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Scientist/Senior Scientist – Animal Nutrition at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to improve food security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for better and more sustainable use of livestock. ILRI is a CGIAR research centre – part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Scientist or Senior Scientist – Animal Nutrition to apply the principles of livestock nutrition to the improvement of livestock feed resources in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC’s). This will include developing and improving livestock feed options as well as refining methods for feed evaluation using chemical and spectral analysis. Livestock feed options include crop residues, planted forages and concentrate feeds.

The position.

Livestock productivity in developing countries is hampered by shortage of high-quality feed. Livestock are often fed sub-optimally on unimproved feeds including crop residues, natural pastures, and agro-industrial by-products. As livestock production intensifies there is a need to improve feed quality to support higher productivity in a sustainable manner.  Situated in the Feed and Forage Development (FFD) program, this role contributes to ILRI’s ongoing program of research on improvement of feed quality. Much of this work focuses on crop residue improvement. Crop residues are generally poor in quality, but improvements can be made by exploiting existing cultivar variations, targeted genetic enhancement of breeding material and through physical/chemical processing post-harvest. For example, the application of methods borrowed from the second-generation biofuel sector are relevant to improving feeds for ruminant livestock.

The evaluation of feed quality is also an important element of livestock productivity improvement. Feed evaluation is an emerging priority for laboratory facilities in LMIC’s and the use of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology for this evaluation offers a rapid and cost-effective method for measuring feed quality. Developing such methods, particularly making use of mobile NIRS devices, and sharing of prediction equations and standards across laboratories promises to greatly improve the capacity of the livestock industry to feed animals more effectively through better ration balancing and feed selection.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Conceptual development, planning and implementation of research in the areas of:
    • Novel approaches to improving feed quality through processing and supplementation
    • Genetic selection in food/feed crops for improvements in the nutritional quality of their residues
    • Devising simple ration formulation approaches that can easily be applied in smallholder livestock settings
    • Investigating the potential of NIRS analysis to improve feed evaluation in LMIC laboratories including the use of mobile NIRS devices.
  • Develop ideas for fundable projects in the above areas and draft research proposals to secure a portfolio of funded projects
  • Write and publish scientific papers, prepare conference/workshop presentations and contribute to other communication products (research briefs, policy briefs etc) on the above research topics and how they contribute to the overall research mandate of ILRI
  • Liaise with colleagues with complementary skills across the FFD programme, the ILRI community and the wider research for development community
  • Supervise science/technical staff, PhD and MSc students across multiple locations
  • Perform any other related duties as may be required

Requirements

  • PhD in animal nutrition, animal physiology or relevant discipline
  • Minimum of five years post-doctoral experience for Scientist and seven years for Senior Scientist.
  • In depth knowledge on smallholder livestock production systems in developing countries
  • Good publication record demonstrating a thorough understanding of livestock nutrition principles including processes of digestion, feed evaluation, feeding standards for maintenance and production and factors influencing voluntary intake of feed.
  • Experience with laboratory analysis including use and optimisation of NIRS tools

Post location: 

The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya or Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Terms of Appointment

This is position is at job level HG 18 or 19 and it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes pension, medical and other insurances

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