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ILRI Msc Graduate Fellowship: Genetic diversity study and GWAS in a Napier grass (Cenchrus purpureus) collections in Sub Sahara Africa

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an MSc student to focus on identification of molecular markers suitable for marker-assisted selection of Napier grass.

Application Deadline: 30th June 2020

About the Award:  The overall goal of this project is to develop a genomics database for Napier grass; thereby enabling breeders to apply advanced plant breeding procedures such as genomic selection and marker-assisted breeding in their projects.

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

Project title:  Genetic diversity study and GWAS in a Napier grass (Cenchrus purpureus) collections in Sub Sahara Africa.

Key responsibilities:

  1. Literature survey on “Progresses in genetic diversity & molecular breeding in Napier grass”
  2. Isolate DNA from Napier grass and barcode DNA accessions for long term storage
  3. Apply R packages for GWAS analysis and phylogenetics (Gapit, PLINK & ape etc.)
  4. Develop skills in Linux basics (handling fq files, alignment & variant calling)
  5. Use and optimize oxford nanopore technology at FFD and National Institute
  6. Data analysis and write-up (at least 1 poster and 1 peer-reviewed journal publication)

Type: Masters


  1. Completed MSc course work in Plant Science, Biological Sciences, or a related field and ready to start his/her thesis project.
  2. Degree in Plant Science, Biological Sciences, or a related field
  3. Demonstrated experience working in molecular genetics, quantitative genetics or bioinformatics
  4. Good working knowledge of MS Office packages
  5. Experience contributing to writing reports and journal publications
  6. An effective and energetic team player with the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment
  7. Ability to work independently, multi-task and meet tight deadlines
  8. Proficiency with written and spoken English

To be Taken at (Country): Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Number of Awards: 1

Value of Award:  ILRI will offer a stipend to cover living expenses in the project location, medical insurance and cover research expenses.

Duration of Award: 6 months (This is an appointment for initially 6 months with a possibility of extension. Start date will be agreed with the selected candidate, but ideally from September onwards)

How to Apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the fellowship 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 Head of Capacity Development by clicking on the tab through our recruitment portal http://ilri.simplicant.com/ before 30 June 2020.


Visit Award Webpage for Details

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