Global Research Program Director – Enabling Systems Transformation

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The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is currently seeking a Global Research Program Director “Enabling Systems Transformation”

ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. 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 these disadvantaged populations to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agricultural production systems.

ICRISAT is headquartered at Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and eight country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global agriculture research partnership whose science is carried out by the 15 Research Centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

ICRISAT conducts research on its mandate crops of chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet in the arid and semi-arid tropics. The Institute focuses its work on the drylands and in protecting the environment. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as drought, thereby trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and making them dependent on external aid.

ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics. Its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. The approach is through partnership-based international agricultural research-for-development that embodies Science with a Human Face.
Aspirational targets and development outcomes

ICRISAT has set four bold targets in the next ten years that will enormously benefit the well-being of the drylands’ poorest people:

  • Help halve rural poverty by increasing farm incomes through more productive, stable, diverse and profitable crops and crop products;
  • Help halve hunger by contributing innovations that increase yields by 30% on a wide scale and through policy advice that stabilizes food prices and availability;
  • Help halve childhood malnutrition by enhancing the nutrient content of staple food crops and helping the poor diversify their crops, delivering more nutritious and safer food; and
  • Increase resilience of dryland farming through innovations that stabilize, safeguard and enhance natural resource capital, biological and systems diversity, and land health.
    ICRISAT, with an annual budget of over USD60 million, has a global workforce of over 3000 individuals in Asia and Africa.

Position overview

ICRISAT has a compelling mission to fight poverty and improve the lives of people living in the semi-arid regions around the world. The semi-arid tropics are harsh environments with some of the highest levels of poverty and malnutrition, impacted strongly by climate change and battling water shortages and environmental degradation. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be met unless we are persistent in escalating efforts towards finding solutions in these most challenged landscapes.

This is an exceptional opportunity to become a part of a modern and innovative agricultural research organisation. ICRISAT is embarking on a journey to implement its new research structure in Asia, East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa through its three newly carved global research programs. To implement its research for development agenda, ICRISAT is looking for a dynamic, experienced, exceptional, multi-talented candidate for the position of Global Research Program Director for its Global Research program “Enabling Systems Transformation”.

The Global Research Program Director, “Enabling Systems Transformation” will lead a multi-disciplinary team of scientists working in the area of nutrition for sustainable diets, technology adoption, impact assessment, market, institution and policy, gender, youth, agribusiness innovations and capacity development. The position will report to the Deputy Director General – Research. This is an Internationally Recruited Staff (IRS) position for three years with attractive compensation and benefits package payable in US dollars. A new contract may be offered at the end of the present tenure based on the performance of the incumbent, funding availability and the Institute’s continuing need for the position. The suitable candidate will need to be able to act fast, engage professionally and build relationships across multiple cultures, besides working closely with the Institute’s Leadership Team and scientists across all our locations in Asia and Africa. The successful candidate will be an exceptional leader who is a passionate, dynamic, and collaborative individual and is highly motivated to achieve excellence supporting smallholders farm and food systems transformation in the semi-arid tropics.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead the Global Research Program “Enabling systems transformation” across Asia, East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa in the area of nutrition, technology adoption, impact assessment, market, institution and policy, gender and youth, agribusiness innovations and capacity development.
  • Provide effective leadership to the research team placed in six different research clusters to deliver high quality research for development outcomes from the Program.
  • Inspire research teams and individual scientists to deliver high quality scientific outputs.
  • Contribute to the ICRISAT efforts for resource mobilization and work with multi-disciplinary teams to develop research proposals and follow-through for successful funding.
  • Work with other global research program directors as well as regional directors and demonstrate comprehensive output delivery as a team.

Candidate profile

Qualifications and Experience

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

  • A Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics/social sciences/ relevant field.
  • Relevant work experience of at least 20 years in the area of agricultural research for development with high quality research outputs including an excellent record of publication in high impact journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to build research networks and partnerships required for research for development in the area of systems transformation
  • Demonstrated ability to write proposals and resource mobilization in the area of agricultural research for development or similar areas.
  • Well connected with institutions, organization in the relevant areas of research.
  • Experience of leading multicultural, multi-disciplinary scientific teams and ability to work across diverse environments and cultures.
  • Exceptional communication skills and the ability to deliver a compelling picture of the ICRISAT mandate across stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of the context of smallholder farmers in the highly vulnerable climates of the semi-arid tropics and agronomic knowledge of the major crops and cropping systems of the South Asian, sub-Saharan African region.
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English. Knowledge of other international languages, especially French, will be an advantage.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities and strong interpersonal skills.
  • A deep understanding of agricultural science and its critical role in tackling issues such as climate change, natural resource management, malnutrition, gender issues and rural poverty across developing countries that impact the UN SDGs.
  • Insights into solutions in agricultural science, ranging from plant breeding technologies to digital solutions and agribusiness.
  • Proactive and achievement oriented.
  • Strategic and innovative in business development strategy and execution.
  • Established networks and skills to establish and strengthen industry partnerships.
  • Ability to write impactful pitches and to follow these through personally or with support from others
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English. Knowledge of other international languages, especially French, will be an advantage.

Assignment Location:

The position will be based at ICRISAT’s headquarters in Patancheru, near Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. Hyderabad is the largest city and capital of the Telangana State; and also the de jure capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is India’s fourth largest city; and is a fascinating combination of the ancient and the modern India.
Hyderabad has developed into one of the major hubs for the information technology industry in India. In addition to the IT industry, various biotechnology and pharmaceutics companies have set up their operations in Hyderabad owing to its established Public sector in Life Science Research and Genome Valley. The city incubates several promising start-up companies and is one of the most exciting business centers in the country.

Located at the crossroads of North and South India, Hyderabad has cultivated a unique culture that is reflected in its language and architecture. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, food and its multi-lingual culture. There are four major languages spoken in Hyderabad: Hindi, Deccani-Urdu, Telugu and English. English is the language of business and administration and is widely spoken and understood. The Hyderabadi cuisine is known for its delectable flavors. Traditional Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is the most celebrated dish from Hyderabad.

Hyderabad has world class education facilities. While it is home to the prestigious International Business School, the city also houses educational institutes and schools imparting various national and international curriculum. Noteworthily, ICRISAT hosts the International School of Hyderabad within its campus.

Hyderabad is an ideal destination for expatriation. A vibrant international community, warm and friendly residents, negligible crime rate, sophisticated luxury hotels, sprawling shopping malls, boutique cafes and world class recreation facilities make the city an ideal destination for global citizens.

How to apply:

If this position interests you, please follow the below instructions to apply.

Applicants should apply on or before 21 July 2021, with latest Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about their professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged. However, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Please CLICK HERE to submit your application.

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing diversity and maintaining a progressive and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, marital status or whether they have a disability.

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