Seed Scientist Job Vacancy At IITA

Company Information

IITA is an international non-profit agricultural research-for-development (R4D) organization established in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our R4D approach is anchored on the development needs of the tropics.

We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa.

We are recruiting to fill the vacant position of:

Job Title: Seed Scientist (SARD-SC)

Ref No: DDG-R4D/SS/SARD-SC/09/15
Location: Abuja, Nigeria


  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Seed Scientist. This position is funded by African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC).
  • The overall objective of SARD-SC is to enhance food and nutrition security and contribute to poverty reduction in Bank’s low income Regional Member Countries (RMCs). Its specific objective is to enhance the productivity and income of four CAADP’s priority value chains (cassava, maize, rice, and wheat) on a sustainable basis. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the Executing Agency for the SARD-SC, wishes to use a portion of the grant to engage the services of a Seed Scientist.
  • The successful candidate will report to: The SARD-SC Project Coordinator.
  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) (the Executing Agency) and its partners Africa Rice Centre and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (the Implementing Agencies) has received a grant from the African Development Fund (ADF) to finance the Multinational-CGIAR Project on Support to Agricultural Research for Development of Strategic Crops in Africa (SARD-SC). The strategic crops within the context of the project are Cassava, Maize, Wheat and Rice.

The Seed Scientist will undertake the following activities:

  • Establish and manage the multiplication and dissemination of improved maize, cultivars in collaboration with partners in the national systems and the private sector.
  • Work with national and regional partners involved in harmonizing the release, production and deployment of improved cultivars in several countries.
  • Involve in building capacity of public and private sectors to produce breeder, foundation, and certified seeds of improved cultivars of maize, cowpeas and soybeans and market them to farming communities.
  • Engage in mobilizing resources to further expand dissemination coverage of improved maize cultivars.
  • Develop and implement concrete plans in production and maintenance of breeder and foundation seeds of parental lines of IITA maize hybrids to support certified seed production and commercialization by relevant public institutions and private seed sector.
  • Assist in hybrid seed production research and establishment of distinct uniform and stable (DUS) and value for cultivation and use (VCU) for IITA products in partnership with the public institutions and the private sector to enhance release and production of cultivars.
  • Work with partners in promotional activities to enhance adoption of IITA varieties and hybrids in the various target countries.
  • Any other duties as may be assigned by the supervisor.

Educational Qualifications

  • The candidate should have an M.Sc in Plant Science/Seed Science with several years of experience in seed systems or a PhD with some experience in seed systems.

Core Competencies

  • Applied knowledge in production of seeds of maize, cowpeas, and soybean varieties.
  • Experience in field experimentation, trial management and quality control of improved seeds as well as familiarity in variety release procedures and seed regulations are highly preferred.
  • Experience in working with the informal and formal seed sector in dissemination of improved cultivars.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English with good working knowledge of French preferred.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural setting and to interact with scientists and staff working in multi-disciplinary research areas.
  • Track record of publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Strong innovation, communication and organizational skills as well as ability to teach.

General information

  • The contract will be for an initial period of two years with possibility of renewal based on performance and continued availability of funding.
  • IITA offers internationally competitive remuneration package paid in U.S. Dollars.

How to Apply

Interested applications must include 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, Human Resources Service.

Click here to apply online

Click here for more information

Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Application Deadline  2nd October, 2015.

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