CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) logo

SN24148- Research Assistant - Plant Pathology Biotic Phenotyping.

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Job Description

CIMMYT is a cutting edge, non-profit, international organization dedicated to solving tomorrow's problems today. It is entrusted with fostering improved quantity, quality, and dependability of production systems and basic cereals such as maize, wheat, triticale, sorghum, millets, and associated crops through applied agricultural science, particularly in the Global South, through building strong partnerships. This combination enhances the livelihood trajectories and resilience of millions of resource-poor farmers, while working towards a more productive, inclusive, and resilient agrifood system within planetary boundaries.

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The purpose of this position is to provide support to the CIMMYT crop improvement team and to network partners, by carrying out laboratory assays and field planting of phenotyping trials and nurseries, collecting data and plant tissues for analysis in relation to experimental needs for dryland Crops (sorghum, pearl millet, groundnut), supervising casual laborers and maintaining the assets used for the work.

The position will be based on Senegal.


  • Data Collection and Organization.
  • Manage accurate and timely data collection at different stages of the trials in the field, nurseries, and laboratory.
  • Ensure accuracy of data entry and consolidation for analysis by the Scientists.
  • Learn and operate the Breeding Management System (BMS) and/or the Enterprise Breeding System (EBS) to manage routine operations, data upload, data curation and preliminary analysis.
  • Implement timely digital data capture using the relevant tools and software as identified by AVISA management.
  • Management of phenotyping experiments trials.
  • Ensure timely land preparation.
  • Ensure timely planting of trials and nurseries according to the experimental design.
  • Ensure proper agronomic management of trials like application of fertilizer, timely irrigation, weed and pest control.
  • Ensure nurseries are planted, infected with pathogens/weeds and data collected in a timely and accurate manner and according to laid down procedures.
  • Ensure seed for checks are available in sufficient quantities and when necessary increased in a timely manner.
  • Supervise casual Labour.
  • Allocating casual lab to different tasks.
  • Keeping track of daily attendance.
  • Maintaining safety and hygiene standards.
  • Preparing master roll and submitting to supervisor and accounts for payment processing.
  • Office & Maintenance of assets.
  • Manage pathogen inventory and reagents in pathology lab.
  • Ensure tablets for data collection are serviced.
  • Ensure the laboratory and greenhouses are clean and safe.
  • Other Responsibilities.
  • Assist partners based on their needs and in coordination with the supervisor.
  • Develop and map out process flows for dryland crops biotic phenotyping operations.
  • Manage seed counting accurately, packaging and labeling.
  • Print seed labels and field tags for trial and nursery identification.
  • Seed shipment to various partners.
  • Establish and maintain contacts with collaborating organizations and partners.
  • Any other task assigned by the supervisor.


  • MSC in Plant pathology/crop protection.
  • Minimum five years of experience in managing and supporting biotic phenotyping activities in the field, glasshouse, and laboratory.
  • Working knowledge of laboratory pathogen culture, purification and microscopic identification and inoculum preparation.
  • Working knowledge of DNA and RNA isolation and molecular identification techniques like PCR technology.
  • Ability to communicate orally in both French and English on daily routine matters and to prepare brief reports or complete forms without assistance.
  • Sufficient competency to use the standard Windows-based software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, and email used at CIMMYT with occasional assistance.
  • Good writing records, computing software, and other IT materials.
  • Ability to provide supervision and training to field staff to manage breeding research activities.
  • Familiarity with legumes and/or cereal crops and related research operations (pollination, data collection from trials and nurseries.
  • Ability to analyze data, situations, or problems, evaluate possible resolution mechanisms.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Problem-solving and decision-making, client orientation, negotiation and conflict resolution, communication, and teamwork.


Candidates must apply online

Screening and follow up of applications will begin on, May 31, 2024.

Applications must include a CV with contact details (telephone and email address) of 3 work-related references along with the confirmation that Recruitment can contact them) and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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. logo

CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) number of job openings over time by month

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