ILRI vacancy: Research scientist – Livestock Genetics/Genomics – Re-advertisement

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Research Scientist – Livestock Genetics/Genomics to build the biosciences research capacity of scientists and graduate students in the east and central Africa region, in particular to support the many regional researchers who come to the BecA-ILRI Hub to conduct their own agricultural biosciences research projects.

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 2015, an operating budget of about USD 83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium 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.

ILRI also manages the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, a shared research and biosciences platform. 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 is a modern, state of the art biosciences facility, a suite of shared platforms established for research, capacity building and research related services in support of African and international agricultural scientists. The BecA Hub facilities are world class, with a range of advanced molecular biology, immunology, diagnostics, crop research, genomics laboratories and bioinformatics platform all equipped with an up-to-date suite of specialized bioscience equipment (e.g. Illumina MiSeq sequencer, ultra high performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometer (UHPLC-MS), atomic absorption spectrometry(AAS) and specialized facilities (e.g. 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


  • Plan and execute experiments in livestock genetics using advanced genomics and bioinformatics tools.
  • Use existing and develop novel methodologies for the characterization of livestock genotypes.
  • Interact and plan experiments with relevant partners and reseachers.
  • Contribute to building the research capacity of scientists and postgraduate students from regional National Agricultural Research institutes and universities.
  • Contribute to the development of new research proposals and mobilize funds for further research.
  • Publish research results in high quality peer-reviewed international journals.
  • Develop and foster close relationships and linkages with key institutions to enhance regional livestock biosciences research capacity.
  • Actively promote the BecA-ILRI Hub within the region and beyond.


  • PhD in a subject directly related to livestock genetics/genomics.
  • At least 3-5 years highly productive post-doctoral experience in livestock genetics/genomics.
  • Experience with DNA/RNA sequencing technologies and high volume data analysis is essential.
  • Experience in teamwork/ management of technicians in a multicultural environment.
  • Experience in resource mobilization.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to maintain excellent working relations with project leaders, scientists and technical staff.
  • Strong technical science writing and communication skills.

Post location: The position is based in ILRI Nairobi, Kenya.

Position level: Scientist Level 1, 4C dependent on qualifications and experience.

Duration: 3 years fixed term with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.

 Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 15% Pension, Medical insurance, Life insurance and allowances for: Education, Housing, Relocation, Home leave, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.

How to apply: 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 Director, People and Organizational Development. The position title and reference number REF: RS/BecA/ 08/2015 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: . The position is open until filled.

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at

More ILRI jobs

Subscribe by email to ILRI jobs alert

Subscribe by email to ILRI jobs alert

Improving lives and livelihoods through improved livestock health

Min piglets in BeijingLivestock offer powerful pathways out of poverty for an estimated 750 million poor farmers in South Asia and Africa in addition to providing food, nutritional and economic security. Most poor farmers relying on livestock for their livelihoods could gain additional benefits from helping to meet the dramatic and on-going increases in demand for animal-source foods that is occurring in developing countries, particularly India, China and other emerging economies. While many constraints impede the development of livestock agriculture in poor nations, the three key biological inputs for increasing livestock productivity remain what are known as the ‘three pillars of animal production’: improved livestock feed, genetics and health.

ILRI focuses on health, specifically on those diseases that reduce animal productivity or kill livestock outright as well as animal diseases transmitted to people. In many developing countries, livestock diseases regularly kill as much as 25% of young animals alone. When disease outbreaks reach epidemic or pandemic proportions, typically by striking naïve animal populations or by exposing animals to new variants of existing pathogens, mortality rates can reach 100%. In addition to these costs, trans-boundary livestock diseases can prevent or abruptly stop international trade in animals and their products, devastating livestock-based economies and severely contracting the capacity of poor nations to meet regional demand for meat, milk and eggs. Furthermore, some 60% of human diseases originate in animals, with many of the human illnesses caused due to contamination of foods by pathogens associated with livestock.The better control of pathogens of livestock and the livestock and human diseases they cause are high priorities.

While vaccines remain the most cost-effective medical and veterinary interventions for controlling disease, opportunities also exist for improving animal health by improving existing veterinary services and access by poor livestock keepers to those services, increasing awareness in poor communities and policy making circles of disease and food safety issues and implementing bio-security and control measures to reduce livestock disease risks.

Discover more about this topic: