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Job: Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya.

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Advertiser's description (via International Food Policy Research Institute):

Job Summary:

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a qualified candidate to serve as an Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow for a two-year, renewable appointment with its Innovation Policy and Scaling Unit. The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and reports to the Director of the Innovation Policy and Scaling Unit.  

 The Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow will conduct research aligned with the Innovation Policy and Scaling Unit’s research goals, agenda, and portfolio. The unit’s goal is to advance the generation, exchange, and application of science and technology for agriculture, food, and nutrition to improve both policy and practice that shape decision-making by governments, private enterprises, and civil society in global and local food systems. IPS’ research agenda and portfolio focus on data-driven, evidence-based solutions to accelerate innovation at scale and advance inclusive and sustainable systems transformation.

 In pursuing this goal, the unit aims to produce and communicate policy-relevant research that improves agricultural productivity, climate resilience, incomes, welfare, nutrition, social inclusion, and gender equity. The unit does so by combining applied research with strategic partnerships and capacity development to inform and support key policy, regulatory, and investment choices in partner countries and organizations. Topics covered by the unit range from global policy regimes governing genetic innovation in agriculture, to private sector investment strategies in the crop sciences, to the behavioral dimensions of technology adoption choices in farmers’ fields.

 The Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow will participate in scholarly research on topics such as the evaluation of programs to accelerate technical change among small-scale, resource- poor farmers in low- and middle-income countries with the adoption of improved crop varieties, production inputs, and management practices for soil, water, and biodiversity conservation; innovation bundles that combine technologies, inputs, and practices with digital and financial services; novel encouragements designed to influence household decision-making and individual behaviors; and gender-transformative interventions that engage men and women together as agents of change in food systems.

 The Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow will specifically contribute to key aspects of the design and implementation of impact evaluations with experimental and quasi-experimental research designs, lab-in-field experiments, cost-effectiveness studies, and other types of research to help inform innovation and scaling programs and policies. The Associate Research Fellow/Research Fellow will engage in both the collection and analysis of primary data (both quantitative and qualitative) as well as the analysis of secondary data, to contribute to the unit’s portfolio.

Please note that ARF appointments at IFPRI have a maximum term of three (3) years, inclusive of any approved appointment extensions. After the maximum appointment term, ARFs may be considered for a promotion to the next level.

The final grade level (ARF or RF) for this position will be determined by demonstrated experience and track record of publications.

 Essential Duties

  • Conduct collaborative research to advance food systems innovation, accelerated climate adaptation, and enhanced incomes, nutrition and gender equity in low- and middle-income countries and with particular relevance to smallholder production systems and rural communities.
  • Conduct impact evaluations of agriculture and rural development programs and projects, including programs and projects using experimental and quasi-experimental approaches, with particular emphasis on technology adoption, climate change adaptation, digital innovation, gender-transformative interventions, and related topics. 
  • Design and execute other types of policy-relevant research using primary and secondary data from low- and middle-income countries.
  • Publish research in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals and IFPRI outlets (books, policy briefs etc.).
  • Participate in the preparation of funding proposals for research projects and in the cultivation of relationships with potential funders.
  • Participate in the management of research projects, including developing workplans, coordinating research activities, engaging in capacity development activities, monitoring and reporting on progress, and sharing research findings.
  • Communicate research to a broad spectrum of stakeholders including fellow researchers, students, partner organizations, funding agencies, and policymakers and their advisors.
  • Cultivate professional relationships with external collaborators and collaborating organizations for the purposes of research, capacity development, and communications.   

 Required Qualifications  

  • PhD in Economics, Development Economics, Agricultural Economics, Public Policy, or closely related fields.
  • Demonstrated ability to use economic theory and other concepts from related disciplines or fields in innovative and policy-relevant ways.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of state-of-the-art techniques used in applied microeconomics, including randomized controlled trials, quasi-experimental evaluation methods, and panel data analysis.
  • Excellent skills in econometrics and statistical analysis.
  • Excellent knowledge of Stata, R, or other relevant statistical/econometric software package
  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high-quality research for publication in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals.
  • Strong team player, self-motivated and ability to work with people from different social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English.
  • Willingness to travel for projects activities including, but not limited to, project meetings, field survey testing, workshops, and conferences.

At Research Fellow level: 

  • 3+ years of post-PhD experience relevant to the job.
  • Excellent publication record in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Major external recognition within peer professional network due to publications and other leaderships activities.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective interactions in a multicultural setting with other researchers and with policymakers, donors, and civil society, facilitating impact of research & capacity strengthening.
  • Experience in identifying funding prospects and developing project proposals.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and strong experience building and managing teams.

 Preferred Qualifications:  

  • Field experience in collecting quantitative project and household data in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Knowledge of French

 Physical Demand & Work environment:

  • Employee will sit in an upright position for a long period of time.
  • Employee will lift between 0-10 pounds.
  • Employee is required to have close visual acuity to perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data and figures; transcribing; viewing computer terminal; extensive reading.

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) is an equal employment opportunity employer - F/M/Disability/Vet/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

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