IRS24112 Soil Scientist

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CIMMYT is a cutting edge, non-profit, international organization dedicated to solving tomorrow's problems today. It is entrusted with fostering improved quantity, quality, and dependability of production systems and basic cereals such as maize, wheat, triticale, sorghum, millets, and associated crops through applied agricultural science, particularly in the Global South, through building strong partnerships. This combination enhances the livelihood trajectories and resilience of millions of resource-poor farmers, while working towards a more productive, inclusive, and resilient agrifood system within planetary boundaries.

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CIMMYT is seeking an innovative, results-oriented, motivated, and enthusiastic Scientist in Soil Science to work with the Sustainable Agri-food Systems (SAS) program. The role involves active participation in One-CGIAR initiatives and bilateral soil health projects across sub-Saharan Africa and other developing regions. We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in soil science or related disciplines and proven proficiency in global soil health R&D.


The location of this position will be CIMMYT-Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

Specific duties:

  • Conduct and assist original research on soil resources and soil health management relevant to farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
  • Design and execute research projects, guiding data collection, and analysis and interpretation of results to create precise soil health management strategies and identify areas requiring specific interventions.
  • Integrate soil health and productivity considerations into multi-disciplinary environmental and agricultural projects.
  • Assess current soil health status through indicators like soil organic matter content, microbial diversity and activity, and aggregate stability.
  • Formulate customized soil health plans incorporating organic amendments, cover cropping, and microbial inoculants.
  • Explore and evaluate the effectiveness of agricultural practices over time on current and projected soil health aspects and put forward relevant strategies.
  • Investigate innovative strategies (e.g., research precision agriculture technologies, including sensor-based nutrient management) to boost soil health and productivity.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable nutrient management practices, such as nutrient cycling and cover cropping.
  • Manage long-term trials on acid soils, integrated soil fertility, and cropping systems, and supervise trials studying soil quality diagnosis.
  • Oversee trials addressing nutrient use efficiencies, especially in the context of GeoNutrition Learning Landscapes.
  • Support and guide the development of a comprehensive strategic document that guides the ‘sustaining soil productivity and ecosystem services’ R&D priority area in EiA in collaboration with national partners, global EiA team and other CIMMYT Scientists.
  • Closely interact with agronomists and ecologists to understand the broader environmental context of soil health.
  • Create customized soil health and agronomic solutions for various users to support the widespread adoption of agronomic innovations.
  • Design guidelines, manuals, educational materials and operational protocols on soil health and fertility management.
  • Conduct workshops and training sessions for farmers, extension agents, and community members on basic soil health enhancing practices.
  • Conduct capacity building training for local partners on sustainable farming practices to maintain appropriate soil health and productivity.
  • Identify potential collaborators in research organizations, government agencies, the donor community, and private industry.
  • Contribute to other core CIMMYT activities such as appropriate-scale mechanization, irrigated wheat systems, climate change mitigation and adaptation.


  • PhD in Soil science or Agronomy with 5 – 10 years of relevant Post-Doctoral experience in similar topics.
  • Prior experience with soil fertility, soil conservation, soil health and soil ecology.
  • Advanced skills with data analytics (advanced R for data analysis) and demonstrated publication experience in high impact journals.
  • Proven practical agricultural R&D experience, including experience with on-farm research and action research, and controlled on-station research.
  • Experience working with international (preferably CG), NARS (MoA, EIAR, Universities, regions) and NGO (preferably international) environments.
  • Experience in coordinating large projects, preferably at multi-country levels.
  • Experience working with smallholder farming systems in SSA, with a special focus on ESA.
  • Strong record of high-quality scientific publications and experience in translating research results into operational guidelines, brochures, policy briefs and training materials.
  • Proven track record in preparation and compilation of the annual work plans, progress- and technical reports.
  • Proficiency in English language is mandatory.
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural environments and in multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Willingness to travel within and outside the country of post.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Critical Thinking, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution and Teamwork.


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.

Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Friday, March 1st, 2024.

Applications must include a CV and a cover letter. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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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