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Funded Postdoc position at International Center for Tropical Agriculture, ETH Zurich in Switzerland

Postdoctoral Researcher for Genomic Selection in Common Bean

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. ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), is a world leading University situated in the heart of Europe, pioneering solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow. Together, CIAT and ETHZ are offering a postdoc position to implement genomics-based selection strategies in common bean.

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) provides a highly nutritious food, containing protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates and micronutrients. As such, beans strongly reinforce food and nutrition security among poor consumers. The CIAT bean program researchers have a long and successful history of developing varieties by working closely with a wide array of partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, North America and Europe. With the aim to strengthen the sustainability in food value chains, the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich has awarded a grant for the project “Increasing genetic gain in climbing beans”. This project aims to develop genomic selection tools to increase the efficiency of climbing bean breeding. The position would be located at both ETH Zürich in Switzerland, and the CIAT headquarter in Cali, Colombia to develop and implement methods.
The successful candidate will work on the development of genomic selection models to predict quantitative traits in climbing bean. This will include observation of glasshouse and field trials at CIAT headquarters in Colombia as well as CIAT Uganda, in order to get familiar with the phenotyping processes. The candidate is also expected to evaluate plant breeding strategies utilizing genomic selection methods to accelerate genetic gain in climbing bean.

Prerequisites are a PhD in plant breeding or a statistics-related field, experience in genomic selection modeling as well as good knowledge of statistical analyses of crop trials and bioinformatics analyses of genotyping by sequencing data. Familiarity with crop improvement programs, experience with bean or other legumes as well as practical experience in agronomy and field trial organization would be an advantage but are not essential. The candidate should demonstrate abilities to elaborate high-quality publications meeting international standards have strong communication skills and be proficient in English. Spanish language skill would be beneficial for the work at CIAT Colombia.
This position will be under ETHZ salary regulations. The contract will be for two years. ETHZ and CIAT offer a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. ETHZ/CIAT is an equal opportunity employer and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.

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. Closing date for applications is August 1, 2017, project start is envisioned in October 2017. Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Should you run into difficulties when submitting your application please send an email to for advice.

For further information about the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and ETH Zurich please visit our websites and Questions regarding the position (no applications) should be directed to Bodo Raatz (CIAT), email, or Prof. Dr. Bruno Studer (ETHZ), email

Deadline: August 01, 2017.

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