ICIPE Scientist - Commercial Insects Jobs in Kenya

ICIPE Scientist - Commercial Insects Jobs in Kenya

  • icipe is a pan-African and non-profit Centre of Excellence for research and development and capacity building in insect science and its applications. Its mission is to help alleviate poverty, ensure food and nutritional security
    and improve the overall health status of peoples of the tropics by developing and extending management tools and strategies for harmful and useful arthropods, while preserving the natural resource base through research and capacity building.

  • Since its establishment in 1970, icipe has become a significant contributor to science
    and innovation required to meet the health and food security challenges of sub-Saharan Africa. The Centre has achieved this status by developing alternative and environmentally friendly pest and vector management technologies and products that are effective, selective, non-polluting, non-resistance inducing, and are affordable to resource-limited rural and urban communities.

  • icipe is headquartered in Nairobi,Kenya with offices in Ethiopia and Uganda, a major station on the shores of Lake Victoria, and several other field stations in Kenya. Employing close to 500 international and national staff, icipe also has approximately 150 graduate students who contribute to its research portfolio annually. The Centre currently has operations in more than 40 African
    countries, and thriving partnerships with universities and research organizations across the world.

  • icipe seeks to recruit a Scientist, Commercial Insects to work in the Environmental Health Theme. The position is tenable in Nairobi at the icipe Duduville campus. The position will be offered for an initial contract of 3 years, renewable, subject to continued project needs, funding for the position, and performance of the staff member.

  • A competitive and generous compensation package that includes housing and transport allowances, education allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance cover, and an offshore retirement package (all payable in US Dollars), will be offered to the right candidate.

  • Furthermore, the incumbent will receive paid
    annual vacation and return airfare for themselves and their dependents to their nominated home base each year. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, he or she will be offered support to relocate and settle in Nairobi. Qualified candidates from Africa (and especially females) are invited to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.

    Living in Nairobi, Kenya

  • Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, with a population of over three million, hosts all the urban and social amenities, and offers a comfortable, convenient and pleasurable life. A wide variety of excellent international schools and well-equipped medical facilities are open 24/7 in Nairobi.

  • The city is also accessible
    by various reputable international airline carriers. Nairobi has a thriving international research scene, hosting various CGIAR centres, as well as several UN agencies. Although it is important to be conscious of security, Kenyans are warm and welcoming of visitors.

    Overall purpose of the job

  • Insects, the most diverse organisms in the world, support various ecosystem services that contribute to better livelihoods of mankind. In addition to the ecosystem services such as pollination, insects also provide potential
    employment generation opportunities, especially women and youths. In this regard, bee farming and
    sericulture (with Bombyx, Eri and wild silks) are widely promoted as entrepreneurship options, especially for youth and women in Africa.

  • For these enterprises to be successful and profitable, detailed research-based information on biological and ecological factors that impact the health and productivity of the commercial insects
    is critical. For instance, understanding the factors that contribute to tolerance of African bees to various pests can lead to transformative technologies for bee farming globally.

  • Innovative and sustainable management strategies for key biotic and abiotic constraints that affect bee farming and sericulture enterprises in Africa needs to be urgently developed in the African context and promoted.
    Hence, within the scope of the above and overall objectives of the Environmental Health Theme, icipe is seeking applications from highly motivated candidates for a full-time Research Scientist position, with a focus on commercial insect health research and high-value insect-based product development for apiculture/sericulture in Africa. The ideal candidate will support research programmes in icipe’s Environmental Health Theme.

    The overall purpose of the job is to:

  • Contribute to various projects related to bee farming and sericulture in the Environmental Health Theme.

  • Participate in capacity building and supervision of student research at different levels (internship, MSc and PhD).

  • Establish a cross-thematic research programme on effective harnessing of insect-based ecosystem
    services and high-value product development, with a focus on bee farming and sericulture.

  • Develop proposals and mobilise resources for strengthening the Environmental Health programmes.

  • Work with multidisciplinary teams to contribute to leadership and research strategies across thematic and unit collaborations within icipe.

    Specific duties

    The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Spearhead the establishment of a beneficial insect health management research programme, with a focus on bee farming and sericulture.

  • Provide cutting-edge scientific research to develop, adapt, and optimise strategies to ensure overall health of the bee farming and sericulture sectors, and contribute to better crop productivity and livelihoods.

  • Participate in supervision of student research at different levels (internship, MSc and PhD).

  • Publish research outputs in high-impact peer-reviewed journals.

  • Promote and establish cross-thematic and collaborative linkages within icipe and with national, regional, and international institutions in the relevant fields of research under the Environmental Health Theme.

  • Actively seek and secure external support and funding for the research programmes for improved bee health, including resources to develop and grow the research portfolio.


  • PhD in Entomology, with at least 2 years of postdoctoral experience in beneficial insect health research.

  • Proven track record in the area of beneficial insect health research for development, as demonstrated by an excellent publication record.

  • History of securing external support for a portfolio of research and oversight of resource mobilization.

    Core Competencies

  • Appropriate skills in research governance and project management, including experience in financial accountability.

  • Skills in behavioral assays, electrophysiology, mass spectrometry, molecular techniques and working with beekeeper /sericulture farmers are essential.

  • Ability to create and foster an innovative work environment, and build a team to deliver on agreed goals.

  • Experience in capacity building through supervision and mentorship of MSc and undergraduate students.

  • High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritisation.

  • Excellent communication skills.

    How to Apply

  • For more information and job application details, see; ICIPE Scientist - Commercial Insects Jobs in Kenya

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