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Research Coordinator Job Vacancy


Research Coordinator for the N2Africa Project
Supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), CIAT is a non-profit organization that conducts socially and environmentally progressive research aimed at reducing hunger and poverty and preserving natural resources in developing countries.


The N2Africa project aims to put nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. Now halfway through its first phase, it is working to identify niches for nitrogen-fixing legumes, test and promote multipurpose legumes, support inoculum production and capacity for legume research and deliver these to more than 225,000 smallholder farmers in eight countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
To coordinate this project, we seek an experienced scientist with a deep understanding of smallholder farming in Africa, the potential benefits of nitrogen-fixing legumes and their symbiotic bacteria, and the constraints faced by farmers in accessing inputs and marketing their crops, who is passionate about effecting improvements in agricultural productivity.
The N2Africa project coordinator will work under supervision of the Director of CIAT Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility (TSBF) and the strategic guidance of the N2Africa Steering Committee to:
Coordinate activities:
·         Ensure that the N2Africa project operates in an agile, nimble and responsive mode of implementation.
·         Liaise and follow up with Work stream Leaders and Country Representatives to ensure timely implementation of activities across all countries.
·         Facilitate cooperation and resolve conflicts among N2Africa staff and partners.
·         Liaise with sister organisations and activities (e.g. TL-II, AGRA, CIALCA) to ensure coordination of related activities.
Monitor and ensure progress
·         Towards milestones and ensure their timely completion.
·         To inform the N2Africa Steering Committee, project staff and partners of risks and issues that provide threats or opportunities to N2Africa.
·         To act to address risks, pre-empt problems and take advantage of opportunities.
Report
·         Prepare project summaries and reports.
·         Receive technical reports from project staff and partners and prepare and submit consolidated reports to the Chair of the Steering Committee every six months.
·         Ensure accurate financial reporting and budget reviews by finance staff.
Administer
·         Serve as a resource person to the N2Africa Steering Committee, including preparation of background documents for their regular meetings.
·         Support the organisation of Annual Project Review and Planning Meetings.
Advocate
·         Represent N2Africa in meetings and conferences, acting as an advocate to broaden the project donor base.
·         Work with the N2Africa Steering Committee to establish a second project phase
Requirements
·         A PhD in Soil Science, Farming Systems, Agronomy or related field.
·         At least five years of research experience in soil biology, nitrogen fixation, or natural resource management in farming systems in developing countries.
·         Experience of managing complex research for development projects.
·         Understanding of smallholder farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa, the constraints of smallholder farmers, and development processes.
·         Demonstrated ability to manage and coordinate multi-country projects and partners toward successful completion of project milestones.
·         Ability to integrate and synthesize knowledge from biophysical and social work toward positive impact in farming systems.
·         Excellent writing skills and able to write clearly and concisely in English for a wide range of audiences.
·         Proven interpersonal skills and ability to work with diverse teams representing different cultural and professional backgrounds.
·         Willingness to live in Nairobi and travel extensively in sub-Saharan Africa.
Terms of employment
The Project Coordinator will report directly to the Director of TSBF-CIAT and the Steering Committee of N2Africa, will be based in Nairobi, Kenya and the contract will be for an initial 2 years period, subject to six (6) months probation period. TSBF – CIAT will be responsible for performance appraisals and evaluation of the Project Coordinator in consultation with the SC Chair at WU.
CIAT offers internationally competitive salary and benefits packages. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality. Since the Research Area is located in Africa we especially welcome applications from candidates with an Africa background. Female candidates from Latin America, Africa, and Asia are particularly encouraged to apply.
Applications
Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience.
All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Catalina Montoya (c.m.ruiz@cgiar.org) and should clearly indicate “Coordinator for the N2Africa Project” on their application letters or email submissions.
Closing date for applications: 15 April 2012
We invite you to learn more about CIAT at:
http://www.ciat.cgiar.org; www.n2africa.org

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