Scientist I – Product Development & Sensory – International Rice Research Institute

Our Mission

IRRI is dedicated to abolishing poverty and hunger among people and populations that depend on rice-based agri-food systems. Through our work and partnerships, we aim to improve the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; promote environmental sustainability in a world challenged by climate change; and support the empowerment of women and the youth in the rice industry.

Our research for development is characterized by its collaborative nature: from alliances with advanced research institutes; through strong collaborations and capacity development with governments and national agricultural research and extension systems; to partnerships with the development sector and our ability to broker novel delivery channels through the private sector. IRRI’s work is supported by a diverse network of investors aligned to common goals.

Food security goes beyond hunger – it stretches to include regular access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food. 

While the number of people suffering from hunger globally is rising above 820 million, an additional 1.3 billion people are affected by moderate levels of nutrition insecurity because they have inadequate access to safe and nutritious food. 

More than half of the world’s population, including many of those living in poverty, rely on rice for most of their daily calories because they cannot afford – or do not have access to – nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. As a result, malnutrition is a real threat, creating immediate and long-term health problems including stunting, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Job Purpose

The IRRI South Asia Regional Center (ISARC) is a regional facility of IRRI established in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, to support research, collaboration, training, and service provision to institutions, scientists, and other stakeholders in India and other South Asian and African countries. ISARC stands for excellence in rice research through its three major component units, the Centre of Excellence in Rice Values Addition (CERVA), a Broader Program for Research and Partnership (BPRP) and IRRI Research and Education Program (IREP).

With the mission of addressing the grain quality analytical needs of researchers, breeders and other stakeholders in the rice value chain, CERVA is established as a world class grain quality research facility encompassing capabilities to evaluate milling, cooking, nutritional and sensory qualities of rice grain as well as food safety. Rice based food product development is also a major focus of CERVA. CERVA’s overarching goal is to enhance the income and welfare of rice farmers through development and deployment of superior quality, nutritious and high yielding rice varieties meeting consumer preferences and safety standards, and with potential for domestic and export market penetration.

The Scientist I will design, develop and implement research projects to fulfill the overarching goal of rice value addition activities of CERVA and strengthen the facility and oversee the product development laboratory operations and the team‘s research activities while maintaining frequent interactions with the product development and research team at the IRRI Head Quarters in Los Baños, Philippines.

This GRS position will develop research strategies on rice grain value addition through innovative product development and quality evaluation. The Scientist in this position will have a strong knowledge of the Research Development process and is expected to leverage and expand their knowledge related to ingredients product formulation and food processing.

This position will work closely with Grain Quality and Nutrition, Agriculture Economist Scientists, Rice Value Chain and Market Analysis Researchers team and other scientists including NARES partners to take care of broader rice grain value addition initiatives across South Asia.

This position will be based in Varanasi, India and is open for international applications.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plan, develop new products using knowledge and information about food science, technology, regulations, research, and other relevant topics to fulfill project requirements
  • Devise research methods, estimate resources, and time required to conduct a research project and monitor performance to ensure these targets are met
  • Develop New Product Development concepts and prototypes to fulfill project needs and requirements
  • Analyze test results and prepare detailed reports with recommendations and conclusions
  • Prepare calculations, specifications, and other technical documentation so that prototype designs can be manufactured and assembled
  • Develop and maintain technical expertise on advances and innovations in research and science
  • Work with internal CERVA laboratories, value chain and marketing team, purchase, facility, finance and other components of ISARC
  • Determine the cost of the product, then make a sample and a document to support it
  • Contribute to any special assignments as requested by superior
  • To establish linkages with public-private entities and develop proposals for resource mobilization for CERVA
  • To integrate product development and sensory research component of CERVA through close interactions with milling quality, cooking quality, nutritional quality, food safety researchers, market value chain team to generate meaningful overall outcomes from CERVA to be presented to policy makers and external stakeholders
  • Work closely with the head of CERVA, Cluster Lead of the Consumer driven Grain Quality and Nutrition Unit, product development and sensory specialists, scientists and researchers at IRRI Headquarters to develop new projects and forge partnerships to strengthen research in the area of rice grain value addition and nutrition
  • Conduct supervision and mentoring of scholars, researchers, technicians and interns
  • Enhance the capabilities of product development, sensory and nutritional quality laboratory facility of CERVA
  • Develop research strategies in the area of rice based product development using rice and byproducts of rice milling and improving the existing traditional rice products as a mission-critical research component to bridge the gaps in the area of rice grain value addition
  • Establish the product development potential of popular varieties and traditional specialty rice to deliver value added products suitable to rural and urban consumers. Prototyping innovative cereal and millet based and rice mixed value added products
  • Document and prepare reports on prototypes and SOPs of the selected rice-value added products
  • Testing the nutritional quality, sensory quality and shelf life of nutritionally rich and functional value added rice products
  • Prepare technical document with value chain team for selected products that will contain detailed information for developing business plans including technical aspects
  • Facilitate and provide training to beneficiaries like micro entrepreneurs/ SHGs/FPOs/Cooperatives and groups
  • Building market linkages with value chain and marketing team for the novel products developed at CERVA


  • PhD in Cereal Chemistry, Biochemistry, Food Science or related crop science fields with minimum 5 years of relevant work experience

Skills Required


  • Knowledge in rice grain quality in general and product development and sensory quality in particular with experience in rice value addition and nutrition
  • Strong publication record; strong background in grain quality, product development and sensory-oriented research activities
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Strong knowledge on statistical analyses of biological data
  • Excellent knowledge of handling high-throughput data
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Strong record of academic-oriented professional achievement
  • Ability to work effectively in a team of multidisciplinary scientists
  • Ability to lead, interact and build relationships with collaborators and other stakeholders


  • Experience in developing functional foods, rice processing and nutrition research with special reference to development of various rice-based food products
  • Knowledge in nutritional analysis, shelf life testing, sensory analysis, statistics and product labeling

IRRI offers a highly extensive employee benefits package inclusive of globally-covered medical insurance, retirement plan, life and accident insurance and other allowances. Join our team and be part of our story!

Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled.

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