International Center for Tropical Agriculture – Agricultural and Climate Data Scientist (Nairobi).

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The organization
The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) delivers research based solutions that address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation. The Alliance focuses on the nexus of agriculture, environment, and nutrition. We work with local, national, and multinational partners across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, and with the public and private
sectors and civil society. With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstreams innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people in a climate crisis. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, the world’s largest agricultural research and innovation partnership for a foodsecure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources.
About the position
The Alliance Climate Action team is looking for a motivated and high performing Agricultural and Climate Data Scientist to support the delivery of climate resilient food systems and climate data science outputs to public and private actors. The incumbent will be able to develop innovative and high-quality analytical solutions to help understand climate impacts and adaptation options, inform investments in sustainable agriculture and land use, and support the implementation of climate services for agriculture. We consider the Alliance and the CGIAR work on climate resilience and data science as strategic to contribute to reducing climate risk, reducing poverty, improving food and nutrition security, and scaling sustainable agriculture and land use. As a result of the diverse nature of our work, this role will have the opportunity to work within a multicultural and multidisciplinary team, distributed across the world in many countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The team covers a wide range of topics including climate and crop modelling, geographic information science, social science, economics and finance, agronomy, environmental science amongst others. We work with a wide range of global, regional, national and local partners to implement project which build the capacities of countries and farming communities to respond to climate variability and climate change.

Main responsibilities

  • Implementation of project activities on agricultural climate services, food system resilience, climate risk profiling, and climate impacts and adaptation.
  • Use analytical skills to lead and support the implementation of agroclimatic information services, seasonal forecasts, data- and model-based climate impact and adaptation assessments in the areas (countries, regions) of interest to the Alliance and its partners. Automate analytical routines and contribute to capacity development of project partners.
  • Lead and contribute to the writing of high-quality peer-reviewed publications and project reports.
  • Work closely with project partners and other teams in the Alliance to design and perform data analysis for agroclimatic advisory design and deployment, climate risk assessment, through the operationalization of innovative methodologies that take consideration of partners’ and local stakeholder needs.
  • Stay up to date with the most recent literature on climate impacts, adaptation, and climate risk assessment.
  • Contribute to project proposal writing and bilateral fundraising
  • Other tasks as assigned as relevant to expertise and ongoing or future projects.

Education and requirements

  • PhD degree in agricultural science, data science, environmental science, geography, with an understanding of climate related risks, climate impacts, and adaptation in agriculture. Candidates with MSc degrees will also be considered provided their publication record and/or experience demonstrates their suitability for the post.
  • Experienced data scientist / modeler with a background in agricultural and/or environmental sciences.
  • Extensive familiarity and experience working with climate model outputs (e.g., CMIP5/6), historical climate data (e.g., station data, CHIRPS), and related datasets such as crop yield data, soils data, etc.
  • Experience in the implementation of project activities on agricultural climate services, food system resilience, climate risk profiling, and climate impacts and adaptation.
  • Substantial experience and demonstrated proficiency in climate data analysis and agricultural modelling using R and/or Python. Specific experience with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and crop modelling tools (e.g., process-based crop models) is a requirement, as is experience handling large databases for modelling and data analysis.
  • Strong quantitative background.
  • Excellent/proven English writing skills.
  • Past experience in international agricultural research would be a plus.
  • Experience working on collaborative projects as part of an international team.

Terms of employment
The position is globally recruited and will be supervised by the global leaders Dr. Steve Prager (Climate Resilient
Food Systems Lead, based in Cali) and Dr. Julian Ramirez-Villegas (Data Science for Climate Action, based in Rome). This role will be based at one of the following Alliance Offices to be defined with the supervisory team: Cali/Palmira (Colombia) or Nairobi (Kenya). Home office or other locations may be considered due to the current situation. The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. This is a position at the level 8, in a scale of 14 levels, with level 14 being the highest. The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. We are an equal opportunity employer, and strive for gender, diversity and inclusion in our staff, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
ethnicity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic.


Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. The cover letter should be no longer than two pages and contain at least the following three elements: (i) a brief description of your profile and achievements; (ii) your motivation for this position; and (iii) a description of where you would prefer your base to be (Cali or Nairobi) and why. All correspondence should be addressed to Mr. Tomás Solís ( with cc to Dr. Steven Prager ( and Dr. Julian Ramirez-Villegas ( with a subject: Application –
Agricultural and Climate Data Scientist. The position is urgent and will be filled as soon as suitable candidate is identified. Only short listed candidates will be contacted for an interview
Closing date for applications: May/21/2021. ;

Applications MUST include reference number Consultancy Ref:
CON-KE-LC-2021-049 as the position applied. Applications should be saved as one document
using the candidate’s last name, first name for ease of sorting.
The Alliance does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview
meeting, processing or training). The Alliance also does not concern itself with information on
applicants’ bank accounts.
Closing date for applications: 21st May 2021
We invite you to learn more about us at:





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