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Social and Health Sciences Global Leader

Nairobi (Kenya)

The International Potato Center (CIP) is seeking a dynamic, creative Leader of our Global Science Group on Social and Health Sciences and Innovation Systems (SHINES). The successful candidate will have a disciplinary background in anthropology, sociology, agricultural economics or other relevant field in the social or health sciences and will already have experience of leading multidisciplinary teams of social scientists doing innovative research to achieve development goals in complex collaborative environments. The selected candidate will have an excellent publications track record and demonstrated skills and experience in proposal development and fundraising. CIP seeks diversity and gender balance in its staff. Women and citizens of developing countries are particularly urged to apply.

The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweet potato, and Andean roots and tubers. Its vision is of roots and tubers improving the lives of the poor. CIP is dedicated to achieving food security, improved well-being, and gender equity for poor people in root and tuber farming and food systems of the developing world. CIP works with partners to contribute high quality science, technology, and capacity strengthening for sustainable science-based solutions. CIP is headquartered in Lima, Peru, with staff and activities in over 30 locations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. CIP is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a network of 15 Research Centers and 16 Research Programs mostly located in the developing world and supported by more than 50 donor members.

The SHINES Global Science Group: CIP has over 40 years of interdisciplinary research experience involving social and biological scientists working together to generate research results and impacts related to the key fields of the Center: on-farm conservation of genetic resources, varietal improvement, integrated crop management and post-harvest, including value chain development and nutritional improvement. Through cross-cutting research on gender, R&D partnerships and impact assessment the Group has also ensured that collaborative R&D with partners is equitable and effective and the widespread impacts of CIP’s research are systematically documented. The Group plays a key role in ensuring the relevance of CIP research by functioning as a compass for the Center’s overall research program through multi-scale targeting of beneficiaries, gender-responsive priority assessment and promoting agricultural innovation at local, national and international levels. CIP’s newly formulated Strategic and Corporate Plan identifies six Strategic Objectives to guide research and development and the Global Science Group provides disciplinary support, science quality assurance and research collaboration with the research programs that are implementing these Objectives.

The position: The position reports to the Deputy Director General-Research and Development and the preferred location is at CIP’s regional office in Nairobi or close by country offices (Addis Ababa or Kampala) with frequent international travel in Africa, Asia and Latin America.. CIP seeks an accomplished scientist and research manager to lead the Global Science Group. The Leader will work closely with CIP staff implementing the Strategic Objectives in Lima and in the regions and with our national and international partners in planning and coordinating the Group’s research activities. S/he will be a member of CIP’s Science Leaders’ Team, contributing to the strategies and direction of CIP’s overall research program, and representing the Center in a variety of research, donor and partner forums. S/he will also contribute to and in some cases assume a leadership role in the Center’s involvement in different CGIAR Research Programs, especially in relation to social and health science related outputs and outcomes. We are looking for an individual confident and successful in his or her disciplinary setting, but who is also comfortable in related areas of social and health sciences and who can reach out to agricultural and environmental scientists and build innovative teams that encompass these disciplines. The Leader should be able to articulate a clear vision for the Global Science Group and implement that vision through working with other science leaders and teams at headquarters and in the regional settings where CIP’s overall program is implemented.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Provide institutional and intellectual leadership and support for social and health sciences and innovation systems research being conducted within CIP’s six Strategic Objectives (
  • Contribute to the generation of key outputs and outcomes as identified in the impact pathways of the Strategic Objectives, especially in relation to improved eco-system and beneficiary targeting, more effective regional science and research-development partnerships and gender-responsive interventions in technical and value-chain related fields, and more innovative approaches to improving nutrition and to measuring health and income-related impacts.
  • Build a strong SHINES Science Group through strengthening the current system of peer support, mentoring, supervision and professional development.
  • Actively manage the scientific, financial and administrative aspects of the SHINES Global Research Group that results in a body of quality publications recognized internally and externally and a Global Science Group with efficient administrative procedures and resource use.
  • Be responsible for pro-actively seeking funding through donor intelligence and development and submission of funding proposals to support the implementation of CIP’s research program in social and health sciences.
  • Provide scientific advice and support to CIP’s senior management through membership of the Science Leaders’ Team and through other channels as may be requested.

Selection criteria:

  • PhD in Anthropology, Sociology, Economics, Agricultural Economics or other social science discipline, or in Health Science with a strong social science competence.
  • Be an accomplished and innovative researcher with at least 10 years of strong research management experience.
  • Good track record in conducting social science and/or health research for agricultural development in a multi-cultural environment and in a variety of developing country contexts.
  • Excellent management and communication skills to collaborate effectively.
  • Demonstrated success in managing multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships.
  • Demonstrated experience in attracting substantial research funding.
  • Strong publication record.
  • Fluency in English is required and Spanish, French or other languages are an asset.
  • Willingness to travel.

Conditions: Employment contract will be for an initial three-year term with possibility of renewal. Salary will be internationally competitive, paid in US dollars, and commensurate with experience. CIP provides additional benefits including employer-paid medical, life and disability insurance and retirement benefits. Allowances toward relocation, housing, home leave travel, dependents’ education and annual leave are also provided. CIP prides itself on its collegial and supportive working environment, which allows space for personal and professional growth.

Applications: Applicants should apply online through our CIP’s Job Opportunities website (Following the link below), including a cover letter, a full C.V with the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable of the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. Screening of applications will begin on 08 April, 2016 and will continue until the post is filled. All applications will be acknowledged, however only short listed candidates will be contacted.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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  • Organization: CIP - International Potato Center
  • Location: Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Closing Date: 2016-04-08

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