ILRI Vacancy: Post Doc – Molecular Biology/Virology (closing date: 17 February 2017)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Post-Doctoral Fellow – molecular biology/virology to assist in generating new vaccine candidates for African swine fever using gene editing and reverse genetics.

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2017, an operating budget of about USD83 million. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre working for a food-secure future. ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia

The Position:

The Animal and Human Health research program in the Bioscience directorate at ILRI has an exciting position for a post-doctoral scientist in molecular biology / virology who will be a key member of a team working on the swine disease African swine fever (ASF), which is caused by the DNA virus ASFV. The goal of the team is to develop an attenuated vaccine for the control of ASF. We seek a scientist with a solid experience in molecular biology and virology, and preferably also in vaccinology, to join a new project with partners and collaborators from the USA and Germany. The successful candidate will be involved in developing new attenuated vaccine candidates using the CRISPR-Cas technology and synthetic biology approaches for the same. In a second funding phase (after the first 2 years), vaccine candidates will be tested for immune responses, safety and protection in animals.


  • To establish the CRISPR-Cas technology for gene editing of African swine fever virus and host cells
  • Participate in the development of a reverse genetics system for synthetic ASF viral genomes
  • Make stable transfected cell lines
  • Test vaccine candidates in vitro for growth kinetics and other traits
  • Design/perform animal experiments for assessing immunogenicity/safety of modified viral vaccine candidates (only phase II, dependent on further funding)
  • Supervision of a 6 months fellow / technician
  • Writing of publications


  • PhD in Biological Sciences
  • Track record of publications as first author (new PhD’s may not have published their work yet).
  • At least 3 years of relevant work experience prior attaining the PhD.

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya

Position level: Post-doctoral level

Duration: The position is on a 2 year fixed term contract with the possibility of 2 more years subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes medical insurance, life insurance and allowances for: education, housing, home leave, and annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.


Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role 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 Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal on or before 17 February 2017. The position title and reference number: PD/MBV/01/2017 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Those who had applied for the

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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