Social Scientist Qualitative Methods (20-67)

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The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a dynamic, innovative and ambitious researcher to bring the power of qualitative social science to impactful research and development programs that can address major global challenges of poverty, malnutrition and climate change. This is a great opportunity to contribute to the efforts of international agricultural research to support the transformation of the world’s agri-food systems into more inclusive, gender equitable, sustainable and profitable sectors.

About CIP’s program:

CIP, a global CGIAR research center, works with partners to improve diets and incomes of poor people in Africa, Asia and Latin America through scientific research, innovation, and capacity strengthening.  Focusing on potato and sweetpotato as the entry point, CIP’s programs seek to strengthen broader agri-food systems to generate economic, social and nutritional benefits for farmers, enterprises and consumers emphasizing the priorities of women and youth in particular. CIP emphasizes the synergies between social and bio-physical sciences as a core strategy for making breakthroughs in our understanding of complex development challenges in food and agriculture and for our ability to overcome these. Within this pluralistic strategy, qualitative social science has a central, and increasing place for explaining human and institutional behavior and assessing benefits and risks for human development. CIP’s work is embedded in broader global CGIAR research programs encompassing the world’s main agro-food systems and priority development challenges. 

About the position:

The Social Scientist will ensure that CIP’s ongoing and evolving research and development programs will apply latest methodologies and insight from qualitative social science, including gender research. Secondly, the Social Scientist will ensure that this research is carried out at excellent standards, guides program implementation towards equitable outcomes, results in impactful publications, and can influence future research and policy design. The position will be part of CIP’s global Social and Nutrition Sciences Division and will work closely with scientists across disciplines and countries and with the CGIAR gender platform. The position at least initially has a focus on research programs in Africa and South Asia but is relevant for all of CIP’s programs. The position will report to one of CIP’s global program leaders and will be based in Nairobi, Kenya or Kampala, Uganda.

Key responsibilities:

  • Provide science leadership across CIP’s program portfolio to identify key social science research priorities related to human and institutional behavior change and develop research strategies and plans for addressing these.
  • Specifically, design and implement research on gender and social inclusion within the context of two of CIP’s largest projects focused on technology development and delivery for nutrition impacts in Africa and South Asia.
  • As part of CIP’s social science team contribute significantly to the CGIAR gender platform.
  • Produce peer-reviewed publications as lead author and contributing author in high quality journals, based on this research.
  • Develop and manage productive research partnerships with universities and research institutes of international stature.
  • Contribute to program reporting and communications with development partners to ensure that findings from qualitative social research help strengthen CIP’s credibility and influence.

Who are we looking for?

  • PhD in a relevant social science discipline with a strong focus on qualitative methodologies.
  • Excellent and up-to-date understanding of qualitative research methods pertinent to the study of behavior change, gender, social inclusiveness, youth, risks and benefits from technology change, and institutional transformation.
  • At least 5 years’ experience of leading qualitative social research in an international program environment, preferably within the agriculture, food security or rural development sector.
  • Strong understanding of the social, cultural and economic context of poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, and social marginalization in Africa and South Asia.
  • Excellent skills in research design, coordination of research teams, timely analysis, writing and presentation.
  • Excellent track record of original research and peer-reviewed publications based on qualitative social science methodologies.
  • Excellent leadership skills to promote effective collaboration within research teams and across research partnerships.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English. Proficiency in French or Spanish is an advantage.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally and work in resource-poor, rural areas.

What are we offering?

  • Exciting career opportunity in an international organization.
  • Internationally competitive salary, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience.
  • Comprehensive international insurance coverage.
  • Attractive retirement plan.
  • Two-year term contract with the possibility of renewal.
  • Work in an equal and diverse workplace.

How to apply?

Visit the following link: and submit your cover letter and a full C.V. with your references. Screening of applications will begin on October 15th, 2020 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged; however only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Learn more about CIP by accessing our web site at

CIP is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified women and professionals from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

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