ILRI recruits 01 Research Officer III / Field Genebank Operations

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ILRI recruits 01 Research Officer III / Field Genebank Operations


The Position:

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Research Officer III – Field Genebank Operations under its ‘Feed and Forage Development’ program. General:

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world.

Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa. .

Job Purpose: The job holder will facilitate and manage the forage germplasm conservation, regeneration, seed production and field trialling activities at four field sites (Addis Ababa, Debre Zeit, Zwai and Soddo) geographically dispersed across Ethiopia.

Key Responsibilities:

Working as part of the genebank team in close collaboration with project staff in ILRI-Addis and reporting to the Genebank Manager. The specific duties include:

  • Leading the planning, coordination, implementation and supervision of day-to-day activities related to forage germplasm conservation, regeneration, seed drying and seed processing across the four Genebank sites in Ethiopia;
  • Development of new ideas, products, techniques, methodologies, approaches, practices and procedures for forage germplasm regeneration;
  • Monitoring progress in implementing the activities and delivering outputs in the areas of forage germplasm conservation and regeneration; germplasm characterization and evaluation; and herbage seed production;
  • Responsible for herbage seed production of best-bets forage accessions and managing the financial and technical administration of the Herbage Seed Unit (HSU), petty cash payments, field staff issues, threshing, cleaning, storage and dispatch of seeds and maintenance of field facilities to facilitate the research work;
  • Responsible for developing field phenotyping and seed production research in consultation with germplasm conservation staff, the Genebank manager and the Feed and Forages Development (FFD) Program Leader;
  • Coordinating the collection and collation of data on all trials and evaluation plots for morphological/phenotypic characterization of the forage germplasm collection including the preparation of monthly and specific reports;
  • Coordinating implementation of traits phenotyping on the field and glasshouse, and all agronomic activities related to forage germplasm conservation;
  • Applying statistical techniques to systematically describe, condense and evaluate morphological and phenotypic data and contribute to data analysis, presenting research results at meetings and conferences and contributing to the publication of results in peer-reviewed journals;
  • Develop and implement annual work plans for all field Genebank activities in consultation with the Genebank Manager;
  • Work with the genebank database management specialist in managing the genebank field data and updating the database on germplasm regeneration, field planting and plant removal or death;
  • Technical supervision/management of staff for forage germplasm regeneration and seed production activities and in the management of seedlings and plants in screen houses in Addis Ababa (Gurd Shola), Debre Zeit, Zwai and Soddo;
  • Identifying accessions for regeneration and seed multiplication, and communicating with the Genebank Manager and the germplasm conservation team;
  • Recording adaptability of species to different sites and maintaining a database on adaptation for seed production;
  • Where necessary, introducing, developing and testing new procedures and/or equipment to meet experimental needs and ensure that they are fit for purpose;
  • Capacity development of internal and external stakeholders, including technical backstopping and training to NARS, NGOs and farmers on forage agronomy and forage seed production as part of collaborative projects and in support of ILRI’s capacity strengthening activities, and presenting project activities to ILRI visitors;
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of Standard-Operating Procedures (SOPs), risk-management planning and other elements of the Quality Management System in the field genebank;
  • Contributing to the preparation of training materials for seed production and scientific studies (plant physiology, agronomy, etc) and overseeing all components (experimental design, implementation and management) of our field trial research;
  • Facilitating greater collaboration with colleagues from other ILRI programs, National Research Organizations and the tropical forages genebank of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT);
  • Contributing to laboratory activities directed towards the molecular analysis of forage genetic resources;
  • Contributes to resource mobilization through significant input to proposal development;
  • Contributes to budget planning and management of physical and financial resources for implementation of multiple field research activities, including preparation of requisitions and reports on field expenditures;
  • Perform other duties as required.

Minimum Requirements: Education

  • At least Master’s degree in plant science


  • At least 7 years of work experience in seed production, preferably of forage grasses, legumes and browse species;
  • Experience in project management.
  • Having professional qualification in project management would be advantageous;
  • Experience with computer packages (word processing, spreadsheet, graphics and data management) and use of data analysis software (e.g., GenStat).


  • A good botanical knowledge for the accurate classification of forages
  • A good working knowledge of both plant physiology and agronomy
  • Ability to assess and implement new high-throughput plant phenotyping techniques (remote sensing (RGB), infrared and multispectral imaging) and the application of UAVs to monitor plant health and productivity)
  • A good knowledge of stress (both biotic and abiotic) physiology would be desirable
  • Knowledge and certification in the application and use of pesticides and herbicides would be an advantage
  • Attention to detail and logical approach to scientific problem solving
  • Ability to work independently and within a team setting
  • Experience in staff supervision and timely accomplishment of tasks
  • Extension (seed production)
  • Driving License preferred
  • Experience in teamwork and people management skills in a multicultural environment
  • Excellent communications skills including verbal, written English and presentation skills;
  • Excellent inter-personal skills, leadership skills and a proven networker
  • Knowledge of computers and database/spreadsheet/word processing software


  • Proven ability in handling quantitative and qualitative data sets.
  • Statistical software applications skills.
  • Computer literate and conversant in Microsoft Office suite.
  • A proven ability to write clear, structured and analytical reports.
  • A proven ability to communicate complex concepts in simple language.
  • A proven ability to work as part of a team.
  • A proven ability to develop milestones and to adhere to timelines.
  • Proven project leadership skills.

Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Job Grade: HG 15 Monthly Base Salary: Birr 43,956 (Negotiable depending on the salary history of the candidate). Terms of appointment:

This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position, initial appointment is for three yeas.

The ILRI remuneration package for nationally recruited staff in Ethiopia includes very competitive salary and benefits such as life and medical insurance, offshore pension plan, etc.

The ILRI campus is set in a secure, attractive campus in Addis Ababa. Dining and sports facilities are located on site.

Applications: Applicants should provide a cover letter and curriculum vitae; names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to be included in the curriculum vitae.

The position and reference number:

REF:RO-FGO/32/19 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter.

All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal:


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