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Job Description

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality livestock science, communications and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development. ILRI is one of 15 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ILRI has campuses in Kenya (headquarters) and Ethiopia, with other offices located in other regions of Africa (Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria) as well as in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Vietnam) and East Asia (China).

ILRI also manages the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, a new centre for excellence in modern plant and animal biology in Africa. BecA is an initiative developed within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)/ African Union African Biosciences initiative. It consists of a Hub based on the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya and a network of regional nodes and other affiliated laboratories and organizations throughout the region. The BecA Hub facilities are world class, including a range of molecular, plant transformation, and genomics laboratories and equipment (e.g. 454 sequencing, Biosafety level 3 laboratory, plant growth facilities). The Hub hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in science offer promise to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s development. Capacity building is a major goal of all activities. The scope covers agriculture and food security and their intersections with human health and nutrition, and the sustainable use of Africa’s natural resources. Further information is available at

The Position

This is an international appointment reporting to the BecA Hub Technology Manager. This position is a two year term appointment with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding, and is based at ILRI’s Headquarters in Nairobi.

Key responsibilities

• Managing and ensuring quality control of genomics and other metadata;
• Designing, establishing and managing databases to store and share sequencing data;
• Leading the development of pipelines for genome assembly, annotation and other computational analyses;
• Contributing to the Hub bioinformatics infrastructure upgrade;
• Contributing to capacity strengthening;
• Supervising junior staff, students and visiting scientists;
• Contributing to resource mobilization.


• A PhD degree obtained not more than five years ago in the field of bioinformatics;
• 3-5 years’ work experience in a bioinformatics position;
• Knowledge of genetics, biotechnology and their applications to agricultural research;
• Demonstrate experience working and developing in a Linux environment;
• Knowledge in SQL and scripting languages (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby);
• Experience working in an advanced biotechnology research group;
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to perform in a multicultural research environment and as part of a multidisciplinary team;
• Excellent written and spoken English.

Experience in the following areas will be considered an asset:

• Knowledge of genome sequencing strategies
• Solid working knowledge of various bioinformatics packages used for genome data analysis
• Capacity strengthening
• Interest in international agricultural research and development
• Ability to work as part of multidisciplinary teams
• Proficiency in spoken and written English


Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Human Resources Director by registering at this link: Only applications that are received via this link will be considered and only short listed candidates will be contacted. The position title and reference number PD/BECA/BIOINFO/12/11 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application. Screening of applications will commence on 23 January until the position is filled, though selections may be made in advance of that date.
To find out more about ILRI and the BecA Hub, visit our websites at and

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified candidates from African countries, particularly women, are encouraged to apply.
Contact:      Loyce Mbwaya
Human Resources
International Livestock Research Institute
Nairobi, Nairobi 00100

Deadline:     1/10/2012

For more details