Senior Researcher, Resource Recovery & Agri-food system Expert - IWMI

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The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Center is looking for a competent, self-motivated, and dynamic candidate to join as the Resource Recovery and Agri-food System Expert.

The Resource Recovery and Agri-food System Expert will lead key aspects of circular economy and water pollution research in IWMI contributing to three CGIAR initiatives:

  • Nature-positive solutions for shifting agrifood systems to more resilient and sustainable pathways (Nature+). This initiative aims to re-imagine, co-create, and implement nature-positive solutions-based agrifood systems that equitably support food and livelihoods on the ground, while simultaneously ensuring that agriculture is a net positive contributor to nature. CGIAR researchers and partners will reshape food production systems in five countries, Burkina Faso, Colombia, India, Kenya, and Vietnam, to meet food demands of growing populations by stewarding biodiversity and improving soil and water management within integrated nature-positive solutions. IWMI is the co-lead of the initiative and contributes to the soil, water, and circular economy solutions across four work packages (W1, W2, W3, and W4). The candidate will lead the deployment of circular bio-economy innovations (specifically agricultural wastes in rural areas) for the transformation of the food system under different climate scenarios in target countries, thereby promoting a healthier environment. The incumbent will lead IWMI’s work on converting waste to fertilizer as a climate and crisis adaptation strategy and in response to the demand by national governments in light of the current global fertilizer scarcity.



  • Transforming Agric-food System in West and Central Africa (TAFS- WCA), IWMI leads WP3 on inclusive landscape management as pathways for scaling land and water innovations for resilient agri-food systems. IWMI is expected to promote the proper use of land and water resources as a prerequisite to building a healthy, productive and One Health sensitive environment for resilient agri-food systems and livelihoods. The candidate will be responsible for leading the activity on deploying market-driven circular bio-economy innovations to reduce pressure on water and land resources. This activity will take place in 6 countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.
  • The candidate will further lead the deployment of a use case on organic fertilizer for scaling within the Initiatives on Excellence in Agronomy and Sustainable Intensification in Mixed Farming System (SI-MFS).
  • In the Cities Initiative, IWMI and partners propose to strengthen food system resilience in urban environments, securing a future for productive, green, and livable cities with healthy populations. The Initiative will support a vibrant, largely informal urban and peri-urban (UPU) agri-food sector to help improve sustainability, equity and growth of opportunities, as well as mitigate risks for human and environmental health. In this context, the candidate will lead the conceptualization and implementation of innovation Hubs, Wto3F (RRR innovation hub with the components of waste to fertilizer, food, and fuel) in Ghana and Kenya

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Creatively generate ideas on IWMI's research in the circular economy and water pollution and wastewater management space, specifically identifying opportunities for research in environment and agricultural (food systems) space in developing countries and delivering innovation including in both urban and rural contexts.
  • Lead project development and implementation in liaison with IWMI colleagues and external partners, ensuring delivery of outputs to an international standard; this includes designing and supervising data collection and analysis from field research.
  • Facilitate innovative options for scaling bio-circular economy solutions (including recovery of nutrients, water, and organic matter) from a technical, agronomic and economic perspectives.
  • Lead IWMI’s work on converting waste to fertilizer as a climate and crisis adaptation strategy and in response to the demand by national governments in the light of the current global fertilizer scarcity.

Qualification Required & Experience



  • PhD in environmental sciences, agriculture, Soil and crop sciences or other related fields.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience in research on resource recovery and reuse, circularity and related agriculture studies including substantial experience in tackling environmental challenges related to waste/wastewater management.
  • Experience in developing and leading research teams with multiple partners and covering multiple disciplines in developing countries and elsewhere.
  • Previous work experience in developing country contexts (Asia and/or Africa), including data-scarce (and sometimes remote) environments.
  • Proven ability to bring in research funding.





  • The capacity for research leadership is attested to by possession of a solid publication record.
  • Evidence of strategic and conceptual and system thinking including ability to develop an innovative research agenda and lead thinking among groups of researchers.
  • Effective project and people management skills to oversee a range of activities and motivate people to successfully complete them.
  • Understanding of ecological principles, the concept of ecosystem services and links to soil, water, biodiversity, health and agriculture.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team, and work with researchers of other CGIAR centers, cultures and professional backgrounds.


  • This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, long-term disability insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. Globally recruited staff who are employed at a duty station outside of their home base/country of nationality will also receive relocation assistance, a housing allowance, home-leave plane tickets for self and eligible dependents and education assistance for eligible dependents.
  • The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.

Location: Accra

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