PhD Fellowship – BarleyMicroBreed, Rabat, Morocco

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

ICARDA in Rabat

PhD Fellowship – BarleyMicroBreed Rabat, Rabat-Salé-Kénitra, Morocco Full time 18 February 2023


Main purpose of position

The candidate of this fully funded PhD candidate position will work under the BarleyMicroBreed – Strategies for breeding climate change resilient barley, genetically equipped to optimized root-microbiome interactions Horizon Europe project. The candidate will generate and use extensive phenotypic data obtained through traditional approaches in field trials and in experiments using ICARDA Physiotron (A state-of-the-art lysimeter) and link it to data generated from multi-sensor remote-sensing approaches using a phenomobile equipped with multi-spectral, RGB cameras and a LiDAR; and a multi-sensor bridge linked to the lysimeter to develop predictive models for traits of interest.

Reports to: Barley Breeder Location: Rabat, Morocco

Only Moroccan nationals or non-Moroccans resident in Morocco can be considered for this position


The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is a treaty-based international non-profit research organization supported by CGIAR.

ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water, and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR Research Centers, and the private sector. With its temporary Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, ICARDA operates in regional and country offices across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. For more information: (link)

All CGIAR Centers are currently engaged into a reform process (“One CGIAR’”) that will help ICARDA and CGIAR achieve better impact through more strategically integrated research, unified governance, an integrated and new research modalities across participating Research Centers. This transformation is supported by CGIAR donors who have committed to increased funding as a result of these reforms.

Main responsibilities

  • Organize and carry data collection with Phenomobile of the BarleyMicroBreed trials in Morocco.
  • Organize and carry phenotypic data collection in the field and in the Physiotron experiment.
  • Develop new trait prediction models based on phenotypic data collection and remote sensing data collected by Phenomobile and Physiotron multi-sensor bridge.
  • Assist in any other activities of BarleyMicroBreed project.


Education, qualifications, and experience

  • BSc or MSc (preferred) in Statistics, Agronomy, Plant Physiology or Breeding
  • Strong statistics and multi-variate modelling background
  • Experience in R or Phyton-based data analysis
  • Agronomic knowledge would be highly valued.
  • Knowledge of small cereals physiology is desired (barley preferred but also wheat, rice, maize, and others are to be considered)
  • Proficiency in the English language both spoken and written is necessary.
  • Knowledge of French and/or Arabic language is an advantage.


Terms of appointment, salary, and benefits

The successful candidate will be granted a 12-months research fellowship, renewable to a maximum of 48 months subject to satisfactory performance, continuous need of the position and availability of fund. The first 6 months will be a probationary period. ICARDA will provide an all-inclusive stipend.

For this fellowship Moroccan nationals and candidates who have a current residency in Morocco are welcomed to apply.

ICARDA is committed to increasing women representation in its workforce and strongly encourages applications from women.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Tags: agricultural research, arabic language, capacity development, cgiar, climate change, data analysis, data collection, environmental health, middle east, remote sensing, wheat