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Research Assistant at IITA

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.

Key Responsibilities
Successful candidate will among other things perform the following duties: 

  • Collect data from field and screen house trials with appropriate data capturing tools, prepare field book with appropriate tools, stacks data and imports into Yam data management system (Yambase).
  • Assist yam breeder in the implementation of crossing block, generation of seedling and tuber progenies, clonal selection and field experiments including nursery and trial planting material preparation and management.
  • Plant pollination, screening and yield trial plots in screen house or field as needed. Distribute germplasm to partners and maintain record of distribution as needed. Make crosses/pollination, harvest, process and store true seeds from crossing block
  • Input data into field data software as needed and assist with plot randomizations and trial preparation for all plots
  • Responsible for training of support staff and technicians at project partner locations in quality data management and disease phenotyping.
  • Assists breeder in selecting best families and clones from different types of crosses, improves population, and maintain progenitors and breeding stocks.
  • Perform other duties assigned by Supervisor.


  • HND/B.Sc in Plant Science/Biology or related field with minimum of two (2) years’ experience in crop improvement research preferably with clonally propagated crops or yam

The ideal candidate must have: 

  • Applied knowledge in crop breeding and genetics, experimental design, crossing, screen house nursery and field trial management.
  • Excellent knowledge of data management and statistical software programs.
  • Demonstrated success in working with multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships in research or project implementation.
  • Excellent social skills, collaborative style, and ability to multi-task effectively.
  • Proactive, innovative and creative attitude. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English are required

How to Apply
Interested and qualified applicants should complete the online application attaching detailed curriculum vitae saved with their names in Microsoft word format, the application must include the names and e-mail addresses of three professional referees which must include the applicant's current or previous direct Supervisor, professional colleague and evidence of current remuneration package. 

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