Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC)

The Independent Science for Development Council (‘ISDC’) is an external, impartial standing panel of experts in science and development subject matters (including food systems innovation matters that extend beyond the agricultural sector) appointed by the System Council and accountable to it, with the responsibility of providing rigorous, independent strategic advice to the System Council, and based on decisions taken by the System Council, the broader CGIAR System as a whole.

The ISDC is comprised of up to eight standing members, appointed by the System Council through a publicly advertised process, with one serving as Chair.  Professor Maggie Gill serves as Interim ISDC Chair.

Based on decisions taken by the CGIAR System Council in November 2018, the membership of the ISDC is currently being refreshed according to this timeline:

  • Submission date – 3 June 2019 – closed
  • Identification of recommended candidates by ISDC Nominations Panel:  Due by early August
  • Electronic decision on appointments: Issued by 14 August 2019
  • Anticipated commencement date: By 1 September 2019

The ISDC provides its advice within the broader context of CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework (‘SRF’), and successive multi-year CGIAR Business Plans approved by the System Council upon the recommendation of the System Management Board. Guided by terms of reference approved by the System Council, the ISDC has a mandate for:

  • Foresight work to inform CGIAR’s longer term research strategy;
  • Horizon scanning to provide analysis on how emerging trends and developments can be taken into account in CGIAR’s work;
  • Priority setting exercises and analyses integrating both ex-post and ex-ante analyses;
  • Guidance for periodic proposal assessment processes; and
  • Other functions, on the strategic direction of CGIAR and the value of its research agenda.

For more information contact the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat at

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