Plant Breeder / Geneticist (Plant Breeding & Genetics Sect), Vienna, Austria

Organization: IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

Country: Austria

City: Vienna

Office: IAEA Vienna, Austria

Grade: P-4

Closing date: Sunday, 8 May 2022

Plant Breeder / Geneticist (Plant Breeding & Genetics Sect)(P4)

( 2022/0169 (004354) )

Organization: NAFA-Plant Breeding and Genetics Section

Primary Location: Austria-Vienna-Vienna-IAEA Headquarters

Job Posting: 2022-03-21, 10:51:08 AM

Contract Type : Fixed Term


Probation Period : 1 Year

Organizational Setting

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 Division 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 the Section Head, the Plant Breeder/Geneticist contributes to a results-based programme in response to Member States‘ priorities in the application of nuclear and efficiency enhancing technologies in plant breeding to meet their food security goals.


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 for IAEA and FAO; (2) technical expert, assisting in the planning and conducting of technical meetings and field missions; (3) facilitator, working with Member States to meet their national and regional agricultural development objectives; (4) liaison agent, working with relevant stakeholders on issues related to nuclear applications for crop improvement through plant breeding, genetics, biotechnology and molecular techniques.

Functions / Key Results Expected

Formulate and implement coordinated research projects related to nuclear and other advanced technologies in plant breeding, including the evaluation of research contracts and agreement proposals, monitoring the progress of projects, organization of meetings and 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 advanced technologies as applied to plant breeding.

Contribute expertise to plant breeding and biotechnologies and provide scientific information on the use of induced mutations to other divisions of IAEA and FAO.

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 novel initiatives and collaborate on cross-cutting activities of the programme; coordinate work with national and international stakeholders.

Interact with the Plant Breeding and Genetics Laboratory on irradiation services, research and development, and training.

Perform other activities as directed by the supervisor in support of the implementation of subprogramme activities.

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies

Name Definition

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.


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.


Actively contributes to achieving team results. Supports team decisions.

Functional Competencies

Name Definition

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

Function Name Expertise Description

Plant Science

Plant Biotechnology

Proven expertise in plant biotechnology methods, including tissue culture based technologies.


Plant Breeding and Genetics

Proven expertise and in depth knowledge in plant breeding and genetics, including mutation breeding and knowledge in genotyping for mutation detection.

Asset Expertise

Function Name Expertise Description

Plant Science

Crop Production

Knowledge of breeding in vegetatively propagated crops.

Plant Science

Plant Diseases Control

Thorough knowledge of breeding for plant disease resistance.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

Advanced university degree (masters) or equivalent in plant breeding and/or genetics or related discipline. Doctorate degree an asset.

Minimum of seven years of recent scientific experience in plant breeding and genetics.

Practical field experience in plant breeding for abiotic or biotic tolerance/resistance.

Practical field experience in application of induced mutations for crop improvement a strong asset.

Familiarity with the use of nuclear and biotechnology methods for the induction and/or detection of genetic alteration in plants for crop improvement.

Experience in crop improvement project management in developing countries an asset.

Experience in international project management and coordination an asset.

Experience in R&D project management and fund raising an asset.

A strong record of published research papers in peer reviewed journals and reports.

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


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $75602 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 35533*, 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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