Applied Data Scientist – Market Intelligence

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The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is not-for-profit agricultural research for development organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information:

CIMMYT is seeking a dynamic and results-oriented researcher (Associate Scientist or Scientist level) to join the Kenya-based market intelligence and seed systems team. The position will support and strengthen an innovative regional research portfolio that seeks evidence-backed solutions to guide demand-led cereal breeding and evaluate on-farm performance of seeds in eastern Africa. The selected candidate will work as a member of CIMMYT’s Sustainable Agri-food Systems (SAS) program in close collaboration with all other relevant CIMMYT programs and units.

The position will be based in CIMMYT’s campus in Nairobi, Kenya.

Specific duties:

  • Provide data-driven insights on potential ‘game changers’ for cereal breeding by CGIAR and its partners in response to the needs and strategies of global and regional food industry, seed industry, and seed bio-tech, among others.
  • Lead the team’s work related to the organization and analysis of large datasets from both primary and secondary data sources.
  • Provide guidance to improve research design and data collection and analysis, and build feedback loops derived from data analysis that support improved design and implementation of development programming.
  • Integration of data from multiple sources, e.g., household surveys, on-farm testing, seed sales data, market information, earth observation and other geospatial data
  • Lead work around econometric analysis on seed supply, demand and forecasting as well as spatial analysis of market structures.
  • Lead quantitative research on seed demand and the external factors that are likely to shape both needs and demand for seed in the future (e.g. results from changes in demographics, consumer demand, and climate change).
  • Design innovative techniques for collection and analysis of primary data on seed evaluation, demand and uptake in E Africa (e.g. seed sales tracking at retail level).
  • Translate findings into practical R4D priorities and implications, including the development of strategies, options and recommendations to set research priorities, guide policy decisions, facilitate adoption and adaptation.
  • Publish research findings in international peer-reviewed journals and contribute to dissemination of results to stakeholders via workshops and webinars.
  • Engage with CIMMYT staff and seed company representatives in the region to understand breeding processing and their needs and strategies as related to market intelligence.
  • Demonstrate leadership in efforts to mobilize resources for the expansion of work by CIMMYT in Eastern Africa in areas related to seed systems development and breeding design and prioritization support.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • D. in applied economics, data science or related social science field.
  • At least five years of relevant experience.
  • Strong experience in quantitative data collection, processing and analysis. Knowledge of R, Python, Stata and GIS applications are all assets.
  • Well-developed knowledge of data science methods, including machine learning approaches to predictive analytics, and data visualization.
  • Track record of quality publications in recognized economic development journals.
  • Active interest and preferable experience in understanding consumer demand in markets for agricultural inputs.
  • Demonstrated ability to excel in complex multidisciplinary research or development projects.
  • Good partnership building skills, including ability to interact with funding agencies; deliver effectively; and moderate meetings with local partners.
  • A high degree of personal organization and ability to work under pressure.
  • Ability to work with different nationalities and disciplines as a member of a diverse work team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Critical Thinking, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Decision-making, and Teamwork.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, car, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual home travel airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.

Candidates must apply online for IRS22132_Applied Data Scientist – Market Intelligence. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Friday, August 5th, 2022. Applications must include a CV, with contact details (telephone and email address) of 3 work-related references along with your confirmation that we can contact them and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled. 

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

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