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Senior Scientist I - Mechanization and Post-harvest Expert

Asia and the Pacific: India

  • Organization: IRRI - International Rice Research Institute
  • Location: Asia and the Pacific: India
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Agriculture and Forestry
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • Closing Date: 2022-10-06
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 climate 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 and supporting policy analyses in rice-growing and –consuming countries.

The Sustainable Impact through Rice-based cropping Systems (SIRS) Platform aims at developing and promoting climate-smart, nature-friendly rice-based farming systems and value chains. Within the platform, the research unit Adaptive Agronomy deals specifically with cropping systems analysis, agronomy ‘at large’, soil science, and pest ecology and management. The IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) in Varanasi, India, is a regional facility that supports research collaboration, training, and service provision to institutions, scientists, and other stakeholders from India and other South Asian and African nations. ISARC also works closely with private millers, agricultural machinery manufacturers, and civil society organizations to scale up innovations in rice value chains. At ISARC, and within IRRI’s Adaptive Agronomy unit, a research position is open in the field of ‘mechanization and post harvest’ (see ‘purpose’ below), which will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to address climate change challenges.

The incumbent will develop and lead research for development (R4D) programs on climate-smart mechanization and postharvest technologies/ innovations for rice-based production systems that will contribute to the mitigation of climate change and/or to adaptation to the effects of climate change. The focus of his or her work will be around the following key areas and responsibilities below.

This position will be based in Varanasi, India and is open for international applications.

Roles and Responsibilities
  • Develop novel climate-smart mechanization and postharvest technologies/innovations in rice-based, rainfed, and irrigated ecologies and value chains in South Asia. This may involve mechanization options to support a shift from transplanting to direct seeding systems and to facilitate diversified cropping, novel residue management practices. novel usages of residues, development of novel by-products from rice, interventions further down in the rice value chain such as improved drying
  • Develop dissemination, scaling, and partnership approaches, and/or business models for mechanization and postharvest technologies/innovations that will lead to impact ‘at scale’, such as improved resilience to climatic change and climatic shocks, and improved food security and reduced poverty among rice value-chain actors
  • Develop leadership of a strong R4D team on climate-smart mechanization and postharvest technologies at ISARC for South Asia
  • Support and strengthen south-south collaboration with key partners in South Asia and Africa, by contributing to the implementation of South-South Mechanization research strategies
  • Resource mobilization to support the above-mentioned R4D program
  • Contribute to developing strategic partnerships, knowledge sharing, and capacity development of various stakeholders
  • Nurture and initiate collaboration with NARES partners, private sector and development partners, advanced research institutions (ARI) and policymakers in South Asia and conduct joint research
  • Collaborate with government, donors, rice R&D partners, private enterprises to align with client and donor expectations; Across CGIAR initiatives and other IRRI projects
  • Communicate key messages and project progress with donors, policymakers, and other primary stakeholders
  • Coordinate closely with project partners and build a relationship with other stakeholders to ensure research outputs are transferred effectively
  • Develop new projects together with IRRI colleagues, ARIs, and NARES in South Asia
  • Supervise, and mentor junior staff
  • World-class R4D agenda on development and delivery of climate-smart mechanization and postharvest technologies in rice-based ecologies in South Asia
  • Novel climate-smart mechanization and postharvest technologies
  • Effective scaling approaches, business models, and partnerships with public and private sector parties, including leading R&D entities (ARIs) and equipment manufacturers and service providers in the region
  • Articles in peer-reviewed journals, proceedings, technical manuals, and training materials that highlight findings from research activities, showcasing the incumbent’s scientific leadership
  • Effective resource mobilization strategy and a well-funded portfolio of R4D projects
  • Well-functioning and effective R4D team based on principles of mutual trust and respect for gender and inclusion.
  • Ph.D. in agricultural engineering or related field with minimum 5 years of experience in working on machinery and postharvest practices, including rice value chain
Skills Required


  • Background on mechanization and postharvest
  • Have a mix of practical field skills, quantitative abilities; appreciation of interdisciplinary work, and a core commitment to achieving science-led agricultural development
  • 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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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.