Colombia: Bean Program Senior Breeder

Organization: International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Country: Colombia
Closing date: 07 Mar 2017

The common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) provides a highly nutritious food, containing protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates and micronutrients. As such, beans strongly reinforce food and nutrition security among poor consumers. CIAT bean program bean researchers have a long and successful history of developing varieties by working closely with a wide array of partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, North America and Europe. Currently, CIAT scientists emphasize tolerance to abiotic stresses, such as low phosphorus, aluminum toxicity, heat and drought. With the aim of further enhancing the nutritional value of beans, CIAT scientists are also engaged in a major effort to raise the content of two critical micronutrients iron and zinc.

CIAT is looking for an innovative breeder to lead the bean improvement program. The position would be located at CIAT HQ in Cali, Colombia but results will have application across the Tropics with particular emphasis in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).


  • Enhance bean breeding efforts by raising capacity and output and coordinate the program teams’ activities.
  • Implement novel breeding strategies to accelerate genetic gain.
  • Link with public and private sector research collaborators at the national, regional and global level.
  • Establish productive working relationships with CIAT colleagues, e.g., in plant pathology, entomology, plant nutrition, and nutrition to develop and perfect efficient screening methodologies for key plant traits.
  • To supervise and motivate support personal to ensure opportune completion of tasks.
  • Represent CIAT at meetings of all levels, providing updated information or presentations on project activities.

Requirements and Qualifications

  • PhD in plant breeding with at least 10 years of experience in crop improvement. Experience with bean or other legumes breeding would be an advantage but is not essential.
  • Strong background in plant breeding and applications of molecular tools where relevant to enhancing the efficiency of bean improvement research.
  • A demonstrated ability to elaborate high quality publications meeting international standards.
  • Good knowledge of statistical analysis.
  • Familiarity with bean crop improvement.
  • Familiarity with breeding for abiotic stress tolerance.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral, in English.
  • Spanish language skill.

Leadership and Role Competencies

  • Results Orientation: focused on improvement of scientific results.
  • Innovation: Willingness to learn new research approaches integrating traditional and novel tools.
  • Change Leadership: transforming and aligning a team through its people to drive for improvement in new and challenging directions. It is energizing a whole team to want to change in the same direction.
  • Collaboration and Influence: working effectively with, and influencing those outside of, your functional area for positive impact on business performance. Ability to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team across institutions.
  • People and Organizational Development: developing the long- term capabilities of others and the team as a whole, and finding satisfaction in influencing or even transforming someone’s life or career.

Terms of employment

This internationally recruited position will be based at CIAT Headquarters in Palmira, Colombia, reporting directly to the Area Research Director. The initial contract will be for up to three (3) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.

CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.

How to apply:

Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Andrea Linares ( ) and should clearly indicate “Bean Program Senior Breeder”.