Postdoctoral Fellow - Grain Quality and Nutrition

International Rice Research Institute , India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th June, 2019

Job Description

About IRRI

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and over 1,000 staff.

Working with in-country partners, IRRI develops advanced rice varieties that yield more grain and better withstand pests and disease as well as flooding, drought, and other harmful effects of climate change.

Job Purpose

The Centre of Excellence in Rice Value Addition (CERVA), a major component of the IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC), is dedicated to enhance contribution of rice towards sustainable food security and farm profitability in South Asia through grain value addition. Rice is a major source of calorie as well as nutrients for more than half of the world’s population. Elevating the status of rice as a delivery platform for nutritional benefits is being increasingly realized with the double burden of malnutrition posing a major health challenge in the developing world. Simultaneous tackling of undernutrition and obesity necessitates concerted multi-angle efforts involving expertise from agriculture, health, food and nutrition sectors. Rice is predominantly consumed in polished form with a considerable portion of vitamins, minerals, fibre and lipids removed along with bran and embryo during the process of milling. Enhancing micro and macronutrients of nutritional significance in the endosperm is a sustainable way of delivering benefit to millions of rice consumers in the region.

This Postdoctoral Fellow will undertake innovative research of strategic importance to CERVA and IRRI, enabling impact through contributing to efforts towards addressing the nutritional challenges of South Asia. The project will support CERVA’s research on developing Healthy Milled Rice, with particular focus on understanding the mechanisms of nutrient transport and distribution in rice grain.

This position will be based at our country office in Varanasi, India and is open to all nationalities.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Working closely with the Scientists of CERVA, carry out research involving detection, quantification and profiling of spatial distribution of macro and micro nutrients within rice grain, using biochemical, molecular and imaging techniques
  • Evaluate the phenotypic variability in nutrient distribution, existing within the diverse landrace collections from South Asia.
  • Explore the gene pools for naturally overexpressing or dysfunctional genes that promote mobilizing of health promoting nutrients into the endosperm, exploiting the genetic diversity available in the region.
  • Undertake multi-omics strategies to identify and characterize candidate and regulatory genes underpinning nutrient transport
  • Develop biochemical and molecular markers for nutrient enrichment to be utilized in marker assisted breeding programs
  • Collaborating with IRRI’s grain quality team, contribute to grain quality evaluation of nutrient enriched rice and rice based products using a range of modern grain quality testing tools and technologies
  • Carry out systematic compilation, analyses and interpretation of data to convey research outcomes to wider audience through meetings and conference presentations
  • Contribute to preparation of manuscripts for publication in high profile journals
  • Publish scientific articles based on research results in high quality disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals
  • Support project team in dissemination of research results through appropriate communication products and channels
  • Prepare and submit updated research outputs in a timely manner
  • Perform any other relevant duties as assigned by supervisor from time to time


  • PhD in Biochemistry, Food Chemistry and nutrition, Plant Molecular Biology or other related fields

Skills Required


  • Proven technical proficiency in undertaking result oriented research in the area of cereal quality
  • Experience in contributing to research publications and presentations
  • Demonstrated experience in research using Omics strategies
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Skills in implementing Quality assurance tools
  • Familiar with Risk management in laboratories
  • Excellent skills in oral and written communication, and teamwork


  • Experience in rice grain quality and nutrition
  • Experience in Mass Spectrometry imaging


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