Innovation Systems Scientist

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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 an experienced research scientist and agricultural development professional to join its Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) Program and to lead CIMMYT activities within the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) supported ‘Transforming Smallholder Food Systems in the Eastern Gangetic Plains’, or  ‘Rupantar’ project. Rupantar means ‘transformation’ in Hindi, Bangla and Nepali, and focuses on understanding the transformation of food systems and applying research to achieve sustainable, efficient, diversified food systems at scale in the Eastern Gangetic Plains, including India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The Scientist will also contribute to other activities within the SAS Innovation Sciences portfolio in Asia, including Transforming Agrifood Systems in South Asia (TAFSSA).

The location of this position will be decided between CIMMYT’s campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh, or Kathmandu, Nepal.

Specific duties: 


  • Lead the Projects or Work Streams within projects by assuring excellence in project management, work
  • Lead research efforts to define processes and practices (technical options, scaling interventions, policy settings and implementation) that can be applied to achieve sustainable, efficient, diversified food systems at scale in the Eastern Gangetic Plains.
  • Lead research design and implementation with a focus on farmer and community based participatory research, action and innovation systems research, and community co-design of research and agricultural technology design and scaling efforts
  • Define and implement farm diversification pathways using collaborative and inclusive approaches; conduct research deepening the understanding of the trade-offs and synergies associated with diversification pathways
  • Engage with change-makers to ensure outputs are used and integrated into independent programs.
  • Supervise and coach project staff and consultants work based on the on-project research and activity work plans
  • Produce inventories of agronomic, economic, environmental, and institutional development priorities as part of a formalized assessment process.
  • Develop and provide a framework for assessing scaling interventions that can be applied to existing and proposed initiatives to enable farmers and local businesses to improve their part of the food system in sustainable and inclusive ways.
  • Examine policy settings at national and state/ provincial levels that influence diversification of smallholder farming systems in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, with a micro-level understanding of how these policies are implemented.
  • Increase understanding of the changes associated with diversification at micro and macro levels, particularly regarding livelihoods, gender and equity, groundwater sustainability, nutrition, and climate change.
  • Quantify projected impacts of diversification pathways over the medium to long term.
  • Cooperate with CIMMYT scientists, SAS thematic research group leaders, Country Representatives to administer projects’ research streams and assure documentation of scientific output in the form of reports and peer-reviewed papers.
  • Provide technical backstopping to research and agricultural development collaborators to develop efficient and dynamic research and development programs.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed publications.


  • Lead the planning, implementation leadership and technical oversight of CIMMYT’s work projects and work streams within projects.
  • Liaise with project partners, representing the projects and work streams within projects and assuring excellence in performance and responsiveness to partners’ and donor concerns.
  • Ensure budgetary and fiscal planning along with appropriate financial reporting.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of capacity building strategies with national research partners, NGOs, and farming communities.
  • Properly maintain and archive agricultural and field data records and maintain data archiving and back-up systems.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • PhD in agricultural economics, agricultural sociology or anthropology, scaling science or related social science disciplines, with emphasis on understanding agricultural change processes.
  • At least three years of professional experience contributing as a core team member to agricultural research for development projects with a focus on participatory impact evaluations and explorations of scaling/change processes.
  • Demonstrated practical experience training/working with both the public and private sector in the context of research for development programs.
  • Demonstrated experience with designing and/or implementing development project monitoring, evaluation, and learning programs.
  • Demonstrated experience in the implementation and management of farmer-participatory research and community-based research approaches.
  • Prior experience collaborating with national research institutions and/or NGOs focused on agricultural development, technology development and dissemination, and/or agricultural machinery or farm services provision.
  • Good communication skills for farmers, agricultural service providers, extension and outreach professionals, and private sector partners.
  • Competence with common computer software packages for communications, data management, and statistical analysis.
  • Record of quality peer-reviewed publications.
  • The selected candidate should exhibit the following competencies: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Team Leadership.

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 IRS22145_ Innovation Systems Scientist.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Monday, November 14th, 2022. Applications must include a CV 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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