Institutional and Systems Economist

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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 looking for an innovative, highly self-motivated, and results-oriented Post-Doctoral Fellow/Associate Scientist to work on and implement a research portfolio in the Sustainable Agri-food Systems (SAS) program focusing on the role of institutional frameworks, knowledge systems, social dynamics, economic policies and other system-level factors as critical preconditions for technology adoption, scaling and impacts along the five CGIAR impact areas.

The successful candidate should have strong analytical skills and a good understanding of current global development issues and related food systems challenges. Familiarity with, and ability to apply gender analysis toolkits or analytical frameworks will be an added advantage.

Reporting to the research group leader, Science for Scaling and Impact Pathways, the position will be based in CIMMYT’s Nairobi Office with responsibilities across the Eastern and Southern Africa region (and beyond) depending on program and Center needs.

Specific duties:

  • Conducting theoretically sound, and empirically testable research activities around how to achieve scaling of innovations and identifying pathways to impact, with a special focus on institutional enablers, the role of economic and social agency, and other social norms in driving the diffusion of technologies at scale.
  • Designing research instruments for the collection of data on social forces that drive technological change at the intersection of science and society.
  • In support of identified research topics and priorities, organize, and supervise the collection of high-quality data.
  • Leading the publication of research results in reputable and high-impact factor journals.
  • Participating in impact co-creation through fast-tracked analysis to guide effective implementation of multi-disciplinary research for development projects.
  • Contributing to policy learning through research translation, synthesis, and communication of scientific results to broader audiences.
  • Actively contribute to the development of new project proposals and initiatives around the core topics of the role of behavioral and social norms in technology adoption.

Required qualifications, skills, and attitudes:

  • D. in social and economic sciences such as Agricultural/Development Economics, Economics, Development Sociology, or a closely related field.
  • A good understanding of extant theories (e.g., new institutional economics) and paradigms of international development
  • Demonstrated research and field experience in the global south (as part of the dissertation work for post-doctoral applicants)
  • Demonstrated experience in the implementation and management of household surveys especially large and complex surveys requiring people management skills.
  • Excellent skills in digital data collection and management and a keen sense of data quality assurance.
  • Competence in the application of statistical and econometric approaches to develop research questions and high-level familiarity with statistical applications such as R or STATA.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to interface with rural communities such as village leaders, extension staff, and others.
  • Ability to work effectively in a multicultural environment as a member of a diverse work team.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • The selected candidate should exhibit the following competencies: Client Orientation, Negotiation, and Conflict Resolution, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Teamwork, and Communication.

The position is for an initial fixed term of 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 IRS22159_Institutional and Systems Economist.

Screening and follow-up of applications will begin on Thursday, December 22nd, 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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