Tailored opportunities: PhD Fellowship in Genomic epidemiology of Rift Valley fever in East Africa


The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a PhD Graduate Fellow to undertake research in ’’Genomic epidemiology of Rift Valley fever in East Africa: A data driven intervention for effective control and prevention of the disease.”

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional of country offices in East, South and Southern Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa. www.ilri.org

The Position

The Animal and Human Health research program in the Bioscience directorate at ILRI has an exciting position for a PhD Graduate Fellow who will be a key member of a team working on the epidemiology of RVF – a zoonotic disease caused by RVF virus (RVFV). The goal of the team is to genetically characterize previous and current outbreak viruses circulating in Uganda and Kenya. We seek a student with a good background in microbiology or molecular biology and a solid experience in Bioinformatics, preferably genomics and phylogeny, to join a new project with partners and collaborators from Africa and Germany.

Project title: Genomic epidemiology of Rift Valley fever in East Africa: A data driven intervention for effective control and prevention of the disease.


  • Isolation of RVF virus from fresh and bio-banked samples
  • Extraction of nucleic acids from isolated viruses
  • High throughput whole genome sequencing of the isolated viruses using Illumina and Oxford Nanopore technologies
  • Bioinformatic analysis of the sequence data and genetic characterization of the circulating virus strains
  • Using the genetic data generated to perform transmission dynamics analysis and produce risk maps



  1. MSc degree in bioinformatics and molecular biology;
  2. Relevant work experience in genomics and data analysis using programing languages such as Perl, Python;
  3. Experience in handling of diverse datasets, data processing and statistical software such as R, SPSS, Matlab;
  4. Careful and correct mode of work, especially about field data collection and data analysis, demonstrated skills in writing scientific papers;
  5. Experience of living or working in the context of developing countries, especially East Africa, would be beneficial;
  6. Willingness to perform field work in rural conditions and ability to work independently and solution-oriented;
  7. Ability to cooperate with students and field assistants, farmers and other stakeholder groups, and partly supervise MSc students


Deadline for application is 19 July 2019


Applicants should send a cover letter and CV explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal http://ilri.simplicant.com/ on or before 19 July 2019. The position title and reference number REF: PhD/ILRI/AHH/GF/02/2019 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

Author: African Academic/Researcher

Science and Research by Africans for Africa

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