The Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB) is a new cross-commodity platform from CGIAR that supports the modernization of breeding programs targeting Africa, Asia, and Latin America for greater impact on food and nutrition security, climate change adaptation and development. By providing important outcomes to under-resourced peoples, CGIAR centers around the world (www.cgiar.org) help realize the founding mission of their system. Excellence in Breeding is one of the newest elements of this important international organization and is responsible for breeding innovations globally.
This scientist will build and lead a team of Biometricians which will support breeding programs in the varied activities of a breeding pipeline – from experimental design to analysis of field trials, as well as implementation of genome-based technologies. In this way, our Biometrics Lead will help breeders in the developing world achieve higher rates of genetic gain and extract the maximum value of these new and proven technologies that are being deployed by EiB.
EiB is headquartered at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT, Mexico City Region, Mexico) with access to state-of-the art facilities at one of the largest CGIAR centers. EiB is also well-connected with the 15 other sister centers, all known for their high impact on agriculture in developing countries. The platform will draw from innovations in CGIAR centers as well as advanced research institutes and the private sector, providing access to cutting-edge tools, services and best practices and providing application-oriented training and practical advice.
Biometrics Group Lead
The successful candidate will be a breeding specialist with strong quantitative genetics/biometrics knowledge, excellent project management and communication skills, and a deep interest in people and mentoring. This team will support the deployment of the different methodologies being developed by the expert team of biometrics researchers in the CGIAR system or via associated collaborators.
The position will be based either at CIMMYT in Mexico or at one of the four major hubs of the CGIAR around the globe. Locations could include Hyderabad (India), Eastern Africa (Nairobi), West Africa (Ibadan) or South America (Colombia). The job will involve significant international travel, not to exceed 40-50%.
- Build and lead a team of applied Biometricians in the development of advanced statistical approaches to support the development of global germplasm programs, and support the operational implementation of molecular breeding;
- Actively lead and mentor a young, talented team and contribute to the development and implementation of new methods to advance breeding outcomes, drawing on expertise across statistical, quantitative genetics, coding, computing and mathematics;
- Lead the support of advanced mixed modelling methods for field trials and genetic analyses;
- Use efficient programming skills to ensure the integration of methods into existing platforms and to take advantage of available computing power to provide support to breeders to select and breed the best varieties and hybrids;
- Identify novel approaches to maximize genetic gain within breeding programs, and build critical momentum on molecular breeding, quantitative genetics and combinatorial optimization;
- Set the priorities for the Biometrics team in line with available resources and team objectives, guarantee timely task delivery and technical quality, as well as monitor staff roles and interactions between team and breeders;
- Build a strong and diverse talent pipeline, ensure training and people development, and manage the team budget and third-party collaborations;
- Contribute to shaping the Biometrics group, to its interactions with other divisions and to the development and implementation of (molecular) breeding processes.
Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:
- A Ph.D. in statistics or in quantitative genetics, with more than 4 years of relevant experience;
- Excellent knowledge of breeding with practical work experience in the implementation of selection strategies (e.g. genomic selection);
- Expertise in statistical analysis software (R, mixed modeling, etc.) and a creative and innovative mindset;
- Good reporting and communication skills in English (working language);
- A team player with strong interpersonal communication skills, able to work in a multicultural environment, with excellent leadership and people management skills;
- Good project management skills and an understanding of the importance of planning for the success of all EiB initiatives;
- Experience with mentoring and a deep interest in staff development, both in technical and non-technical areas.
We believe that our client’s position offers a great opportunity for professional and technical career development through collaboration with a wide range of world experts, both within the CGIAR system and in private industry (as well as other world-class research institutions). It’s a fun place to work, with a friendly, humble environment full of passionate people enthused about their work and the difference they are making in agriculture around the globe.
If you are interested in this role or can provide suggested contacts for CTI on this search, please contact us in confidence. Our search is not confidential and this document may be redistributed.
Dave Jensen, CEO and Founder
(928) 274-2266 Cell (Preferred)
Ryan Raver, PhD, Managing Director
(734) 658-3420 Cell (Preferred)