Research Technician

Job Description

The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking to recruit a dynamic and experienced Research Technician I to provide support to CIP’s regional germplasm management activities conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS).

The Position

The Research Technician I will be based at KEPHIS Plant Quarantine and Biosecurity Station, Muguga, Nairobi, Kenya and will provide operative support in the lab, screenhouse and management of the germplasm acquisition database and ordering platform. This position will report to the Research Assistant.

Key Responsibilities:

Support Tissue Culture Lab Operations

Cleaning and sterilization of laboratory and laboratory apparatus.
Preparation of plant growth medium (MS).
Initiation of Ipomoea batatas explants into growth medium.
Subculture and multiplication of in vitro Ipomoea batatas.
Culture maintenance of in vitro Ipomoea batatas in the growth rooms.
Meristem-tip culture of infected Ipomoea batatas following virus screening.
Multiplication of received clones and preparing them for distribution.
Conduct Greenhouse Maintenance and Multiplications of materials

Hardening sweet potato plantlets from the tissue culture lab.
Rapid multiplication of disease-free varieties in the screen house.
Green house maintenance including cleaning, weeding, watering, spraying, disinfecting, inspecting greenhouse integrity and monitoring for disease.
Developing effective fertilizer and herbicide programs.
Identifying infected plants and preventing transmission.
Support on ICT Activities

Digitizing the physical records of all the sweet potato germplasm at Muguga Station.
Integrating the germplasm details, including passport data, from various databases and catalogues for importation into the new database.
Preparing and printing of the new field and lab labels with the updated data.
Testing and backend management of the new germplasm ordering platform.
Preparing orders made on the germplasm ordering platform.
Basic maintenance of office computer hardware and software.

Selection Criteria 

Technical studies in laboratory. Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology is a plus
At least 1 year of experience required in similar position
Knowledge of tissue culture and greenhouse production of sweetpotato
Knowledge of data collection and content creation
Fluent written and oral communication skills in English and Kiswahili
Strong teamwork skills
Strong client service orientation and displaying a good-natured cooperative attitude with internal and external clients
What are we offering?

Excellent working environment.
Generous compensation package commensurate with experience.
Work in an equal and diverse workplace.
What are the conditions?

The position is Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position limited to Kenya nationals and permanent residents only. The employment contract will be for six (06) months (with a 3-month probation period) possibility of renewal, subject to availability of funding.


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About International Potato Center

The International Potato Center, known by its Spanish acronym CIP, was founded in 1971 as a root and tuber research-for-development institution delivering sustainable solutions to the pressing world problems of hunger, poverty, and the degradation of natural resources. CIP is truly a global center, with headquarters in Lima, Peru and offices in 20 developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Working closely with our partners, CIP seeks to achieve food security, increased well-being, and gender equity for poor people in the developing world. CIP furthers its mission through rigorous research, innovation in science and technology, and capacity strengthening regarding root and tuber farming and food systems. CIP is part of the CGIAR Consortium, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CGIAR research is dedicated to reducing rural poverty, increasing food security, improving human health and nutrition, and ensuring more sustainable management of natural resources. Donors include individual countries, major foundations, and international entities.