Postdoctoral research fellow - soybean breeding

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Job Summary

Oversee breeding activities in West Africa and ensure that outputs are delivered according to the agreed work plan. Participate in both conventional and molecular breeding and genetic analyses studies, in line with the Excellence in Breeding approaches.

  • Minimum Qualification: MPhil / PhD
  • Experience Level: Senior level
  • Experience Length: 6 years

Job Description

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. 

Position Responsibilities

The Postdoc Soybean breeder will contribute to delivering the IITA/USAID funded Soybean Project milestones under direct supervision of the Project Leader. More specifically, he/she will:

  • Identify key variations for traits of interest in collaboration with other relevant scientists (e.g. agronomists, physiologists, pathologists).
  • Implement the development of populations and improved soybean cultivars as per Product Concept to deliver value varieties based on partner/custom demands using adapted and introduced germplasm, and in collaboration with national partners and other scientists.
  • Conduct quality research on the genetics of key traits including resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.
  • Develop creative approaches for the exploitation of genomics and genomic data in germplasm enhancement and improvement of soybean.
  • Validate methodologies/technologies to improve the efficiency of soybean breeding programs.
  • Assist the Project Leader in implementing key activities in the project’s target countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and other participating countries as determined by IITA).
  • Contribute to the identification of new opportunities for soybean production through liaison with national governments, the private sector and other potential industrial users.
  • Contribute to strengthening of NARS partners’ capacity in soybean breeding.
  • Mentor and supervise research associates, field technicians, and postgraduate students (through degree and non-degree related training).
  • Publish articles in high impact journals.


Educational Qualifications: 

  • The candidate should have a PhD degree in Plant Genetics, Molecular Genetics, Plant Breeding, or related field.

Core Competencies:

  • Experience in conducting molecular and field breeding activities (preferably on self-pollinated crops).
  • Good knowledge of molecular and conventional breeding.
  • Good publishing skills in quality scientific journals.
  • Ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural environment.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Information management skills and competence in computer software used to manage breeding programs, establish trials and analyze results.
  • Excellent spoken and written English; French added advantage.


  • IITA offers an internationally competitive remuneration package paid in US Dollars.

How to Apply

  • Interested applicants should complete the online application form attaching covering letter which should address how the candidate’s background/experience relates to the specific duties of the position applied for, curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three professional referees (which must include either the Head of the applicant’s current or previous organization or applicant’s direct Supervisor/Superior at his/her present or former place of work). The application should be addressed to the Head of Human Resources.


  • IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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