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Research Program Director – Asia

Posted 4 years ago



The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in the drylands of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor.

ICRISAT and its partners help empower the people of the semi-arid tropics to overcome poverty, hunger, and a degraded environment through better agriculture. ICRISAT is headquartered in Hyderabad, Telangana State, in India, with two regional hubs (Nairobi, Kenya and Bamako, Mali) and country offices in Niger, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Ethiopia and Mozambique.

ICRISAT conducts research on five highly nutritious drought-tolerant crops: chickpea, pigeon pea, pearl millet, sorghum, and groundnut. ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure, and resilient dryland tropic. To achieve this, its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition, and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. It approaches this through partnership-based international agricultural research for development that embodies Science with a Human Face.

ICRISAT was founded in 1972 by a consortium of organizations convened by the Ford and the Rockefeller foundations. Its charter was signed by the FAO and the UNDP. Since its inception, its host country India has granted a special status to ICRISAT as a UN Organization operating in the Indian territory making it eligible for special immunities and tax privileges. ICRISAT is led by a full-time Director General under the overall guidance of an international Governing Board. It is a member of the CGIAR, which unites organizations engaged in research for a food-secure future.

The position reports to the DDG-R and is based at ICRISAT HQ in Hyderabad, India. 

Research Program Director – Asia

The primary responsibilities are as follows:

Represent ICRISAT in the Asia region through liaison with governments, pan-Asian networks and authorities, organizations, and initiatives.

  • Enhance partnerships in the Asia region, especially with regional/sub- regional organizations, national agricultural research, and extension systems (NARES), non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
  • Contribute to the strategic management and leadership of the Institute.
  • Contribute to delivering on ICRISAT’s Strategic Plan, Theories of Change and Country Strategies through professional research management and leadership that prioritizes and focuses the Institute’s global research for development programs.
  • Lead, coordinate, review and monitor the research activities in Asia, including resource mobilization, annual budgeting, research planning, priority assessment, proposal development, partnership relations, staff evaluation and research reporting.
  • Lead the research effort of the Institute in understanding the challenges faced by farmers and communities of the semi-arid tropics of Asia and deliver a coherent research for development agenda for this region.
  • Participate in the ICRISAT Research Committee that formally drives the Institute’s research agenda and so ensure science quality and research excellence across the Institute and especially within the Asia Program.
  • Nurture and sustain internal cross-Program interactions and teamwork, working closely with other Directors and leaders in ICRISAT to ensure strong support for and engagement with the implementation of research activities globally.
  • Assist in public awareness activities and greater visibility of ICRISAT in the region.
  • As part of ICRISAT’s broad partnering programs, represent the Institute in engagements within the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and other CGIAR platforms.
  • Contribute strongly to ICRISAT in the context of the changing CGIAR environment, working within the positive engagement of ICRISAT in the One CGIAR, including country engagement in Asia.
  • Perform other responsibilities assigned by the DDG-R and/or the DG.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

  • PhD in Agricultural or Plant Sciences, Development Studies, or related fields.
  • Work experience of at least 15 years in international agricultural research for development with high levels of quality research outputs.
  • Proven capability to manage a large research program, including all aspects of project management: managing budgets and staff, building, and managing partnerships, monitoring, and evaluating impacts and leading a diverse team.
  • Experience in systems research where multiple stakeholders, including public policymakers, the private sector and agribusiness are involved in achieving research outcomes.
  • Adaptability – ICRISAT is going through a process of change and requires commitment and flexibility.
  • Experience in addressing governance, institutional and market aspects of agriculture with examples of successful research and development interventions.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mentoring of staff, a safe workplace and protection of the environment.
  • Strong motivation and leadership skills to bring out the best from both individuals and teams.
  • Ability to establish, nurture and oversee multi-cultural, gender-sensitive multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Demonstrated expertise in written and oral communications and public awareness activities.
  • Demonstrated championing the critical areas of gender, youth, nutrition, knowledge sharing and innovation.
  • Demonstration of an entrepreneurial spirit with aptitude for innovation.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential, knowledge of other languages, especially French, will be an asset.

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer: applications from women are strongly encouraged. 

Applicants should send their CV and a cover letter including names and email addresses of 3 professional referees to Ms. Auree de Carbon by email at:  no later than 6th of September 2020 at 18.00 CET. 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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