Associate Scientist - Agronomist
Working with in-country partners, IRRI develops advanced rice varieties that yield more grain and better withstand pests and disease as well as flooding, drought, and other harmful effects of climate change.
Climate Change impacts rice production through exacerbated and more frequent climate extremes. At the same time rice fields are a large emitter of greenhouse gases. Technologies that reduce the carbon footprint of rice exist but uptake of such technologies is slow. Working with various national and international partners in different projects, IRRI develops strategies to increase the level of adoption of climate smart technologies in rice production. This task needs a concerted approach of an inter-disciplinary team of experts. IRRI is seeking for an agronomist who will address diversified tasks related to agriculture and agronomy.
Under the minimal supervision of the IRRI Representative in Thailand, the Agronomist will be responsible to conduct and evaluate agronomic field trial on climate change adaptation technologies and practices in rice-based systems. The Agronomist will lead related agricultural tasks of a National Child Project in Thailand under the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded Inclusive Sustainable Rice Landscapes Initiative (ISRL). ISRL is a Regional Food Systems, Land Use and Restoration (FOLUR) Impact Programme of the GEF and involves a core partnership between UN Environment, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) and IRRI.
The Child Project in Thailand seeks to transform rice and agricultural production landscapes in Thailand by reconciling competing social, economic, and environmental interests. To achieve this, the project proposes an integrated and multi- disciplinary landscape management approach to create inclusive, sustainable rice farming practices through policy, capacity building, financing, and sustainable land management (SLM) practices at landscape scale. Inter-ministerial land use planning at the national and local levels in the target provinces Chiang Rai and Ubon Ratchathani will precede the adoption of SRP Standard practices by smallholder farmers, while maintaining, restoring and improving landscapes, ecosystems and biodiversity.
The successful applicant should have demonstrated experience and a proven track record of conducting similar research or projects related to landscape management, rice farming systems, crop management, crop diversification, sustainable agriculture, resilience in agricultural production, etc. The applicant is also expected to have domain area expertise in conducting an environmental impact assessment on the on- and off farm impacts of agricultural production systems on landscapes. Apart from research, the position also requires close collaboration with Thai government partners, most important departments and research institutes under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), International partners, private sectors, and stakeholders of other national projects. Moreover, this position will require analytical skills to interpret and publish results from adaptive research and support the Thailand office, namely within the context of developing funding proposals.
This position will be based in Bangkok, Thailand and may only be filled by permanent citizens of Thailand.
Roles and Responsibilities
- Work with IRRI scientists to implement agricultural research for development activities in Thailand
- Plan, conduct and evaluate agronomic field trial on climate change adaptation technologies and practices in rice- based systems
- Lead the following IRRI-led GEF project work packages and collaborate with the IRRI’s project coordinator, work with the consultants and coordinate with IRRI Globally Recruited Staff (GRS), where appropriate, for their scientific inputs:
- Baseline and feasibility study on the current situation of rice farming systems in comparison to sustainability standard and Performance Indicator requirements
- Concept development of feasible crop management options for diversification of sub-optimal rice production systems
- Support the implementation and delivery of other activities:
- Pilot testing and assessment of landscape impacts, such as on biodiversity, ecology, etc.
- Farm mechanization, application of innovative technologies in agriculture
- Support the preparation of project narrative and progress reports as well as other documents as needed
- Support the recruitment and supervision of short-term consultants
- Engage national partners, e.g. MOAC especially the Thai Rice Department, private sector companies, research institutes, consultants, contractors and smallholder farmers in project implementation
- Collaborate with other IRRI international scientists to produce IRRI deliverables required under the GEF project and other IRRI projects
- Maintain active communication with other IRRI teams in the Thailand Office, other country offices and HQ to effectively align activities
- Deliver significant contributions to the writing of reports, scientific papers, articles, etc. for GEF Project and adaptive research
- Provide input to the development of research products for private and public decision-makers in view of sustainable agricultural development of the rice sector
- Contribute to training of national research and extension service partners and other beneficiaries on relevant skills and knowledge
- Contribute to proposal development and implementation by introducing ideas and methodologies on crop management, crop production as well as biodiversity monitoring that optimize biodiversity outcomes in rice
- Communicate research results and new ideas in a broad array of outlets, including peer-reviewed journals, mass media, policy fora as well as national and international scientific fora
- Master’s Degree in Agronomy, Agricultural Sciences, Agro-Environmental Sciences, Agro-Forestry, Applied Sciences or related field and min. 3 years relevant work experience
- Ph.D. in Agronomy, Agricultural Sciences, Agro-Environmental Sciences, Agro Forestry, Applied Sciences or related field and min. 1 years relevant work experience
- Experience working in the field of agricultural research and/or in international organizations
- Pro-active and independent way of working
- Has demonstrated research experience and analytical skills
- Experience in working with government institutions, preferably MOAC
- Experience with advanced approaches in sustainable agriculture
- Excellent oral and written skills in English including scientific writing as well as interpersonal skills
- Experience in Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard implementation and
- diversification of agricultural production
- Demonstrated experience in or understanding of implementing SRP standard and its Performance Indicators (PIs)
- Knowledge of agri-food value chain approach/processes
- Knowledge of /ability to use laboratory testing equipment (for chemical, physical and biological tests)
IRRI offers a highly extensive employee benefits package inclusive of globally-covered medical insurance, retirement plan, life and accident insurance and other allowances.
Join our team and be part of our story!
Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
This position will remain open until filled.