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« Bioinformatics Systems Administrator (Support) | Main | Senior Bioinformatician »

ILRI vacancy: Senior Bioinformatician

Note: the position will be open untill filled

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Senior Bioinformatician to join its newly formed Global Livestock Genetics Program. Reporting to the leader of LiveGene, the global livestock genetics program, the individual appointed will each have an outstanding international profile in bioinformatics. S/he will have a strong record of significant publications, a demonstrated ability to generate research income and a demonstrated ability to work in complex and dispersed networks of international collaborators. Experience of research in the developing world is desirable but not essential and evidence of research that has been translated into impact is important. The position requires strong leadership skills as well as innovative and creative science. Appointment will be at senior or principal scientist level depending on skills and experience. Flexible institutional arrangements such as joint appointments may be considered for this position.

ILRI works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global research partnership of 15 centres working with many partners for a food-secure future. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in East, West and southern Africa and South, Southeast and East Asia.


CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

The LiveGene program of ILRI is an exciting new approach to livestock genetic improvement in developing countries. It integrates research on targeting, on molecular and reproductive technologies, and on genetic evaluation, breeding and delivery systems to bring improved productivity, on significant scale, to the world’s poor livestock keepers. Past attempts to deliver livestock genetic improvement in the developing world have often suffered from attempts to implement inappropriate developed-world approaches. We seek individuals familiar with existing systems but able to develop innovative approaches adapted to the complex realities of developing-world settings.

ILRI has state-of-the-art human capital and material support available through laboratory tools such as high-throughput genotyping and next-generation sequencing, informatics systems, and a livestock genomics platform; the first-class laboratory facilities at ILRI’s campus in Nairobi, Kenya, are shared with a wide range of African and international scientists as part of the BecA-ILRI Biosciences Hub ( ILRI also has excellent access to social, environmental and agri-economic information on livestock systems. The LiveGene program will work closely with networks of regional and global partnerships. The program is structured to allow high levels of support, integration and complementarity across its resources while recognizing that different livestock systems present very different challenges. Further information on ILRI is available at

Data management and integration is central to the work of the Global Livestock Genetics Program. There is a significant component of conventional bioinformatics, but the remit of this post extends to other aspects of computational analysis of biological problems.  This includes integration and management of multiple data types including GIS, phenotyping, modeling, sequence data and sample meta-data.  We seek a talented individual to take overall responsibility for the management and integration of data and where appropriate to develop novel methods for data communication and visualization. A solid background in bioinformatics is essential, but a significantly broader perspective is also required.


  • Liaise with senior project and program managers to coordinate and manage informatics requirements and opportunities;
  • Contribute to existing research projects and build independent research activities in informatics related to livestock genetics research;
  • Be responsible for ensuring maintenance of the LiveGene program’s collaborative networks and human and hardware capability to perform cutting-edge data analysis and visualization;
  • Be an inspiring and effective leader of a diverse and enthusiastic group;
  • Develop and implement a vision of informatics research and support at ILRI;
  • Ensure integration of informatics into the research and research planning process at ILRI;
  • Proactively establish and build strong relations with a range of local, regional and international partner institutes based on mutual trust and support;   


  • Doctoral degree (PhD) in bioinformatics or in biological sciences research driven by computational analyses, with at least 5 years post PhD experience;
  • Familiarity with bioinformatics, particularly the use and analysis of high-throughput sequencing data generated by a range of platforms;
  • Familiarity with approaches to achieve data integration, interoperability and visualization;
  • Experience in a supervisory role;
  • Familiarity with Linux & Unix platforms and computational pipelines;
  • Experience with high-performance clusters;
  • Experience in scripting and programming;
  • Experience with relational databases;
  • Excellent record of scientific publications and fundraising;
  • Demonstrated excellence as a manager of a team of professionals in a research organization;
  • Proven success in initiating and managing multi-stakeholder and international research projects;
  • Excellent written and spoken English;  

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

Position level: The position is Principal Scientist dependent on qualifications and experience.

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

Terms of appointment: ILRI offers a competitive international and 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.

Applications: Applicants should provide a cover letter explaining their interest, what they can bring to the job and indicating earliest availability. They should also send curriculum vitae that will include a list of publications and the names, addresses and contacts (including telephone and email) of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. The position title and reference number: SB/GLGP/03/2014 should be clearly indicated in the subject line of the cover letter.

All applications to be submitted online on our recruitment portal: Screening of applications will start on 20 April 2014 and continue until the positions are filled.

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at

To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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