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(Closing date: 24 December 2016)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a highly motivated and outstanding experienced Bioinformatics Scientist to analyze, manage and ensure quality control of genomics and other metadata.

ILRI works with partners worldwide to enhance the roles that livestock play in food security and poverty alleviation, principally in Africa and Asia. The outcomes of these research partnerships help people in developing countries keep their farm animals’ alive and productive, increase and sustain their livestock and farm productivity, find profitable markets for their animal products, and reduce the risk of livestock-related diseases

ILRI is a not-for-profit institution with a staff of about 700 and in 2016, an operating budget of about USD83 million. A member of the CGIAR Consortium working for a food-secure future, ILRI has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, a principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and offices in other countries in East, West and Southern Africa and in South, Southeast and East Asia

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa-ILRI (BecA-ILRI) Hub is a shared research and biosciences platform. BecA-ILRI Hub is an initiative developed within the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)/African Union African Biosciences initiative. It consists of a Hub based on the ILRI campus in Nairobi, Kenya and a network of regional nodes and other affiliated laboratories and organizations throughout the region. The BecA-ILRI Hub is a modern, state of the art biosciences facility, a suite of shared platforms established for research, capacity building and research related services in support of African and international agricultural scientists. The BecA-ILRI Hub facilities are world class, with a range of advanced molecular biology, immunology, diagnostics, crop research, genomics laboratories and bioinformatics platform all equipped with an up-to-date suite of specialized bioscience equipment (e.g. Illumina MiSeq sequencer, ultra high performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometer (UHPLC-MS), atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) and specialized facilities (e.g. Biosafety level 3 laboratory, plant growth facilities). The Hub hosts and conducts research in crop, microbe and livestock areas where new developments in science offer promise to address previously intractable problems constraining Africa’s development. Capacity building is a major goal of all activities. The scope covers agriculture and food security and their intersections with human health and nutrition, and the sustainable use of Africa’s natural resources. Further information is available at


The Position

The position will involve research and capacity building activities geared towards enhancing the understanding of the origin and dynamics of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. The Incumbent will be involved in training and mentorship of postgraduate students from the Afrique One-ASPIRE (African Science Partnership for Intervention Research Excellence) consortium on bioinformatics. Afrique One-ASPIRE is a consortium developing research within the One Health framework, targeting zoonotic and emerging diseases and taking into account human, animal and environmental components to identify integrated solutions for elimination.


  • Combine computational biology/functional genomics information with genetic approaches to understand origin and dynamics of ASF
  • Ability to work effectively in cross-functional teams to manage and ensure quality control of genomics and other metadata
  • Design, establish and manage databases to store and share sequencing data
  • Lead the development of pipelines for genome assembly, annotation and other computational analyses
  • Contribute to the Hub bioinformatics infrastructure upgrade
  • Contribute to capacity building activities
  • Supervision and mentorship of junior staff, students and visiting scientists
  • Technical support to scientists both at the Hub and institutions in the region
  • Contribute to resource mobilization
  • Remain at the cutting-edge on technical and biological advancements by participating in professional meetings, career development activities and by encouraging others to bring information into agricultural research and development activities.


  • PhD degree obtained not more than five years ago in computational biology/functional genomics, molecular biology, genetics or related scientific field
  • Three – five years’ work experience in a bioinformatics position
  • Demonstrated competency to effectively prioritize projects, manage multiple project deadlines and allocate resources accordingly
  •  Ability to work both independently and contribute significantly as a team member.
  • Knowledge of genetics, biotechnology and their applications to agricultural research
  • Experience in managing and using relational databases
  • Experience in the design and statistical analysis of experimental data
  • Familiarity with commonly used bioinformatics databases, and bioinformatics tools (samtools, IGV, ANNOVAR, GATK) and file formats (BED, VCR, FASTQ, BAM) preferred
  • Proficiency in the use of bioinformatics tools (e.g. IGV, GATK, BLAST, SAMtools, etc.), file formats (e.g. FASTQ, BED, BAM, VCR), and publicly available genomics databases (e.g. GEO, ExAC, ESP, ClinVar, GenBank, Ensemble, KEGG, HGMD, OMIM).
  • Experience in management of capacity building activities both individual and institutional
  • Strong programming skills in either R or Python
  • Demonstrate experience working and developing in a Linux environment
  • Knowledge in SQL and scripting languages (PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby)
  • Experience working in an advanced biotechnology research group
  • Knowledge of genome sequencing strategies
  • Solid working knowledge of various bioinformatics packages used for genome data analysis
  • Strong technical science writing skills as demonstrated by publications in at least 4 peer-reviewed journals and other publications
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to perform in a multicultural research environment and as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Interest in international agricultural research and development
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Knowledge of French is an added advantage.

Post location: The position is based at ILRI’s Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Position level: The position level is 4C.

Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.

Benefits: ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes 15% Pension, Medical insurance, Life insurance and allowances for: Education, Housing, Relocation, Home leave, Annual holiday entitlement of 30 days + public holidays.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job 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 Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal on or before 24 December 2016. The position title and reference number:  SB/ BecA /11/2016 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about working at ILRI visit

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.



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