Crop Physiologist


The International Center for Tropical Agriculture ( works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco- efficiency of agriculture. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium (, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. The Center’s research focuses on increasing productivity of key crops (cassava, common bean, rice, and tropical forages), reversing soil and land degradation, and using information to foster better decisions about issues such as climate change and environmental management. Headquartered near Cali, Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with staff posted in other developing countries as well.

The Bean Program works with a large number of partners in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). The Crop Physiologist is expected to design and execute strategic research towards bean improvement efforts and also to contribute to targeting improved bean germplasm to different agroecological niches in Latin America and Africa. In the case of Africa the work will be done in close collaboration with the Pan African Bean Research Alliance (PABRA).


  • Lead/Develop annual work plans with the Bean team to contribute to CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Cereals and Legumes Agri-Food System (DCLAS)
  • Conduct research activities to quantify phenotypic differences in abiotic stress (low P, drought, heat) adaptation of common bean lines and germplasm accessions and define the physiological basis of differences and publish research results in journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and program/project reports
  • Contribute to the objectives of the Phenotyping Platform of CIAT by implementing research using advanced phenotyping tools
  • Represent CIAT in different fora; contribute to development of research proposals by bean team that seeks funding from bilateral sources; and link with on-going GIZ projects in the target regions to maximize impact of research
  • Strengthen capacity of students, research support staff and NARS partners in conducting research on phenotypic characterization of bean germplasm for tolerance to abiotic stress factors


  • PhD in crop physiology/soil-plant relations/plant nutrition preferably related to crop adaptation to abiotic stress factors
  • At least 3-5 years of research experience after PhD degree
  • Analytical capacity to distill key insights from large amounts of phenotypic data and familiarity with crop simulation models for targeting improved germplasmAbility to conceptualize, lead and implement strategic research work on abiotic stress tolerance in crops
  • Demonstrated ability to identify research problems and apply a range of tools to address them
  • Demonstrated writing/publication record on crop physiology related issues
  • Familiarity with the current state of knowledge and phenotyping tools that are relevant to crop adaptation to problem soils and climate change
  • Work experience in developing country agricultural contexts, particularly in the tropics
  • Good communication skills both written and oral and the ability to work in multicultural teams and across organizational boundaries

Desired Qualifications

  • Fluent English language skills. Some knowledge of Spanish is desirable (but not essential)
  • Willingness to travel in Latin America and Sub Sharan Africa as needed
  • Excellent networking capabilities with a range of different stakeholders including GIZ project partners

Terms of employment

The CIM expert will be based at CIAT headquarters in Cali, Colombia or under the Agrobiodiversity Research Area. The initial contract will be for two years, subject to a probation period and is renewable depending on performance, availability of resources and approval from CIM. Only candidates with German nationality or citizenship from another EU member country are eligible to apply.

The position is supported by CIM. Interested applicants are encouraged to contact Steve Beebe ( and CIAT Human Resources ( with a cover letter and curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
  • Organization: CIAT - International Center for Tropical Agriculture
  • Location: Cali
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Biology and Chemistry
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-29

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