Cassava Breeding - Senior Research Assistant

Cassava Breeding - Senior Research Assistant

The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.

The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

About the position

We began searching for a professional Senior Research Assistant in agronomy, practical breeding, or experimental design and deployment for the Cassava program. The position is for a highly motivated and self-starting scientist with the ability to manage the field research of the cassava-breeding project in Vietnam, particularly working closely with the cassava breeding lead and the regional breeding teams to undertaking breeding population assessments aiming at developing superior varieties.

The incumbent will show the ability to work independently to manage and prioritize field operation activities, including planting, irrigation, herbicide, and pesticide application, weeding, data collection, and harvesting in multiple locations. Experienced breeding scientists and the Cassava breeding lead will provide training and career development support. This position will be responsible for cassava breeding research in Vietnam.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage off-campus genomics-assisted and conventional cassava breeding populations, including major planting, crop management, and harvest activities in collaboration with team members, temporary field aides, various stakeholders from the public and private industry;
  • Interact with greenhouse, field, and collaborator personnel to ensure that all plant materials are well maintained;
  • Record and report details on planting, handling, and harvesting from yield tests, collect yield test data using electronic field data capture techniques, and analyze data through programming in Excel or code R;
  • Inform and summarize field activities and provide an innovative solution to problems in managing performance trials and other improvement activities;
  • Travel frequently to various research sites;
  • Work non-standard hours, including mornings and nights during planting and harvesting seasons and occasional weekends.

Required qualification and experience

  • Professional in agronomic engineering or related agricultural sciences. A bachelor or master's degree in plant breeding and genetics is desirable but not essential;
  • Have at least 2 years of experience in general research in tropical agricultural systems; previous work related to cassava/root crops/vegetatively propagated crops would be an advantage;
  • Basic understanding of plant breeding and genetics, principles of experimental design, management of plant breeding data, and field plot techniques in an agricultural research setting;
  • Registration of international peer-reviewed scientific publications is an advantage;
  • Work experience with small tropical producers and national research institutions;
  • Availability to travel to rural areas in Vietnam;
  • Handling the Microsoft Office package.

Skills and competence

  • Strong desire to work in a variety development breeding program seeking to integrate traditional, genomic, and phenomics plant breeding approaches;
  • Highly motivated, self-starting, and flexible, with a demonstrated interest in plant breeding and cultivar development;
  • Strong interest in collaborative, interdisciplinary, and farmer participatory research;
  • Demonstrated capacity to prioritize multiple activities, manage multi-location on-farm trials and supervise temporary field team members;
  • Willingness to learn new research approaches integrating traditional and novel tools, and to travel nationally to manage fieldwork;
  • Excellent Vietnamese communication skills, both written and oral; while the ability to communicate in English will be highly desirable.

Terms of employment

The position is open to a Vietnamese national or a permanent resident and will be based in either the North or the South of Vietnam, and will report directly to the improvement leader of the Cassava Program. The initial contract will be for one (1) year, subject to a trial period of two (2) months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of resources. The Alliance offers a multicultural and academic research environment, with competitive salaries and excellent benefits.

The Alliance is an institution that believes that diversity contributes to excellence that seeks equal employment opportunities and, consequently, does not discriminate based on any personal characteristics of employees or candidates for a position.


To be considered for this position, please send an email to Ms. To Mai Trang – HR Unit ([email protected]) with the subject line “Application – Cassava Breeding - Senior Research Assistant – Candidate’s full name”. In your email, please include:

  1. A one-page cover letter illustrating your suitability for the above position as per the key responsibilities and required qualifications;
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae, including the names and email addresses of three professional referees who have worked either as your professional or academic supervisors and are knowledgeable about your skills, professional qualifications and work experience.

Only qualified applicants with relevant skills and experience will be contacted. Applications should be submitted by 7/11/2021 or until a suitable candidate is selected.

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Job Details
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Application Deadline: 
Sun, 2021-11-07