Cornell University, Institute of Biotechnology

Position ID:Cornell-Institute of Biotechnology-RA [#11998, WDR-00016558]
Position Title: Breeding Insight Project Director - Research Associate
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Genetics
Genomics / Computational Biology
Bioinformatics / Genome sequences and variation data
Animal Genomics
Plant Breeding
Appl Deadline:2018/11/02 finished (2018/09/17, finished 2019/04/26)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed, and no new applications will be accepted. ***

The Breeding Insight project director is a research associate at Cornell University who will lead a national initiative to extend the application of high-density genotypic information to routine cultivar development for speciality crops and animals. With the support of the USDA-ARS, the Breeding Insight Platform (BIP) at Cornell University is the first large-scale public-sector effort to systematically apply genomic information to the breeding of speciality crops and animals.The project will develop and implement breeding and genomic data management systems to enhance the capacity of public-sector breeding programs to deliver increased rates of genetic gain. The breeding, genomic, and phenotypic data management systems will include databases, analytics, and decision support tools for breeders. A wide range of open source tools and platforms have already been built for breeding efforts in major crops and animals. This project will leverage these software development efforts, and focus on integration, cloud deployment, and ease of use for small breeding programs.

The Director will be located in Ithaca, NY and will oversee a multi-disciplinary project team of over a dozen members, comprised of engineers, programmers, breeding specialists, communicators and support staff located at Cornell University.

The project team at Cornell will be responsible for rapid cycle development of software, deployment in the cloud, coordination of genomic profiling, and integration with related initiatives at Cornell, nationally, and internationally. Tool development will be structured around a clear development cycle. Tool deployment will be followed by feedback from the breeders for further customization and improvement, mediated by application specialists. The success of the project will depend on tools and algorithmic solutions becoming fully integrated into the ARS and US breeding programs. Long-term success will be based on evidence of a measurable increase in the rate of genetic gain in the breeding programs. Funding for the effort is initially focused on tool development and developing genomic resources, but if successful will expand to large scale implementation across all breeding programs.

The software platform developed by this effort will have its first deployment to ARS breeding programs, but the platform should have broad application to all small breeding programs as well as efforts to characterize genomic and trait diversity in wild species. The project will ensure the platform will be available to the entire diversity-study community and will lead training workshops for its effective use.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities/Anticipated Division of Time

The Director will be responsible for overall management and coordination of the project. S/he will oversee the activities of the engineering team to ensure timely release of software, develop and implement effective communication protocols linking software developers and breeding teams, strengthen the capacity to share information and leverage experience across breeding efforts, and critically evaluate overall progress toward short term and long term project goals.

We anticipate that 40% of the Director’s time will be spent in the administration, coordination, and overall management of the project. This will include, but not be limited to budgeting, reporting and working with the stakeholders and breeding clients, expanding the current network of collaborators to establish BIP as the standard open-source solution for small program breeding, genomic, and phenomic information systems, team supervision, mentoring and growth, and coordinating development of BIP with other key information management systems.

Approximately 30% of the Director’s time will be spent working directly with the software teams building the tools, on deployment, and evaluating usability. The remaining 30% will be devoted to the implementation and delivery of those tools to the breeding programs. This will involve working with the coordinators and breeders to ensure that the tools and genomic information are being applied effectively.

Qualifications and Requirements

The Director must have experience in applied plant breeding, a proven track record of productive management performance, and familiarity with the use of information technology.
A Ph.D. in plant or animal breeding, genetics, quantitative genetics, statistical genomics or related field and three years' relevant postdoctoral experience is required.
Experience coordinating activities of multi-location and multi-cultural teams would be highly beneficial.

Supervision Exercised

The BIP Director will directly supervise a team with lead programmer and lead coordinator plus 6 additional programmers, 2 coordinators in genomics and phenomics, communication specialist, and an assistant.

This position is a two-year term appointment with the possibility of extension contingent upon continued funding. 

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
130 Biotechnology Building
526 Campus Road
Ithaca, NY 14853

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