The role – Programme Leader – Genetic Resources is a member of the senior management team in LRD and is accountable to the Director LRD, with technical and administrative links to the Deputy Director as required. As the head of the Genetic Resources programme, the role assumes overall leadership and management responsibilities for effective and efficient operations and service delivery of the conservation and use of crop and tree genetic resources that contribute to food and nutrition security in the Pacific region. This role encompasses management and implementation of the programme’s work plans, staffing and financial resources.
The key focus areas of the role include:
- The Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) – Upgrade and manage a long-term genebank facility that follows international standards in the acquisition, conservation and distribution of annual and perennial crops and trees for the Pacific region. This role will involve the screening, development, evaluation, and distribution of climate-resilient and highly nutritious crop varieties. The Programme Leader will also be responsible for strengthen breeding and seed systems in the Pacific region, as well as establishing and strengthening community-based seed banks.
- Leadership and management – Provide sound leadership and overall coordination and management of the programme, and ensure the development of a team-oriented culture to enhance the delivery of the programme’s work plans and its services to PICT members and partners.
- Policy and advice – Provide policy analysis and timely responses to the LRD Director, senior management team, PICTs and other international organisations on genetic resources and sustainable conservation in the region.
- Technical services – Ensure timely provision of strategic technical advice and appropriate technical assistance and support to PICTs and key international stakeholders on genetic resources management.
- Resource mobilisation – Play a lead role in the mobilisation of additional resources to further enhance LRD’s work on genetic resources.
- Reporting – Ensure that all reporting requirements for Genetic Resources are in line with SPC policies and regulations, and are produced accurately and in a timely manner.
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.
Key selection criteria
- A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as science, genetics, or plant breeding
Knowledge and experience
- At least 10 years of leadership experience at a senior management level
- Research expertise in the areas of conservation of clonal crops in tissue culture and cryopreservation
- Knowledge of international plant genetic resources intellectual property and phytosanitary issues, as well as other legal issues related to relevant international treaties and genebank operations
- Previous experience in fundraising, proposal preparation and project management
- Working knowledge of country forestry land policies and plans and national strategic action plans in the Pacific region
- Understanding of emerging issues relating to climate change, sustainable production intensification and markets in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is desirable
- Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals
- Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to motivate, inspire and promote teamwork in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and regional context
- Strong negotiation and coordination skills
- Excellent report writing, planning and organising skills
- Attention to detail
- Initiative and ability to think laterally to identify innovative solutions
- Excellent PC-based computer skills, including high proficiency in Microsoft Office and use of the Internet
- Ability to work as part of a small team with a high level of interpersonal skills
- Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
- Ability to communicate effectively with member country governments and other regional and international organisations
- Ability to work in a multicultural, equitable and inclusive environment
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – Three years
Remuneration – The Programme Leader – Genetic Resources is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,393‒4,242 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 9,705–12,131 (USD 4,683–5,853; EUR 4,196–5,245). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.
Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).
Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.
As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.
SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.
Closing Date – 8 June 2018
Applicants must apply online.
Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.
For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:
- an updated resume
- contact details for three professional referees
- a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
- responses to all screening questions
Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.
Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.
For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.
Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.
- Explain what the main function of a genetic resources centre should be, given the nature of Small Island Development States (SIDS)
- Quality management is an integral component of running an effective Genetic Resources Centre – give a few critical elements of Quality Management System
- How should a resource mobilization plan for the Genetic Resource Centre look like in the Pacific
- What would be an ideal human resource team to run effectively / efficiently the Genetic Resources Centre for Crops and Trees in the Pacific
- A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?
About the Organization
The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.
The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) on all aspects of agriculture and forestry. This includes plant protection, conservation, plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, biosecurity and trade facilitation, and sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management. This work has two objectives: improved food and nutritional security, and resilient communities. The division’s services are provided through seven technical/thematic teams: Animal Health and Production; Plant Health; Biosecurity and Trade Facilitation; Forest and Agriculture Diversification; Crop Production and Extension; Genetic Resources; and Forests and Trees.