Colombia: Genebank Operations Manager

Organization: International Center for Tropical Agriculture
Country: Colombia
Closing date: 06 Jun 2017

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics, through research aimed at increasing the eco- efficiency of agriculture. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR (, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CIAT’s research focuses on increasing productivity of key tropical crops, reversing soil and land degradation, and using information to foster better decisions about issues such as climate change and environmental management. Headquartered near Cali, Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with staff posted in over 30 countries.

CIAT is seeking a dynamic scientist/manager with a keen interest in genetic resources and pronounced hands-on organizational skills. He/she will work under the direction of the Leader of the Genetic Resources Program to coordinate day-to-day operations of individual genebank units and to oversee work of one of the units in his/her area of expertise.


· Coordinate day-to-day operations of genebank units and staff working on germplasm acquisition, conservation, regeneration, disease diagnostics, seed viability, genetic integrity, distribution, documentation and procurement activities

· Oversee the elaboration of standard-operating procedures, risk-management plans and other elements of the genebank’s Quality-Management System

· Oversee work of one of the genebank units in accordance with his/her area of expertise (e.g. seed viability, DNA banking, data management, cryopreservation)

· Facilitate collaboration with colleagues from CIAT’s breeding programs, National Research Organizations in Colombia and Latin America, and the tropical-forages genebank at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Ethiopia

· Contribute to scientific studies aimed at enhancing the conservation and encouraging the use of genetic resources

· Receive genebank visitors and represent CIAT’s genebank in pertinent research, policy and partner fora, both internationally and in Colombia

· Fulfill institutional duties, and work with the Leader of the Genetic Resources Program on other tasks as required

Competencies and Requirements:

· MSc or PhD in seed physiology, genetics, taxonomy, botany, cryobiology or another relevant discipline

· Several years of post-graduate experience; familiarity with genebank operations would be an advantage

· Training and/or experience with project management or logistics and a preparedness to dedicate substantial time to facilitating smooth operations

· Ability to organize tasks of multi-disciplinary teams along timetables and to motivate/inspire staff towards performance and progress

· Preparedness to travel regularly both within Colombia and internationally

· Fluency in both English and Spanish, or willingness to learn Spanish very quickly

Terms of employment

This internationally recruited position and will be based at CIAT headquarters in Cali, Colombia, and report to the Leader of the Genetic Resources Program. The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of three (3) 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 “Genebank Operations Manager”.