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ILRI Graduate Fellowship: Determining the level of heterozygosity in a Lablab collection (closing date: 15 September 2018)

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

The Position

The ILRI Genebank has an established molecular laboratory and bioinformatics capabilities to support this research. In addition, the Integrated Genotyping Service and Support platform and broader BecA-ILRI capabilities are available at ILRI Kenya to support this work. Under the supervision of ILRI scientists, the fellow will genotype 100 Lablab purpureus accessions to identify the amount of genetic diversity existing within and between accessions.  The fellow will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, or in Nairobi, Kenya with travel to Addis Ababa.

Lablab purpureus is an important dual-purpose legume used both for human consumption and as forage. The ILRI Genebank holds about 340 accessions with previous research activities focusing on characterisation and diversity analysis enabling the development of a core collection and the identification of best bet accessions for dryland and sub-humid environments. Theoretically each seed in an accession is a unique genotype and the extent of genetic diversity, or distinctness, within accessions will likely vary both between and within accessions. The graduate fellow will work together with ILRI scientists to assess genetic diversity in the Lablab purpureus accessions held in the ILRI Genebank. This study will provide useful information to determine how many seeds are needed to capture given attributes in the accession and in the rationalisation of our germplasm management efforts.

ILRI Program: Feed and Forage Resource Development

CGIAR Research Program: Feed and Forage Development

Main Project Title: Forage Diversity

Graduate Fellow’s Project Title: Determining the level of heterozygosity in a Lablab collection

Duration: 6 Months

Location: ILRI, Ethiopia/Kenya

Key responsibilities of the graduate fellow

  • Literature review of ex-situ conservation and diversity assessment in forage germplasm collection
  • Raise seedlings of Lablab purpureus in greenhouse
  • Isolate DNA from Lablab purpureus seedlings and submit to DArT for genotyping
  • Data analysis and write-up (at least 1 poster and 1 peer-reviewed journal publications)

Key requirements for the ideal candidate

  • Degree in Plant Science, Biological Sciences, or the related field
  • Demonstrated experience working in molecular genetics, quantitative genetics or bioinformatics
  • Work experience in organizing and implementing laboratory/field/glasshouse work
  • Work experience in DNA extraction and analysis
  • Good working knowledge of MS Office packages
  • Experience contributing to writing reports and journal publications
  • An effective and energetic team player with the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  • Ability to work independently, multi-task and meet tight deadlines
  • Proficiency with written and spoken English

Terms of appointment and stipend: ILRI will offer a competitive stipend to cover living expenses in the project location. The successful candidate will be supervised jointly by an ILRI scientist and the university/academic supervisor.

How to apply: Applicants should submit an application letter explaining their interest in the position, CV, university letter confirming student status, names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Applications should be made to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal on or before 15 September 2018. The position title and reference number REF: FFRD/GF/01/2018 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

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

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.

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

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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