International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Plant Breeder / Geneticist

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Job Description

  The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA's Major Programme 2, "Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection". This Major Programme comprises individual programmes on food and Agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The Major Programme's objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage the marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture assists Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA in using nuclear techniques and related technologies to improve food security, alleviate poverty and promote sustainable agriculture. The Joint Division consists of five Sections, each with an associated laboratory (located in Seibersdorf, 45 km south-east of Vienna), in the areas of: animal production and health; plant breeding and genetics; insect pest control; soil and water management and crop nutrition; and food and environmental protection.The Plant Breeding and Genetics Section and Laboratory assist Member States with the development of mutation induction methodologies and integrated applications of mutation breeding techniques for crop improvement and Biodiversity, contributing to the sustainable intensification of crop production systems.

Main Purpose

As a member of a team led by a Section Head, the Plant Breeder/Geneticist contributes to a results-based programme in response to Member States' priorities in the application of nuclear and biotechnologies to meet their food security goals related to the application of mutation induction for sustainable intensification of crop production systems.


The Plant Breeder/Geneticist is a (1) technical officer and research Coordinator, ensuring the efficient and effective development and implementation of research, training and scientific and technical knowledge dissemination, and assisting in the evaluation and implementation of technical cooperation projects for IAEA and FAO; (2) technical expert, assisting in the planning and conducting basic technical meetings and review missions; (3) facilitator, working with Member States to meet their national and regional Agricultural Development objectives, and; (4) liaison agent, working with relevant stakeholders on issues related to plant breeding, nuclear and Biotechnology techniques.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Contribute technical expertise to the formulation and implementation of coordinated research projects related to mutation breeding, especially in environmentally stressed conditions, including the evaluation of research contracts and agreement proposals, monitoring the progress of projects, organization of meetings and the publication of results.
  • Support and contribute, as technical officer, to the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the IAEA technical cooperation projects in crop improvement.
  • Prepare guidance, review and information documents on nuclear and other technologieas as applied to plant breeding.
  • Plan and organize scientific and advisory meetings, participate in technical missions, and represent the IAEA at international meetings and conferences.
  • Participate in training and Capacity Building activities for IAEA staff and Member State scientists.
  • Develop initiatives and collaborate on cross-cutting activities of the subprogramme; coordinate work with national and international stakeholders.
  • Liaise with and organize feed-back from Member States.
  • Perform other activities as directed by the supervisor in support of the implementation of subprogramme activities.
Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies Communication Communicates orally and in writing in a clear, concise and impartial manner. Takes time to listen to and understand the perspectives of others and proposes solutions.

Achieving Results Takes initiative in defining realistic outputs and clarifying roles, responsibilities and expected results in the context of the Department/Division’s programme. Evaluates his/her results realistically, drawing conclusions from lessons learned.

Teamwork Actively contributes to achieving team results. Supports team decisions.

Planning and Organizing Plans and organizes his/her own work in support of achieving the team or Section’s priorities. Takes into account potential changes and proposes contingency plans.

Functional Competencies Judgement/decision making Consults with supervisor/manager and takes decisions in full compliance with the Agency’s regulations and rules. Makes decisions reflecting best practice and professional theories and standards.

Partnership building Identifies and builds partnerships. Develops and maintains long lasting partnerships to strengthen relationships. Delivers programmatic outputs and acquires resources in support of Agency goals.

Technical/scientific credibility Ensures that work is in compliance with internationally accepted professional standards and scientific methods. Provides scientifically/technically accepted information that is credible and reliable.

Required Expertise Plant Science Plant Biotechnology Proven expertise in the fields of plant breeding and mutation induction, particularly related to inducing abiotic stress tolerance in seed propagated crops.

Bioscience Plant Breeding and Genetics Proven expertise in the field of plant breeding and genetics, including mutation breeding.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

Bachelor's Degree - University degree in plant breeding, genetics, or a related discipline. Advanced university degree an advantage.

Minimum of five years of postgraduate experience in research on the application of induced mutagenesis for breeding, or other technologies relevant to crop improvement in a national or international setting.

Strong publication record in international, peer-reviewed journals.

Familiarity with the management of databases and information system would be an asset.

Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.

Remuneration The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $62120 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 31992, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks' annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international Civil Servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards (or values): Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process
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