Senior Researcher - Aquatic Ecology

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The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Center is seeking a dynamic Senior Researcher to join its team, as a Senior Researcher – Aquatic Ecology.

This is an internationally recruited position; therefore, individuals with relevant abilities from diverse locations around the world are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate can be based in Sri Lanka or South Africa. IWMI strongly values diversity; therefore, qualified women are highly encouraged to apply.

The Senior Researcher will oversee the implementation of a portfolio of research projects, including CGIAR initiatives and bilaterally funded projects at the intersection of development and ecological objectives. This includes planning and scientific direction for projects, mentor junior scientists, and conduct advanced & high-quality scientific research.

The incumbent will be responsible for supporting a unified and coordinated approach to project delivery. The role requires expertise in aquatic ecology and the ability to work on integrated land-water systems. Priority areas include freshwater ecosystems and sustainable use of natural resources.


  • Provide research leadership and guidance on ecological aspects of projects and contribute to research oversight and quality control.
  • Coordinate with key international partners to ensure their deliverables are on time/budget and fit for purpose for IWMI.
  • Work with other CGIAR Centres and partners to lead scientific work and oversee the day-to-day implementation of project activities to ensure the successful implementation of theories of change and the successful delivery of identified project outcomes.
  • Communicate research results to various audiences, including non-technical audiences. Publish research results in the international scientific literature and other relevant media to ensure the dissemination of research results to targeted audiences.
  • Contribute to IWMI’s fundraising efforts and the development of a portfolio of research projects, in which aquatic ecology is a key component.
  • Engage with Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and other relevant multilateral environmental agreements that require an evidence base for sound global policy/strategy development.
  • Represent IWMI at local, regional, or high-level global meetings and events, and make presentations and other intellectual contributions; manage requests.




  • PhD in aquatic ecology, ideally linked to natural resource management, with at least 10 years of relevant professional experience in positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Proven experience working on freshwater ecosystem projects that integrate natural resources management with society and promote a sustainable future.
  • Demonstrated experience in fieldwork, prioritizing monitoring surveys and data collection, with a focus on utilizing such data for societal benefit.
  • Knowledge and research experience aligned with IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries, coupled with understanding the functioning of the CGIAR system.
  • Successful track record of representing an organization at a senior level, working closely with senior colleagues, and leading high-performing teams.
  • Experience engaging with regional networks and establishing strong partnerships with various categories of stakeholders.
  • Significant experience producing high-quality written proposals, reports, and academic papers for scientific and non-scientific audiences, as evidenced by a strong publication record.



  • Deep understanding of challenges and opportunities in low-income countries and emerging economies related to water, land, agricultural development, water scarcity, drought, climate change, and vulnerability.
  • Proven ability to 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, demonstrating sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Excellent oral and written language skills in English, including effective listening and strong verbal and written communication abilities.
  • Ability to frequently travel internationally.


This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, and long-term disability coverage. Internationally recruited staff who are employed at a duty station outside of their home base/country of nationality will also receive relocation assistance, a housing allowance, home-leave plane tickets for self and eligible dependents and education assistance for eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a period of three years.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply for the position by following the application instructions at We will be accepting applications through 24:00 (IST) on August 04, 2024 (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis). Your application must include a CV, cover letter, and three (3) references, which may be contacted if you are shortlisted. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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.

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