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Cotton geneticist/breeder

Vacancy details


Future organization

CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development and innovation.

It has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems for tropical and Mediterranean regions capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.

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Position description


Science - Agricultural sciences


Permanent contract

Job title

Cotton geneticist/breeder

Begining date


Job description

Cirad is recruiting a researcher in cotton genetics and breeding to work in the Genetics and Varietal Innovation (GIV) team of the AGAP Institute (Genetic Improvement and Adaptation of Tropical and Mediterranean Plants) Joint Research Unit (UMR). This team contributes to the optimisation of selective breeding methods and their implementation on several annual crops (rice, sorghum, millet, cotton, root crops and tubers), in partnership with research and development institutions in developing countries.


Cotton is an industrial crop, grown mainly for the textile, food and cosmetics sectors. It is one of the mainstays of cropping systems in tropical and sub-tropical regions, which also include food crops.

- Expanding research on cotton cropping systems in the global south therefore contributes to development and to the food self-sufficiency of people in those countries. To meet the current and future challenges of African cotton sectors, it is crucial that new varieties be bred by taking into account the evolution of cropping systems, the constraints related to climate change (CC) and the sustainability of the profitability and competitiveness of these sectors.


The successful candidate will have 4 major objectives:

- Help to optimise the programmes of the various institutions in charge of breeding in West and Central Africa by mobilising modelling and programme simulation approaches, and by integrating, where possible and relevant, genotype data or other types of omics-data (near-infrared spectra),

- Contribute to the definition of ideotypes adapted to different cropping systems,

- Develop populations, on the one hand, to feed the region’s breeding programmes with relevant genetic variability and, on the other hand, to allow the analysis of the genetic determinism of key characters for cotton sectors (technology quality, adaptation to the effects of CC, adaptation to production routes) in the context of GxExM studies,

- Contribute to the training of young researchers and students and to the coordination of a regional plant equipment assessment network with the various institutes involved in cotton breeding.


Some of these activities will be conducted in close collaboration with researchers from other Cirad units who are working on the development of cotton-friendly crop models (the Agroecology and Sustainable Intensification of Annual Crops research unit - AIDA RU - in particular).

Desired profiled

• PhD or MSc in genetics and plant or animal breeding

• Knowledge in quantitative genetics and biostatistics (combined linear and non-linear models, multivariate analysis, etc.)

• Experience in agronomic experiments and selection methodologies. Proven experience

in managing a selection programme would be a plus

• Ability to mobilise innovative approaches (simulation, modelling, genotype data, phenotyping methods) to optimise breeding schemes

• Strong desire to conduct field work in a tropical environment, within the breeding programmes (experience in such countries appreciated)

• Strong motivation to live and work abroad

• Experience working in multidisciplinary research and development groups

• Experience in establishing and conducting collaboration with research and development partners

• Good writing skills and ability in the scientific utilisation of research results

• Experience putting together projects is desirable

• Ability and interest in supervising students

• Excellent command of French, and very good practical command of written and spoken English

After an induction period within the AGAP UMR in Montpellier, you will carry out missions for partner breeding programmes and use this positioning to set up, within 2 years of your recruitment, an assignment with one of the partners in Africa

Starting from 31k€, depending on the experience

Position constraints

Work in tropical/humid/subtropical areas

Work at a computer screen for more than 4 hours per day

Frequent domestic and international travel

Socio-professional category


France base salary, excluding expatriation allowances if applicable

à partir de 31k€ selon expérience


Job location



Montpellier puis affectation en Afrique

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