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Head of the CIP Genebank

Posted 3 years ago



The International Potato Center (CIP:)( is seeking a dynamic scientist to head our potato, sweet potato, and Andean root and tuber crops (ARTCs) germplasm bank, and its Biodiversity for the Future Global Program, as an integral part of the One CGIAR Genebanks Unit.  In close collaboration with CIP colleagues and public, private, and international partners, the position has responsibilities to implement CIP’s and the One CGIAR mission to conserve, expand, characterize, distribute and use the world’s largest collection of roots and tubers for the benefit of humankind.


The Company

CIP, a global CGIAR research center, works with partners to improve diets and incomes of poor people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America through scientific research, innovation, and capacity strengthening.  Focusing on potato and sweet potato as the entry point, CIP’s programs seek to strengthen broader agri-food systems to generate economic, social, and nutritional benefits for farmers, enterprises, and consumers emphasizing the priorities of women and youth in particular. CIP emphasizes the synergies between social and biophysical sciences as a core strategy for making breakthroughs in our understanding of complex development challenges in food and agriculture and for our ability to overcome these. Within this pluralistic strategy, qualitative social science has a central, and increasing place for explaining human and institutional behavior and assessing benefits and risks for human development. CIP’s work is embedded in broader global CGIAR research programs encompassing the world’s main agro-food systems and priority development challenges.


The Position

The position initially will report to the Deputy Director-General for Research and Development at CIP and, in the future, also to the Director of Genebanks of the One CGIAR, and will be based at CIPs headquarters in Lima, Peru.


Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Scientific Leadership to provide direction and oversight of the CIP genebank team and ensure the effective curation and use of the root and tuber collections while adhering to world-class genebank standards, as an integral part of CIP’s Biodiversity for the Future Global Program.
  • Effectively manage performance for staff and managers and build a strong team aligned to the department goals.
  • Develop collaborative efforts with CIP’s leaders at headquarters and in other regions and with relevant teams working on genetic resources of vegetatively propagated crops.
  • Collaborate closely with the CIP and other Centers’ Science Leaders in planning and coordinating actions for genetic resources management, research, and capacity building of partners worldwide following priorities established by the One CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy and investment plans.
  • Develop collaborative efforts with public, private, local, and international partners to advance the ex-situ conservation, collection, and prioritize the use of root and tuber genetic resources.
  • Work closely with the CIP Health Quarantine Unit and the Germplasm Acquisition and Distribution Unit to ensure world-class phytosanitary standards and harmonization with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the One CGIAR priorities.
  • Manage and potentially take responsibility for work packages and/or teams under the future CGIAR Genebank initiative
  • Represent the Center and the One CGIAR in a variety of research, investor, and partner forums. Increase the visibility and reputation of the CIP genebank. Position the CIP genebank as a world-class, innovating institution that serves as a role model to other genebanks worldwide.


Candidate Profile


  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in genetic resource conservation.
  • Experience in management of genebank operations with clonally propagated crops and/or seed crops and understanding of strengths and weaknesses of different conservation methodologies.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing a large team and leverage top results.
  • Capacity to strategically define a long-term vision for the CIP genebank and turn that into medium- and short-term objectives according to One CGIAR priorities.
  • Capacity to manage not only the technical aspects associated with a genebank but also the financial and economic sides of the operations.
  • Extensive knowledge of treaties, conventions, and IPRs on plant genetic resources.
  • Strong background and publication record in fields such as genetic resources, ex-situ conservation, diversity assessment, conservation of clonally propagated crops.
  • Excellent knowledge of and experience with quality management systems.
  • Experience in database management and understanding of molecular tools for the characterization of genetic resources.
  • Demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships and attracting funding.
  • Experience in potato and sweet potato genetic resources conservation, cryopreservation, and utilization is a plus.



  • Strong and effective leadership skills.
  • Able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. Fluency in English is required, and knowledge of Spanish is an asset.


Personal characteristics

  • A passionate, energetic, and results-oriented Scientific Leader.
  • Commitment to working in a multi-partner and multi-cultural environment.


Education level

  • Ph.D. degree in a Plant Science discipline


What is CIP Offering?

  • Exciting career opportunity in an international organization.
  • Internationally competitive salary paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience.
  • Comprehensive international insurance coverage.
  • Attractive retirement plan.
  • Three-year term contract with the possibility of renewal.
  • Work in an equal and diverse workplace.


Applications from women and citizens of developing countries are strongly encouraged to apply. CIP seeks diversity and gender balance in its staff.


Applicants should send an up-to-date CV and a one-page cover letter, including copies of the highest diploma/degree, training certificates related to the position, and names and email addresses of 3 professional referees to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at:  no later than April 9th at 18:00 CET. Please indicate in the ‘Subject’ of the email the title ‘application for the post of ‘application for the post of ‘Head of Genebank’.


The deadline has been extended until April 25th. If you have already applied, you don’t need to resend your candidature. 


Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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