CIAT Job: Cassava Production Systems Specialist at Hanoi, Vietnam

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics through research aimed at increasing the eco- efficiency of agriculture. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium (, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. The Center’s research focuses on increasing productivity of key crops(cassava, common bean,rice, and tropical forages),reversing soil and land degradation, and using information to foster better decisions about issues such as climate change and environmental management. Headquartered near Cali, Colombia, CIAT has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Hanoi, Vietnam, with staff posted in other developing countries as well. CIAT’s Cassava Program works with a broad range of partners to develop technical interventions and capacity along the value chain from production to processing to markets. The program has worked for over four decades developing crop and soil management practices for sustainable production towards improved livelihood of smallholder farmers, especially in areas of soil fertility management and erosion control in upland systems. Today, the program envisions the future of cassava agriculture through better crop genetics and agro-ecological management combined with scientific advances via big-data and integrated scenario analyses.


The Position

CIAT is looking for a talented and innovative agricultural scientist to lead field-oriented research on cassava-based production systems in Asia, particularly for the smallholder-farming sector and its associated agro-environmental/socio-economic/climate-related challenges. Among the key research themes expected to be assigned are: sustainable intensification of cassava agriculture, eco-efficient management of farm resources, enhanced crop health and resilience to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses, sustainable seed production-multiplication systems, and crop production strategies to meet diverse markets and uses. While primarily having an Asia-wide geographic focus, the position is also expected to contribute to CIAT’s global cassava program agenda including cross-regional relevance to Latin America and the Caribbean, and to Sub-Saharan Africa.



 Undertakes geographic targeting, research priority setting and partnership building for advancing research on cassava production systems — covering areas of current importance and future expansion that are increasingly vulnerable to soil erosion and fertility decline, pest and disease threats, and climate-change risks and other emerging challenges.

 Participates in the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Roots, Tubers and Bananas, especially in the Flagship projects related to resilient and more productive cassava-based systems.

 Develops down-scalable site-specific agronomic and other crop production practices along with farmer decision-support tools — including use of soil and weather data-bases, crop production records, and crowd-sourced information.

 Leads and facilitates collaborative research teams — comprising CIAT staff and partners — in planning and implementing activities/projects.

 Supports capacity building and cross-learning among research partners, and facilitates linkage with the public, private and NGO sectors. Develops research-grant proposals towards expanding CIAT’s cassava project portfolio.

 Represents CIAT, and specifically the Cassava Program, in key scientific and knowledge-sharing events aimed at research users, funders and other stakeholders.


Required Qualifications

 PhD in agronomy, soil science, plant health and other related agricultural sciences.

 At least 5 years of general research experience in tropical farming systems; prior work related to cassava/rootcrops/vegetatively propagated crops would be an advantage.

 Academic and professional specialization/s in any of the following: crop-soil interactions, sitespecific optimization for crop productivity, plant nutrition and physiology, bridging yield gaps, agro-ecological approaches to crop health, sustainable community-based seed systems, resilient cropping/farming systems, environmental impacts of agricultural production, and other emerging challenges in smallholder tropical agriculture.

 Advanced knowledge of experimental design, statistical analysis and data management tools.

 Record of internationally peer-reviewed scientific publications.

 Work experience in cross-country projects/programs and/or international research institutions; prior exposure to Asian context of tropical smallholder agriculture is a plus.


Role Competencies

 Strong interest in collaborative, interdisciplinary and farmer participatory research.

 Demonstrated capacity to manage multi-component, integrated projects and activities.

 Willingness to learn new research approaches integrating traditional and novel tools, and to travel internationally including fieldwork.

 Excellent English communication skills, both written and oral.


Terms of Employment

The position is internationally recruited and will be based at the CIAT Asia regional office in Hanoi, Vietnam, and reporting directly to the leader of the Cassava Program and to the Regional Director for Asia. The initial contract will be for two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. CIAT offers a multi-cultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.



Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position as per the key responsibilities and required qualifications, together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Andrea Linares ( and should clearly indicate “Cassava Production Systems Specialist”.

Closing date for applications: 28 th of November, 2016 or until a suitable candidate is selected.

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