Post-Doctoral Fellow, Banana Evaluation (Leuven, Belgium)

negotiable / YEAR Expired 2 months ago
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Post-Doctoral Fellow, Banana Evaluation

The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) deliver research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.
With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis.
The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.
About the position

Based at the Bioversity International Transit Center in Leuven, Belgium hosted by KU Leuven, and under the supervision of the Principal Scientist, Biodiversity for Food & Agriculture, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will complement the phenotyping teams in Leuven (BE) and Cali (CO). Twenty percent of the time will be used to support the phenotyping work on site in Colombia. The incumbent will establish different current and future climates in our high throughput growth chamber the “BananaTainer–” and will use our online transpiration monitoring platforms in Leuven and Cali to model transpiration behavior and assist in field evaluations at different agro-ecological zones around Cali. We are a home for the international banana collection and are internationally considered as a leading center for banana diversity research.

More specifically, the Post-Doctoral Fellow will execute the following tasks:
Coordinate with the technical phenotyping staff and conduct screening bananas for climate change adaptation, and drought tolerance.
Under the supervision of the principal scientist, design and implement lab and greenhouse experiments in the evaluation of banana cultivars for climate change adaptation and tolerance to drought.
Harmonize the interaction with the phenotyping work in Cali.
Present donors and stakeholders with project related updates.
Assist in fund writing and resource mobilization.
Advise and update the teams on progress of research activities and identify issues in the implementation of experiments and data quality.
Interact with the Banana Characterization and Evaluation Research teams at Leuven, Montpellier, and Kawanda.
Develop plans and layouts of experiments in consultation with the supervisor.
Execute data analysis.
In collaboration with the principal scientist, supervise technical staff and students to collect, verify, curate climatic and agronomic data in formats that are ready for data processing, analyses and repository.
Where appropriate, collect samples (soil, plant) and related data for molecular analyses.
Plan, manage and supervise the day-to-day labor requirements of the local team to facilitate the smooth conduction of experiments.
In liaison with the principal scientist, to support, supervise and train junior technical and technical staff in performing tasks to ensure that research is of high quality and objectives are met within the given resources and time frame.
Rigorous and sound data production and analysis from the above experiments
Regular reports of progress on different activities in Leuven and Colombia.
Continuation and generation of peer reviewed scientific manuscripts and donor reports.
Contribution to the preparation of research proposals and related fundraising activities



PhD in Agriculture, Crop Science, or Crop Improvement from a renowned university
Previous working experience (at least 3 years) carrying out phenotyping work
Proficiency in data collection and analysis via R based platforms.
Excellent mathematical and modelling skills.
Excellent command of the English language, both written and spoken.
Good command of Spanish language, especially spoken.
Ability to work independently and participate as a team member in accomplishment of duties.
Ability to travel long distances and spend extended periods of time abroad.
Commitment to the organization’s mission and core values.
Precise, well-organized and structured work approach.
Well-developed skills in personal organization, priority setting, problem-solving, and accuracy.
Flexibility, and ability to meet deadlines.
Results-oriented and an eager-to-learn attitude.
Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with people from different cultural and national backgrounds.



Terms of employment

This is a locally recruited position which will be based in Leuven, Belgium. All benefits are denominated and paid in EURO. The salary is level 8, on a scale of 14 levels, with level 14 being the highest.  The salary range starts from Euro 49,610 per annum and exempt from Belgian income tax. The remuneration package includes a competitive salary, leave provisions, medical and life insurance, and non-contributory retirement plan.  The contract will be for a period of two years, subject to a probationary period of 6 months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of funds.  Please note this position is only open to citizens or residents of the European Union.

Please note that eligible applicants must have the legal status to live and work in the European Union.  Citizens of EU countries and citizens of non-EU countries are individually responsible for compliance with requirements and formalities established by the national immigration law of the country where they stay and carry out their working activity.


Please apply online through the website ( no later than 12 March 2024, attaching a curriculum vitae, motivation letter, both in English, and contact information (e.g. names, email address) of at least three references. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


Closing date for applications: 12 March 2024

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Leuven, Belgium
This job has expired.