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Senior Scientist I - Economist and Policy Expert


  • Organization: IRRI - International Rice Research Institute
  • Location: Kenya
  • Grade: Senior level - Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Political Affairs
    • Legal - Broad
    • Economics
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: Closed

About IRRI
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and over 1,000 staff.

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.
Job Purpose

Climate Change impacts rice production through exacerbated and more frequent weather extremes, rising sea levels and temperatures. Understanding future trends is crucial to plan ahead and implement adaptation options to increase resilience of agricultural systems. Working with various national and international partners in different projects, IRRI develops strategies to mitigate climate change (effects) and to adapt to climate change, e.g., through the development and dissemination of climate-smart technologies in rice production.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. The Sustainable Impact through Rice-based cropping Systems (SIRS) department aims at developing and promoting climate-smart, nature-friendly rice-based farming systems and value chains. Within the department, the research unit “Transformative Policies and Investments (TPI)” deals specifically with foresight of market trends and future developments in the rice sector, policy analyses and policy support, ex-ante and ex-post impact assessments of rice technologies, interventions and policies. Within this unit, a research position is open in the field of ‘Economic and Policy analysis‘ in Africa (see ‘purpose’ below), which will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of scientists in the region and in Asia.

This position will be based in Kenya or other country in East and/or South Africa and is open for international applications.

Roles and Responsibilities

The incumbent will develop and lead an IRRI research program on socio-economic, impact assessment and policy analyses in national and regional rice sector(s) in Africa. The focus of his/her work will be around the following key areas and responsibilities:

  • The analysis of current and future trends in the rice sector, as affected by climate change and national-regional-global market developments and trade
  • Ex-ante and ex-post impact assessments of projects/programs outcomes and policy intervention options and/or introductions of novel (production, post-harvest, value-chain) management practices
  • The conduct of socio-economic analyses to support IRRI’s overall R&D agenda in Africa
  • Development and leadership (scientific and managerial) of a strong R4D team on the above
  • Resource mobilization to support the above-mentioned R4D program
  • Nurture and initiate collaboration with partners along the whole impact-pathway continuum, form upstream advanced research institutes to governmental, NGO, public and private sector partners that can help to deliver benefits ‘at scale’
  • Contribute to knowledge sharing and capacity development of various stakeholders (public and private sector, NGOs, civil society organizations)
  • Communicate key messages and project progress with donors, policymakers, and other primary stakeholders
  • Supervise, and mentor junior staff and students
  • Demonstrate scientific leadership through publications and representing IRRI in scientific and strategy forums
  • A world-class R4D agenda on socio-economic and policy analyses in national and regional rice sector(s) in Africa
  • A well-funded portfolio of successfully managed R4D projects
  • An effective network of collaborators across the various public and private sectors
  • Effective scaling approaches, business models, and partnerships with public and private sector parties
  • Articles in peer-reviewed journals, proceedings, technical manuals, and training materials
  • PhD in Applied economics, agricultural economics, policy analyses, or related fields with at least 8+ years post-PhD
Skills Required


  • Strong background in socio-economic and/or policy oriented research;
  • Understanding and experience with qualitative quantitative or mixed-methods tools and models
  • Excellent knowledge of econometrics techniques for ex-ante and ex-post impact assessment
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills;
  • Strong proficiency in written and spoken English


  • Experience with rice; work experience in a developing country environment

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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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