Research Assistant

International Rice Research Institute

Delhi, India

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is 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 Background And Purpose:

(information is used to support the advertisement) IRRI in association with NARES partners is engaged in developing and promoting high-yielding, climate-resilient, nutrient-rich, and other potential varieties in rice-based farming systems and exploring the implementable options for crop diversification and intensification. A timely replacement of older varieties with new ones and ensuring seed replacement rate significantly impact farm productivity and resource optimization, thus making farming more remunerative. There is a need to scale up the adoption of these varieties for better impacts. Indian national programs release many rice/crops cultivars each year, but relatively farmers adopt few. The farmer-to-farmer exchange is considered to be the main mechanism for the widespread dissemination of varieties. However, a lot of work needs to be done to ensure the quality of seeds distributed in farmer-managed systems through the engagement of potential community-led institutions. The formal seed chain needs to advance and scale the production, and distribution of new varieties/products through a strengthened Breeder Seed and Foundation seed linkage and timely/ production and distribution in the right volume for better access to quality seeds. Evidence-driven data need to be generated to evaluate the varietal performance of new varieties against the old popular varieties and data from on-farm trials need to be organized and fed systematically to NARES breeding and varietal improvement programs. Research for development needs to be strengthened around seed system models, varietal delivery, and adoption. Stakeholder feedback around a new product being evaluated and introduced or developed need to be captured systematically and fed into breeding programs. The seed business remains a potential enterprise opportunity for many farmers or farmer’s groups and needs to be built as a sustainable model for enhancing localized access, production, and supply of quality seeds. It is also important to compare and find the pros and cons of different delivery /extension approaches while disseminating these varieties and expecting adoption and research around this also needs to be strengthened.

This position under the supervision of officers and scientists will support seed system research programs through experiments deployment, community mobilization, close on-field coordination with implementing partners, survey execution, timely data collection and management, ground reporting, and facilitation of other initiatives from time to time.

Roles and Responsibilities:


  • This position will provide on-ground support for all seed system interventions in target regions.
  • Be the first portal of contact for all seed-related interventions, and associated research activities.
  • Building a strong conduit for implementing partners and scientists for timely flow of data, information, and insights as required.
  • Advancing field progress in developing farmer-led seed systems, especially through women-centric initiatives.


  • Strong engagement with the community, local line departments, and other seed system stakeholders for implementation and impact creation of research programs.
  • Networking with potential grassroots level entities (NGO, SHG, FPO, Seed Group etc) for research-based interventions.


  • Field based all support extended for the conduct of all forms of trials, demonstrations, and related other interventions.
  • Collect data from on-farm experimentation and demonstration and for other research sites • Record, compile, and encode data for reporting and analysis.
  • Orientation and capacity building of partners and farmers to the successful roll-out
  • All requisite data collected in the given template from the field and submitted to the supervisor in time bound manner.
  • QSP trainings for farmers at field level are well coordinated and implemented
  • Field level coordination made for beneficiary selection and seed distribution.


  • High school with 5 years of relevant experience; 2 years of college education and 3 years of relevant work experience

Skills Required:

  • Proficiency in MS office (Word, Excel etc) and basic understanding of rice production.