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. 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.
Reporting to the Regional Representative for South East Asia, the successful applicant will serve as IRRI’s Country Representative for Cambodia, as well as act as a Regional Entomologist and Integrated Pest Management Lead for Southeast Asia. The successful applicant will spend 70% of his/her time on research and 30% on representation.
As a Country Representative, the successful applicant will be responsible for representing IRRI’s interests in Cambodia, providing oversight on the implementation of the Cambodia-IRRI national work-plan 2020-2023 and coordination with country partners, including One CGIAR partners, international organizations and national research and extension agencies. The Country Representative acts as the Institute’s primary point of contact with relevant government offices and agencies regarding IRRI’s programs and activities and will also support fundraising and partnership development to further IRRI’s research for development agenda in Cambodia.
Cambodia also acts as a key hub for IRRI’s work on Integrated Pest Management. Rice landscapes constitute one of the world’s richest agro-ecosystems in terms of biodiversity. Herbivorous vertebrates and invertebrates may pose yield reduction risks in rice production. However, multiple other species occupying rice landscapes provide numerous ecosystem services, including food provisioning, natural biological control, nutrition cycling as well as aesthetic and cultural services. Climate change as well as shifts in global agricultural practices affect the level of biodiversity and their attendant services in rice landscapes. Pest outbreaks and biodiversity decline are but two of possible outcomes of this trend. On the other hand, there is ample opportunity to design production models and interventions that rely more on the natural capital provided by the rich biodiversity inherent in rice landscapes. Successfully scaled up, these models can affect an altogether positive outcome for the environment without compromising the systems’ ability to produce sufficient staple food. The incumbent scientist will conduct research from farm to landscape scales to help design such production models and interventions that support positive biodiversity outcomes. S/he will contribute to the scaling up of such models in Cambodia and neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, as well as working with IRRI scientists in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
This position will be based at the IRRI Cambodia Office, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and is open for international applications.
Roles and Responsibilities
Represent IRRI’s interests with the highest levels of Government of Cambodia
- Liaise with relevant government offices and agencies, key universities, and other research entities and partners to promote and advance IRRI’s research agenda in Cambodia
- Advise IRRI management and scientists on national developments, new opportunities, potential partners, and appropriate policies and procedures for working in Cambodia
- Serve as spokesperson for IRRI Cambodia
- Develop good working relationships and represent IRRI’s interests with development, research and extension partners, both in the public and private sectors, as well as donor representatives and policymakers in Cambodia.
Manage country office activities
- Provide oversight for implementation of the Cambodia – IRRI Workplan (2020-2023), ensuring focus on high priorities, excellent collaboration with national partners, coherence and synergy among projects, and adherence to IRRI policies and procedures
- Oversee the management and administration of IRRI’s country office
- Manage relationships and partnerships with other CGIAR centers and CGIAR research programs operating in Cambodia.
- Manage the performance of international and nationally-recruited staff in the Cambodia office, as well as nationally recruited entomology researchers associated with the pest ecology/biodiversity research group working across the SEA Region.
- Collaborate with other scientists in Sustainable Impact Platform and across other platforms to address environmental impact challenges, aligned to the new One CGIAR.
- Keep IRRI Management and scientists informed on national developments, new opportunities, potential partners and appropriate policies and procedures beneficial to the current and future projects in Cambodia
- Build and maintain excellent working relationships with international donors with interests in Cambodia
- Identify and develop opportunities for support from various donors, in collaboration with the SEA Regional Representative, the Portfolio Management Office and Business Development at HQ and guided by IRRI’s overall resource mobilization strategy
- Develop opportunities for support from both traditional and non – traditional donor sources, including private sector
- Contribute to IRRI’s research on designing production models and interventions that limit invertebrate pest damages by leveraging the ecosystem services provided by the rich biodiversity inherent in rice landscapes.
- Help design interventions from farm to landscape scales that optimizes biodiversity outcomes in rice-based landscapes
- Assist in the scaling up efforts on production models and interventions with positive environmental outcomes, such as the Sustainable Rice Platform and Climate Smart Agriculture.
- Lead Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in SEA and work with relevant scientists in S. Asia and contribute to IRRI’s engagement with key regional and international forums for a on agroecology and biodiversity
- Contribute to proposal development by introducing ideas and methodologies on pest management, biodiversity monitoring as well as models and interventions that optimizes biodiversity outcomes in rice landscapes.
- 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.
- PhD in entomology, ecology or other related sciences
- Equivalent training / experience
- Proven ability to perform in a multi-disciplinary and multicultural environment
- Has demonstrated research management experience
- Has demonstrated analytical skills
- Has excellent organizational skills
- Demonstrated experience in facilitating multi-stakeholder processes
- Work experience in a developing country environment, especially in SE Asia