Science Managing Editor or Lead Researcher, CGIAR Flagship Report (Consultancy)

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Reports to: CGIAR Director level

Supervising: Part-time consultants, administrator (TBD)

Job grade: TBC

Contract type: Consultant, 12-month contract with probable extension

Time commitment: Preferably February 2024 start, but no later than March 2024. Optimally, 4-5 days per week, with flexibility. See SCENARIOS below.

Location: Remote or hybrid, with occasional travel. Montpellier, Rome, Washington DC or a CGIAR Center headquarter location is preferred, but not required, for home base.

Deadline for application : Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the position is filled with a first review beginning 20 February.



CGIAR’s ( global partnership of 13 world-leading research Centers provides solutions to transform food, land, and water systems in a climate crisis. CGIAR is launching an Annual Flagship Report to synthesize its science to inform and influence global policy processes in the food systems and development domain. This annual Report will arm policymakers, regional institutions, and global decision-makers with the insights, innovations, and data they require to formulate, develop, and negotiate evidence-based policies. The Science Managing Editor or Lead Researcher is a senior position leading or contributing to the development of the first Report, possibly including conceptualizing the design, overseeing and undertaking science synthesis, facilitating input from key stakeholders, and developing, editing and/or writing a series of products that will catalyse positive change on a global scale (e.g. briefing papers, blogs).


The approach to the position is dependent on applicant skills, their described scenarios, and upcoming decisions by the Flagship Report Advisory Team. 100% of the selected candidate’s time is preferable, but possible scenarios include:

1.       Science Editor: support CGIAR science leads to define the Report, take on feedback from stakeholders/Advisory Teams, oversee analysis and writing, and feed into an effective advocacy plan. In this scenario the Science Editor will coordinate contributions of analysts, editors and writers, and ensure they are collated into a cohesive and powerful product. Commitment expected to be 3-5 days per week for 10-12 months, closer to full-time during the report writing phase (approx. Apr-Oct).

2.       Lead Researcher: lead the full Report development process, acting as the primary researcher/synthesizer of science (while consulting CGIAR science leads), main writer, key expert on “science to policy,” organizer of expert engagement and stakeholder input, manager of related staff contributions and consultants, and overseer of delivery of intermittent and final products. Commitment expected to be 4-5 days per week for 10-12 months.

3.       Lead Researcher, with Research Support: as in (2) above, but this scenario has the option of using a portion of the Lead Researcher budget to recruit a less senior researcher to assist on some responsibilities. Commitment expected to be 2-4 days per week for 10-12 months.


Ensure your application describes your preferred/possible scenarios. Note that the project will also have stakeholder meeting facilitation, administrative, editing/proofreading and other project support.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (dependent on scenarios section above)

  • Lead the design process for the report, including a full proposal and budgeted action plan for the Report.
  • Establish and facilitate (or contribute to) an internal/external advisory group, including outreach, overseeing design workshops and discussions, and seeking, assessing and addressing input.
  • Coordinate all research synthesis activities and outputs, including reviewing inputs from authors/scientists, and providing support to drafting products/chapters.
  • Ensure the project delivers its objectives and plans on time and within budget, generally aligned with the tentative plans described in the Concept Note.
  • Work with Advisory Teams to select the best opportunity for impact (e.g. influencing a particular UN process), the most appropriate science, and the most effective methods of engagement.
  • Oversee or collaborate with a small team of CGIAR staff or consultants, potentially including: project admin support, design session facilitator, project evaluator, and (with support of CGIAR Communications) co-authors, text editors and designers.
  • Collaborate on communication and outreach activities with CGIAR Communications & Outreach Group, and advocacy activities with CGIAR Partnerships & Advocacy Group.
  • Represent the project at public events and meetings and engage critical stakeholders as applicable, particularly for feedback loops


  • Excellent understanding of issues around science, policy and practice in the fields relevant to food, land, and water systems.
  • Strong scientific-evidence synthesis, policy analysis, and writing skills.
  • Strong project management capabilities, especially working across multiple units and locations.
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and networking skills, with experience in engaging in regional and global networks, and gaining the confidence of different categories of stakeholders.
  • Fluency in English – both written and verbal.


  • PhD in a relevant natural or social science, or Masters with 10 years of equivalent experience.
  • Experience working in agricultural development research, and/or around environmental, climatic, and social issues in low-income countries and emerging economies.
  • 10+ years in positions requiring project management or advocacy, and science synthesis.
  • Experience and demonstrated skills on the range of different scientific-evidence synthesis for systems thinking and engagement methods, and a record of achievement around “science to policy,” preferably at global/regional levels such as UN processes.
  • Successful track record of representing an organization in various fora, working closely with a range of stakeholders including senior researchers, donors, and developing country partners.
  • Experience working in high-performing, fast-paced teams, and handling complex multi-stakeholder processes, across multiple entities.
  • Proven ability to oversee teams that deliver on deadline, with attention to detail and quality.

The above description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It may require adjustments at the discretion of the employer during the contracting process based on the final scope of the work.


Interested candidates are invited to submit your:

1.       Updated resume / CV.

2.       Cover letter and/or plan describing your approach to the “Potential Scenarios” described above. Be as specific as possible about which of the three you (a) prefer, or (b) will consider; how you might manage those scenarios; and your time availability (start/end dates, maximum days per week).

3.       Proposed daily rate.

4.       Earliest date you are available to start (or describe a gradual starting scenario, if applicable).

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled


CGIAR is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-colour, multi-generational, and multi-disciplinary, collegial working environment, with a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and flexible working arrangements. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

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