Senior Researcher - Agricultural Water Management

Share this to :


This is a re-advertisement, applicants who had previously applied for this position need not re-apply.

The Senior Researcher, Agricultural Water Management initiates, develops, leads and carries out research for development on agricultural water management in rainfed and irrigated agricultural systems using approaches that combine methodologies for and technical knowledge of water management and farming systems. The researcher contributes scientific leadership on designing and testing water solutions for sustainable and resilient food systems and understands the impact of these solutions on water resources at scale. The successful candidate will develop and lead relevant R4D projects needed to achieve outcomes and impacts by building and managing partnerships, including donor engagement, work with public and private sector partners and disseminate research results to key knowledge users and constituencies. The researcher will play a leading role in research on agricultural water management in the CGIAR Action Area on Resilience Agri-food Systems and in the Action Area on Systems Transformation within One CGIAR.


  • Lead and carry out state-of-the-art research in the assessment and improvement of water management to enhance agricultural performance and minimize environmental impact in rainfed agricultural, small, medium and large-scale irrigation systems;
  • Identify new research trends and niches, and develop multi-year proposals for innovative research;
  • Lead an innovative portfolio of R4D projects – co-designing, testing and evaluating agricultural water management (AWM) solutions within rainfed and irrigated agricultural production systems suited to local climate, farming systems, land and water resources in Africa, Asia and MENA;
  • Lead and contribute to proposal writing and other fundraising opportunities for bilateral and multilateral funding sources;
  • Contribute to IWMI’s research agenda under One CGIAR and provide support to programs and partner organizations within the new One CGIAR structure, including in project development and implementation, capacity building, and information dissemination activities;
  • Oversee the research of and mentor junior research staff and students including quality assurrance; identify learning needs that contribute to both skills enhancement and career progression; input in to individual goals and support developmental feedback;
  • Disseminate findings via peer-reviewed publications, convene and attend workshops, conferences and webinars in a range of international, regional and national settings; Provide scientific leadership ensuring quantity and quality of research publications with due attention to the quality of publication outlets, accessibility to their target group, citations and bibliometric measures of impact;
  • Provide scientific leadership in the implementation of strategies and processes to ensure research quality. Ensure high-quality project design, project implementation, research outputs and effective reporting;
  • Work with research colleagues to ensure that project outputs and engagement of partners are effectively coordinated to enhance impact. Provide information on relevant projects and research results and breakthroughs for communication to donors, research users, partners, networks and policy platforms;
  • Support a work environment that promotes a culture of collaboration, learning and effective knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer, interdisciplinary teamwork, evaluation, and innovation; and
  • Develop and manage partnerships with governments, organizations, businesses and other stakeholders needed to deliver IWMI’s research for development mission. Engage in relevant scientific, policy and development practitioner networks and platforms to foster the application of research results and knowledge to achievement of outcomes and impacts relevant to areas of research.



  • PhD in Agricultural Sciences, Bio-engineering/ Agricultural Engineering, Soil and Water Engineering, Irrigation Engineering, Hydrology and Water Resources with focus on AGW or a closely related field;
  • 10 years relevant professional experience, proven research for development experience and technical competence of designing, monitoring and analyzing AWM interventions in agri-food systems with farmers and communities in Africa and/or Asia;
  • A track record of relevant scientific publications, and experience of working on a diverse range of agricultural water management related topics across the rainfed-irrigation continuum and farm to watershed scale using innovative approaches, techniques and tools appropriate to each scale;
  • A good understanding of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, approaches to sustainable agri-food systems and on-farm irrigation methods in a changing climate, as well as principles of water productivity and interaction of irrigation with surrounding ecosystems;
  • The ability to be a great team player whilst being able to independently design and conduct action research, and facilitate collaboration and team spirit in research and project teams;
  • The overall ability to work in data-scarce environments, generating new data sets;
  • Significant experience of producing high quality written proposals, reports and academic papers for scientific and non-scientific audiences, as evidenced by a strong publication record;
  • Successful management of complex research projects, with multiple partners, in complex political environments, under conditions of limited access to data; and
  • Excellent written and spoken English.


  • Demonstrated in-depth knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries;
  • An in-depth understanding of challenges and opportunities in low-income countries and emerging economies related to sustainable water, land and agricultural development in a changing climate;
  • Experience in engaging with professional networks and building strong partnerships with different categories of stakeholders;
  • On-the-ground working experience in agricultural water management solutions with farmers and water users with sensitivity on gender and social inequalities;
  • Technical knowledge on design and implementation of solar based irrigation projects and pilots;
  • Experience in working with private sector entities to design/apply/adapt/test latest technologies to support more efficient water use in agriculture for smallholder farming systems in developing countries;
  • Experience in dealing with larger spatial and non-spatial data sets in the field of agricultural water management, irrigation advice and water productivity;
  • Experience of working with multi-disciplinary, multi-location, multi-cultural and multi-partner project team(s);
  • Proven ability to effectively communicate research results to stakeholders at different management levels in multiple countries;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity; and
  • Experience of living and working in countries with developing economies.


This is a globally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. If the successful candidate requires an international relocation, the successful candidate may be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and home leave transportation for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

To Apply

Your application must include your curriculum vitae, publications record, a cover letter that addresses the above stated requirements, and contact information of a minimum of three professional referees. At least 2 of the provided referees must be former or current supervisors. Referees will only be contacted with the prior consent of the candidate. All applications will be acknowledged, however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Applications will be accepted until 24:00 hours (IST) on 27 June, 2021.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. 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.


Apply for this job

Share this to :