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The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit institution that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with various partners across sub-Saharan Africa, we improve livelihoods, enhance food and nutrition security, increase employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Please visit for more information about IITA.


IITA is seeking to recruit various nationally recruited staff positions under BioSSA project, to be based in Dar es salaam- Tanzania.

Research Associate – Ref No. IITA-TZ-2023-NRS-015-DSM

The Research Associate has the overall responsibility for maintaining, growing, storing and manipulating the microbial strains in the laboratory for field experiments under the BioSSA project. The research Associate will work closely with project staff and will ensure that efficient strain collection management/manipulating, analyses and reporting is done in a timely manner.

This position is based in Dar es Salaam and reports to the Soil Microbiologist.


  • Ensuring microbial collections for use in the project are maintained, stored, grown, and formulated as per the required standards.
  • Examination, assessment and characterization of strains used in field trials.
  • Extraction, examination and identification of strains used in field trials using dissecting and compound microscopes as well as molecular tools, evaluating influences of crop-soil environment for biostimulant research.
  • Ensure microbial mass production for laboratory and field testing.
  • Setting up laboratory trials in close collaboration with the project staff.
  • Working together and assisting staff and other researchers working in the laboratory and preparation of experimental materials.
  • Contribute to developing protocols for assessment of potential products in terms of quality control and quality assurance.
  • Establishment of databases (laboratory files, data sheets, logging forms and data entry), keeping them organized, updated, and precise.
  • Carrying out inventories and quotations of chemicals, equipment, and laboratory consumables, field samples for laboratory analysis, and maintenance of laboratory equipment
  • Coordinating with scientists, other laboratory staff, to ensure that laboratory activities are effectively and efficiently done.
  • Supervision of interns/attachment students and perform other duties assigned by the supervisors.

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Criteria for Success

  • Must be able to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Need to participate as a team member in accomplishment of duties.
  • Strong attention to detail and maintaining a timely and efficient workflow.
  • A positive attitude and strong administrative service orientation.
  • Possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills, good judgement, and a high level of respect for confidentiality.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Critical thinkerand curious individual.

Required Qualifications / Experience

  • MSc degree in soil microbiology and biology molecular technique
  • Minimum of three years of working experience
  • Experience in soil microbiology research, preferably on topics that are relevant to BioSSA project (fungal collection maintenance, growth of microorganisms, formulation of microbe-based products).
  • Proven skills and experience in soil microbiology techniques in the laboratory.
  • Familiarity with molecular techniques such as PCR/RFLP and DGGE.
  • Computer literacy and statistical data analysis capabilities.
  • Fluency in oral and written English.

The initial contract for the position is for two years: renewable subject to performance and availability of funds. The duty station for the position will be IITA in Dae es salaam. This is a nationally recruited position and IITA offers a competitive remuneration package.

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Applications including a cover letter, curriculum vitae, copies of certificates, telephone number, email address, and names/addresses of two referees should be addressed to the Country Representative, IITA-Tanzania, Plot No. 25, Mwenge – Coca-Cola Road, Mikocheni Industrial Area P.O. Box 34441, Dar es Salaam and sent by email to

Applicants are requested to use the position heading reference number as the email subject.

Closing date is on 16th of October 2023. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.