation of field trials, monitoring the trials, as well as data recording.
  • Maintain high standards of phytosanitation at all points during the screening period.
  • Assist in the management of MLN field screening trials, including seed preparation, planting, agronomic management and data collection.
  • Conduct disease scoring, data collection and data entry into electronic field books from field trials.
  • Assist research scientists in collecting, labelling, safe handling, storage and transport of samples of maize plant parts, particularly leaves, and for molecular work.
  • Assist scientists in the management of other maize disease screening trials in different locations in seed preparation, planting, agronomic management and data collection.
  • Assist scientists in training partners on disease diagnosis and management.
  • Assist Maize Pathologist in disease survey and epidemiological studies as needed.
  • Assist with various pathological studies mainly on MLN but also for other maize diseases.
  • Any other assignments by the supervisor, GMP PD or CIMMYT Africa CRR.

Essential Qualifications:

  • A Kenyan national with a valid driver’s licence.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Agronomy, Plant Pathology or Plant Breeding. A master’s degree in the same fields would be an advantage.
  • At least two years’ experience in lab, green house and field-based pathology experiments and managing agricultural field trials.
  • Experience in managing field research trials for a crop research program.
  • Experience in maize disease and disease diagnosis will be an added advantage.
  • Experience in handling virus isolates, fungal isolates and working in disease inoculations is preferred.
  • Demonstrated people management skills, a capacity to work effectively as a team player, and an ability to work well in intercultural settings.
  • Demonstrated computing and data processing skills.
  • Experience in managing labour will be an advantage.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English and Kiswahili.
  • and with people ranging from subsistence farmers to government ministers.

CIMMYT in Kenya is hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and is an equal opportunity employer and offers a collegial and gender-sensitive working environment. We believe that staff diversity promotes excellence and strongly encourage applications from qualified women. This position is on local terms and subject to ICRAF HR policies and will be for an initial period of three (3) years subject to six (6) months’ probation period with a possibility of renewal.

Please go to http://worldagroforestry.org/working-for-icraf/vacancies to apply for this position.

Applications will be considered until 25th January 2017. Please note that only short-listed applicants meeting the above requirements will be contacted.

We invite you to learn more about CIMMYT and World Agroforestry Centre by accessing our web sites www.cimmyt.org and www.worldagroforestry.org