Research Associate – Plant breeding

Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT

The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. 

The Alliance works with local, national and multinational partners across Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, and with the public and private sectors. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services. 

About the position

Under direct supervision of the Southern Africa Bean Research Network Coordinator and with technical backstopping from other The Alliance scientists, the Plant breeding Research Associate will support the design and implementation of The Alliance breeding’s activities according to project annual work plans and budgets to deliver the expected outputs and outcomes in bean breeding. In addition to regular monitoring of activities, the Breeding Research Associate will be expected to contribute to routine reports as stipulated in the project agreement documents.

Key duties & responsibilities

  • Provide overall technical support to the bean breeding initiatives under various projects, including setting up laboratory, on-station and on-farm trials, seed multiplication and on-farm demonstration fields.
  • Planning, design, and implementation of Field, greenhouse, laboratory research projects.
  • Hands on participation in planting, plot management, sampling, evaluation, selection,and harvest operations.
  • Field data recording and collection of research samples using scientifically prescribed methods.
  • Compile, enter, statistically analyze, and archive research and pedigree data; summarize and interpret research results.
  • Genotypic and/or phenotypic plant, and plot selection for desired characters.
  • Supervise technicians and casuals.
  • Write reports and publication.
  • Collect primary data on research sites; biophysical and socio economic to guide research and deployment of breeding initiatives.
  • Establish and strengthen productive partnerships among key players in identification of common bean production constraints, and deployment of most appropriate technologies in major bean production zones.
  • Assist The Alliance Research Team in the planning and follow-up of research for development activities, including monitoring of milestones and in the preparation of regular technical and narrative reports.
  • Contribute to the development of collaborative projects and mobilization of financial resources for new projects.
  • Together with The Alliance Research Team generate appropriate communication materials to reflect the work of Alliance and its partners under various projects.


  • MSc in Agronomy, Plant Breeding, Plant Science Crop Science, or related discipline  
  • Three years of work experience in an active breeding program.
  • Knowledge in Bioinformatics.
  • Knowledge of common bean diseases and pests would be an added advantage.
  • Proficiency in plant breeding software and statistical packages.
  • Good inter-personal skills and demonstrated ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, both independently and in a team setting.
  • Highly organized, with attention to detail and demonstrating a high degree of accuracy and reliability when providing/checking information.

Terms of employment

 This position is a nationally recruited position based in Lilongwe, Malawi. The initial contract will be for one (1) year subject to a probation period of three (3) months and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.

This position is graded at BG06, level, with a minimum basic salary of MWK 760,234.00  in a scale of BG01 to BG14 (BG14 being the highest level according to the Alliance job classification framework policy). We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits including but not limited to insurance, retirement plan, staff training and development, paid time off and flexible working arrangements.

The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability statuses, sexual orientations, marital status, and gender identities.


Applicants are invited to visit to get full details of the position and to submit their applications. Applications MUST include reference number REF : 103614 Research Associate- Plant breeding as the position applied for. Cover letter and CV should be saved as one document using the candidate’s last name, first name for ease of sorting. The Alliance collects and process personal data in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Applications closing date: 14th April 2024 

Please note that email applications will not be considered.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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