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Quantitative Geneticist: Wheat and Maize

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. It holds the world’s largest collections of wheat (150,000) and maize (28,000) accessions, most of which have been genotyped at high density using DArTSeq technology. Selective phenotyping of core sets has been done and will continue based on agreed priorities. Moreover, CIMMYT conducts large, globally impactful wheat and maize breeding programs, focused on ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security, and especially addressing constraints of resource-poor farmers. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

CIMMYT is seeking an innovative scientist, keen to work with breeders, geneticists, statisticians, and others, to provide leadership in the area of quantitative genetics. This position will focus on two areas:

  • Breeding Scheme Optimization:
    • Quantitative genetics analyses to support the modernization of CIMMYT’s maize and wheat breeding pipelines (e.g. reducing cycle time, the optimal use of genomic selection, sparse testing).
    • Translation of product profiles into selection indices to direct the selection response.
    • Definition of best practices for experimental design.
    • Support of the implementation of central data management tools.
  • Genetic Resources and pre-breeding:
    • Exploration and development of methods to use genomic data and available tools to enhance the efficiency of using genetic resources in applied wheat and maize breeding. Focus will be on CIMMYT’s wheat germplasm bank materials and predictive methods to identify material of interest.

The position will be based at CIMMYT’s campus in Texcoco, State of Mexico, 45 km northeast of Mexico City, Mexico.

Specific duties:

  • Support the development and implementation of analytical pipelines to mainstream quantitative genetic analyses, including biometric and bioinformatics analyses, in active consultation with the breeders.
  • Use CIMMYT breeding data to simulate, critically assess and recommend modifications to breeding methods and strategies to increase genetic gain through the application of genomic information.
  • Define selection indices according to pre-defined product profiles.
  • Analyze genetic correlations among traits and between testing or production environments to recommend optimization of testing schemes for breeding programs.
  • Develop approaches to “mine” CIMMYT’s genomic and associated phenotypic data for improved understanding of allelic and haplotype diversity for stress tolerance, nutritional quality, etc.
  • Establish collaboration and develop projects with international partners aligned with CIMMYT’s overall strategy.
  • Rigorously document and publish research findings in high impact journals and contribute to the dissemination of results.

Required academic qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • D. in quantitative genetics, or a closely related discipline.
  • Three or more years of experience applying genomic data to breeding decision making.
  • Knowledge of big data exploration.
  • Excellent command of computer programming (R) and statistics essential for this work.
  • Ability and attitude to explore the relevance of new analysis paradigms, e.g. machine learning for breeding decision application.
  • Excellent skills in verbal and written English. Knowledge of Spanish is desirable but not required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a multicultural setting.
  • Limited international travel will be required, which may grow to moderate as international recognition grows.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Problem Solving and Decision Making, Creative Thinking, Teamwork, Communication and Client Orientation.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, 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 IRS20134_Quantitative Geneticist – Wheat and Maize. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Monday, October 19th, 2020. Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at y.castillo@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.

To apply for this job please visit cimmytrecruitment.wufoo.com.