ILRI MSc Graduate Fellowship: Application of mobile NIRS to predict nutritive values of feed resources

  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • CapDev

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit an MSc student to validate different mobile near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) technologies for the prediction of nutritive values of different feed stuffs in-situ. The objective of the study is to establish a cost-effective and reliable technique to predict the nutritive value of feed resources, which can be employed in feed production, processing, and marketing places for a rapid quality appraisal.  

ILRI works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 15 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices in East, South and Southern Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.


The Graduate Fellow will be hosted under the Feeds and Forage Development program of ILRI. The program aims to provide options to: increase the quantity and quality of feed resources to improve livestock productivity in order to meet the growing demand for animal-source food; enhance profitability by reducing costs of feed; increase income, employment and livelihoods from feed/fodder value chains and reduce labour/drudgery (especially for women); and reduce the environmental impact of feed. See more

ILRI has long experience in using lab based stationary NIRS for analysis of proximate composition of livestock feed samples and has been working to establish NIRS hubs across sub-Saharan Africa. The application of NIRS has enabled analysis of large quantities of samples within a short time and paved the way to work together with crop breeders in the development of dual-purpose crops with acceptable food-feed quality traits for smallholders. As stationary NIRS have high initial investment and require samples to be brought to laboratories and processed, it has become necessary to further advance the technology to simple mobile NIRS machines that can be used in situ.

About the position:

The Graduate Fellow is expected to validate the accuracy of available mobile NIRS machines in the market. The student will develop a data acquisition protocol, gather relevant quality data, and apply developed procedures for the validation and calibration of prediction equations.

Project title: Application of mobile NIRS to predict nutritive values of feed resources.

Key responsibilities:

  1. Literature review on recent advances in NIRS technology.
  2. Develop a research proposal and data collection protocol.
  3. Collect feed spectra data in-situ and conduct lab analysis of feed samples through conventional wet chemistry and stationery NIRS.
  4. Enter data into relevant software, clean, analyze and prepare a research report.
  5. Submit thesis report as per the requirements of the University he/she is attending graduate studies.
  6. Present a seminar on the main findings of the report.

Required Qualifications:

  1. Registered in a recognized university and completed (passed) MSc course work in animal nutrition ready to start his/her thesis project.
  2. Demonstrated experience in laboratory procedures and data analysis. 
  3. Good working knowledge of MS Office packages and data analysis tools.
  4. Experience contributing to writing reports and journal publications.
  5. An effective and energetic team player with the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.
  6. Ability to work independently, multi-task and meet tight deadlines.
  7. Proficiency with written and spoken English.

Location: Addis Ababa - Ethiopia.

Duration: This is an appointment for 6 months. Start date will be agreed with the selected candidate, but ideally from May 2021.

Benefits: ILRI will offer a monthly stipend to cover living expenses in the project location, medical insurance, and cover research expenses.

How to apply: All applications MUST include the following (applications not containing these documents will not be considered):

  • A cover letter addressed to Head of Capacity Development, expressing interest in the fellowship position and the motivation. The position title and reference number (REF: GF/ILRI/FFD/01/2021) should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.
  • CV including names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience.
  • Academic qualification certificates/transcripts.

Applications must be submitted  by clicking on the tab "APPLY NOW" on or before 05th May 2021.

Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants' bank accounts.

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