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Crop Improvement Global Leader

Lima (Peru)

International Potato Center



Crop Improvement Global Leader


The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a dynamic Plant Breeder to lead its Global Crop Improvement research area. The incumbent will lead an international scientific team working with national agricultural research systems and Advanced Research Institutions to plan and carry out potato and sweet potato breeding research, capacity building and outreach toward sustainable productivity gains and global food security.

The Center: CIP is a non-profit international agricultural research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweet potato, and Andean roots and tubers. Its vision is “roots and tubers improving the lives of the poor”. CIP is dedicated to achieving food security, improved well-being, and gender equity for poor people in root and tuber farming and food systems of the developing world. CIP works with partners to contribute high quality science, technology, and capacity strengthening for sustainable science-based solutions. As part of its 2014-2023 Strategy and Corporate Plan, CIP has established six strategic programs, which aim at achieving impact in the short, medium and long term with potato and sweetpotato research products. CIP is headquartered in Lima, Peru, with staff and activities in over 20 locations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. It holds in trust the world’s largest potato collection comprising seven cultivated potato groups and wild relatives. CIP is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a network of 15 Research Centers and 16 Research Programs mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 50 donor members. It is furthermore the Lead Center for the Root, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) CGIAR Research Program.

The position: This position will report to the Deputy Director General for Research and Development and the location is CIP’s headquarters in Lima, Peru; with frequent international travel in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The purpose of the position is to lead and coordinate CIP’s potato and sweet potato crop improvement strategies with scientists in breeding, genetic resources, genomics and biotechnology in collaboration with other Science Leaders and disciplinary teams. The scientist role is to organize in particular tropical and subtropical potato breeding undertakings and assure the delivery and long term ability of CIP’s breeding populations to help meet growing demand for safe and nutritious food under the challenges brought about by climate change. Responsibilities will include conducting and coordinating strategic and applied research and product development in institutional programmatic and international collaborative contexts. One of the major objectives of the applied research is the development of improved populations and varieties and the use of 2x and 4x potato germplasm. In depth knowledge and demonstrated accomplishment in allocation of breeding resources from germplasm enhancement to variety development is required. Fund raising, research strategy setting, pipeline and stage/gate management, as well as team management skills are key responsibilities of the position.

Duties and responsibilities:

Strategic and applied Research

  • Provide strategic scientific leadership for potato and sweet potato crop improvement, setting breeding priorities for the next two decades in interaction with other science leaders towards the achievement of CIP’s strategic objectives, mission and vision.
  • Provide science vision and long-term strategy for the discipline in order to reach breeding goals and assure the delivery of the breeding pipeline.
  • Achieve scientific excellence through the use of up-to-date crop improvement methods, knowledge and information exchange, team building and strengthening communities of practice.
  • The incumbent will direct and support the use of basic and improved genetic resources, enjoying proximity to potato and sweetpotato gene banks and diverse environments and cultures in centers of diversity and across target environments for crop improvement

Program Management and Planning

  • As a member of the Science Leadership Team, contribute to develop CIP’s Strategic Programs’ business plans ensuring the contribution of crop improvement teams in the definition and delivery of breeding outputs and outcomes in the short, medium and long term.
  • Ensure proper management of projects and financial resources
  • Participate in attracting competitive grants and external funding from a range of public and private donors to implement crop improvement activities, expand international linkages and collaborative programs.
  • Attract researchers, interns, and visiting scholars to CIP and develop collaborative projects, and provide opportunities for students and breeders to get exposure and expand linkages between national and international agricultural research institutions.
  • Establish and strengthen strategic partnerships with relevant crop improvement science institutions to conduct priority research activities to support the realization of research objectives.
  • Promote the formation of multidisciplinary teams to support the delivery of breeding products that respond to demands of stakeholders.


  • PhD in Plant Breeding, advanced knowledge in quantitative genetics, population improvement and molecular breeding, preferably but not exclusively in polyploid and/or clonal crops.
  • At least 10 years’ experience and recognized achievements in clonal crop breeding or equivalent accomplishments in at least one major food crop.
  • At least 5 years’ experience as a senior crop improvement program or project manager in public or private organizations. Having at least 3 years of experience as a project leader contributing to international research programs in an agricultural research for development context would be a plus.
  • Experience in leading multi-cultural teams in a variety of developing country contexts.
  • Excellent leadership skills to collaborate effectively.
  • Demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships.
  • Demonstrated experience in attracting substantial research funding.
  • Strong publication record in the discipline.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English is required. Spanish, French or other languages are an asset.

Conditions: Employment contract will be for a three-year term with the possibility of renewal. Salary will be internationally competitive, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. CIP provides additional benefits including employer-paid medical, life and disability insurance and retirement benefits. Allowances toward relocation, housing, home leave travel, dependents’ education and annual leave are also provided. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.

Applications: Applicants should apply online through CIP’s Job Opportunities website (, including a cover letter, a full C.V. with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin on October 15th, 2016 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: CIP - International Potato Center
  • Location: Lima (Peru)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
  • Closing Date: 2016-11-14

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