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IAEA Programs Internship - Data Analysis/Software Development for Food Security

Position ID: NA202101-P0
Position and Grade: Internship – Data Analysis/Software Development for Food Security Organizational Unit:
Plant Breeding and Genetics Lab
Plant Breeding and Genetics Section
Joint FAO/IAEA Division for Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
Nuclear Sciences and Applications Department
Duty Station: Seibersdorf, Austria
Duration of Appointment/Start: 1 year, July/August 2021

Main Purpose
The main purpose of the internship is to assist in implementing the agreed work programme of the laboratory and the subprogramme. The goal is the development and adaptation of technologies for the development of superior crop varieties for the benefit of Member States, thereby contributing to food security and the sustainable development goals.

The intern will assist in the development, implementation, and documentation of data analysis protocols in the field of plant genetics, genomics, and breeding. The intern will thus contribute to innovative research and development (R&D), provide relevant services, and support the Plant Breeding and Genetics Laboratory’s (PBGL) capacity building and outreach activities. The intern will work closely on collaborative projects with all professional staff members of the Plant Breeding and Genetics Laboratory. In addition, the intern will liaise with the IT-Innovations Lead in IAEA’s IT-Department (MTIT) and maintain a good collaborative relationship.

These activities will provide the intern with a unique learning experience at the interface of Biology, Computer Science, and International Development Cooperation.

Tasks / Key Results Expected
  • Assist in the development, documentation, and maintenance of reproducible data analysis workflows in a client-server and/or cluster environment.
  • Use existing and develop novel approaches and analysis tools for genome analysis and phenotype-genotype associations to identify causal variants for further characterization and utilization. This will include bioinformatics analyses of Next Generation Sequencing and other -omics data to support forward and reverse genetic approaches.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the results, which will include producing reproducible protocols for internal use as well as for use by partners in Member States and other stakeholders. Contribute and/or lead scientific publications and provide input to internal and external information material highlighting the activities of PBGL’s work.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Computer Programming Skills: Fluency in Unix/Linux, demonstrated proficiency in one or more standard scripting language (Python, etc) is a requirement, and one or more programming language (C/C++, etc.) is an asset.
  • Analysis Workflows: Experience in developing and maintaining analysis workflows in a server and/or cluster environment is an asset. (i.e., Snakemake)
  • Collaborative Development: Evidence of previous collaborative work in the field of software development (i.e., a GitHub repository) is an asset.
  • Biology/Genetics: Knowledge of molecular genetic strategies, especially high-throughput techniques, for gene identification and annotation in crops is an asset.

Qualifications and Experience
  • University degree in a field with Natural Science and Computer Science components (e.g., Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, Statistics, Math/Physics, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Agricultural sciences, or related field)
  • Experience in applying computer programming to scientific problems is an asset. Good written and spoken English essential; fluency in any other IAEA official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) an asset.

Applicant Eligibility
  • Candidates must be a minimum of 20 years of age and have completed at least three years of full-time studies at a university or equivalent institution towards the completion of a first degree.
  • Candidates may apply up to one year after the completion of a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree.
  • Candidates must not have previously participated in the IAEA's internship programme.
  • Excellent written and spoken English essential; fluency in any other IAEA official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) an asset.
  • Candidates must attach two signed letters of recommendation to their application.