International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) – Systems Administrator & Analyst.

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The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Systems Administrator & Analyst to strengthen ILRI’s ability to design and operate high performance research computing as well as data collection, management and analysis systems in the Data and Research Methods Unit (DRMU).

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 centres dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world. Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, it has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

The Position:-

The current transition to the One CGIAR will likely materialize into a tighter integration of platforms structured around the production and the management of research data at a global, One CGIAR level. Therefore, the incumbent will have to keep themselves abreast of the discussions at One CGIAR level and take an active part in them, to ensure that ILRI’s voice is heard when it comes to scientific data production and management, and that the steps we make prepare us fully to the upcoming One CGIAR landscape.

Key Responsibilities

The position encompasses three roles as described below: Systems Administrator, Systems Analyst and Training Officer.

Systems Administrator

Requiring a strong command over the administration of UNIX systems as well as a thorough experience of computer networking, these roles are as much as possible conducted in coordination with the ICT team, primarily through a resource person within the ICT team that is involved in the hardware and networking aspects of our on-site scientific computing and scientific database infrastructure.

  • Manage and participate in the ongoing development of ILRI’s on-site high performance cluster (HPC)
  • Manage and participate in the ongoing development of ILRI’s on-site database servers and data collection platform (ONA-ILRI)
  • Ensure minimal disruption to the services with both proactive and reactive actions
  • In coordination with the Head of the Unit, propose and roll out changes in terms of software, user account administration and recharges in our data management and computing platforms
  • Enforce the user management paradigms adopted on the HPC and database servers (e.g. amount of data storage or computing resources allocated)
  • Work in coordination with the administrative assistant to the Unit, prepare recharges to programs
  • based on their usage of the computing and database resources (CPU time on the HPC, virtual machines, etc)
  • Work in coordination with the ICT Department for hardware specifications to comply with the best industry standards
  • Work in coordination with the ICT Infrastructure team to manage access controls through switches, routers and firewalls setup

Systems Analyst

These require foresight and participation into the discussions at One CGIAR level, but also a tight coordination with ILRI’s Communications and Knowledge Management (CKM) team regarding our research outputs and their visibility.

  • Ensure the best efficiency and seamless integration of our systems for data collection (e.g. ODK,ONA-ILRI), data storage (e.g. database servers), data analysis (e.g. software on our HPC) and information products publication in coordination with the CKM unit (e.g. CGSpace and Dataverse)
  • Provide advice to the Head of the Unit as well as the Head of CKM regarding the evolution of data and information systems already in use at several CGIAR centres and that are meant to remain key to the One CGIAR digital assets policies, if not in identity, at least in function: CKAN, ODK/ONA, Dataverse, CGSpace
  • Provide support and direct inputs into maintaining and upgrading the above-mentioned data systems in use at ILRI or adopted by ILRI’s CGIAR and One CGIAR research partners

Training Officer

These roles require at the same time a good knowledge of the scientific community at ILRI and good communication skills.

  • Work in partnership with CKM to train the ILRI community on the awareness and tools for the production, publication and storage of FAIRER data for Open Science (e.g. Dataverse)
  • Train the ILRI scientific community on the best practices for the use of the HPC
  • Train the ILRI scientific community on the use of tools for the publication of reproducible software pipelines (e.g. git and GitHub), on open-source licenses and on the best practices for open science, including the use of controlled vocabularies (e.g. FAO’s AGROVOC)
  • Provide training for one ICT staff on UNIX systems administration and networking
  • Perform any other related duties as may be required


  • Master’s degree in computer science, information systems or relevant field with Seven years relevant experience or Bachelor’s degree in computer science with ten years relevant experience
  • Relevant professional certification
  • Experience of administration of Unix systems at corporate level
  • Experience of administration of computer networks
  • Experience of administration of database servers and therefore familiarity with MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB
  • Sound knowledge of open data standards and data sharing systems using JSON objects, API interfaces, etc
  • Working knowledge of the most common programming and scripting languages: Python, Perl, Bash, Javascript
  • Familiarity with data collection pipelines based on the Open Data Kit (ODK)
  • Experience in the management of open digital repositories based on the DSpace technology
  • Familiarity with an international research environment such as the CGIAR Centres would be an added advantage

Post location: The position will be based in Kenya

Terms of Appointment

This is position is at job level HG 17 and  it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a 3-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes; medical and other insurances.

Applications: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development through our recruitment portal by clicking on the Apply Now” tab above before 19/09/2021. The position title and reference number: SA/RMU/08/2021 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the online application.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. 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.

Qualified women applicants are encouraged to apply

To find out more about ILRI visit our website at




International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

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