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, 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 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.
The Curator will be responsible for the staff in the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) Genebank, ensuring the effective and efficient management of ex-situ (tissue culture, seed, cryopreservation, field, screen house and cold-storage) collections of plant genetic resources (crops and tree species including landraces, breeding lines, wild relatives and endangered species). The incumbent will also collaborate with key institutions in the Pacific and globally and will facilitate and monitor the availability of crop and tree species to all users and requestors following proper agreements. The position will report directly to the Program Leader – Genetic Resources with close links to the Divisional Director and Senior Management Team of the division.
The key responsibilities of the role include:
· Management of CePaCT genebank activities
· Genebank Quality Management System & Documentation
· Technical advice and networking
· Program Management Support
For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.
Key selection criteria
· Post-graduate degree in science with a specialisation in botany, genetics, or sustainable management of plant genetic resources
Knowledge and experience
· Minimum of 8 years’ experience in a similar role or demonstrated project management and staff supervision experience
· Expertise in research areas relevant to the conservation of clonal crops in tissue culture and cryopreservation
· Good understanding of international plant genetic resources intellectual property and phytosanitary issues as well as other legal issues related to relevant international treaties and gene bank operations
· Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals
· Experience in computational and statistical tools for the management of genetic resources information
· Experience in fund-raising, proposal preparation and project management
· Proven ability to motivate inspire and promote teamwork in an interdisciplinary, multicultural, and regional context
• Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage**
Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness
· Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment**
Salary, terms and conditions
Contract Duration – 3 years
Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.
Remuneration – The Curator – Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) is a Band 11 position in SPC’s 2020 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 3,015‒3,769 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 8,986–11,233 (USD 4,161–5,202; EUR 3,709–4,636). 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 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, 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.
Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander.
How to apply
Closing Date – 24 November 2020 – 11:45pm Fiji time
Applicants must apply online at http://careers.spc.int/
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.
- Why are genebanks important in the context of the Pacific and how do you see the role of a regional genebank like CePaCT contributing positively to the development goals of the Pacific region?
- What is your understanding of a Genebank Quality Management System?
- What are some of the key information required in order to ensure the efficient curation of crop collections in a genebank? You can use some specific examples.