Systems Agronomist / Soil Scientist

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Andhra Pradesh, India

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
27th December, 2018

Job Description

CIMMYT is seeking a dynamic and self-motivated Systems Agronomist with core competencies in soil science or a Soil Scientist with a strong orientation towards agronomy to join the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia in India. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), CSISA is CIMMYT’s flagship program for sustainable intensification in South Asia and incorporates programming across the innovation to impact continuum in Nepal, Bangladesh, and selected states in India. As part of CSISA, and with dedicated support from BMGF, we have recently launched new programming in India to build ‘soil intelligence’ systems (SIS) that inform decision-making for soil health management with state and private sector partners. These systems will combine legacy data, high-throughput laboratory methods, and machine learning-based map predictions to make high-quality soils information available at scale through robust geo-spatial data systems.

In addition to strong theoretical knowledge of agricultural systems and soil science, the ideal candidate will have a mix of practical field skills, quantitative abilities, capacity for managing and analyzing large datasets, and a core commitment to achieving science-led agricultural development. The successful candidate will also have a problem-solving orientation and approach work with a clear focus on issues of scale, sustainability, and underlying processes.

The position will be based in Andhra Pradesh (AP), India. The incumbent will serve as the SIS coordinator for the state and also have a contributing science leadership role at the SIS initiative level.

Specific duties:

  • Coordinate integrated SIS work plan development for AP with the CSISA leadership team.
  • Guide the process of acquiring, cleaning, and managing legacy soils information in AP.
  • Assist the SIS geo-spatial team with digital soil mapping efforts and ground validation in AP and Odisha.
  • Provide technical support for soil laboratory modernization and application of spectroscopy.
  • Contribute to the development and field evaluation of innovative soil health management strategies and extension recommendations based on SIS outputs.
  • Apply newer and emerging methods including modern data analytics, simulation modelling, and geospatial analysis to strengthen and target soil health management strategies.
  • Contribute to the development of innovation alliances with a diverse set of public and private sector partners, including advanced research institutions and fertilizer companies.
  • Contribute to the development and writing of publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • Mentor, assist, and encourage state and private sector SIS partners and serve as the focal point for SIS implementation in AP and Odisha.
  • Contribute more broadly to CSISA’s work on agro-advisory systems in India.
  • Communicate key messages and project progress with donors, policy makers, and other primary stakeholders.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • D. degree in agronomy or soil science with at least 3 years of post-Ph.D. experience.
  • Core capacities in soil fertility management and modern methods for soil assessment, geo-spatial tools, analysis and management of large datasets, and process-based agronomy.
  • Working knowledge of R programming language.
  • Good soft skills for partnership facilitation and team-building.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Proficiency in spoken Telugu is an asset.
  • Intimate knowledge of the cropping systems in Southern India.

The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Multi-cultural awareness, time management, problem solving, communication and teamwork.
The position is for an initial fixed-term of three (3) years, after which further employment is subject to performance and the continued availability of funds. CIMMYT’s internationally competitive salary and benefits include housing allowance, comprehensive health and life insurance, assistance for children’s education, paid vacation, annual airfare, contribution to a retirement plan, and generous assistance with relocation shipment.


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