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Post-Doctoral Fellow – Crop Disease Geo-Spatial / Data Scientist


The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its Spanish acronym, CIMMYT®, is a not-for-profit research and training organization with partners in over 100 countries. Please refer to our website for more information: www.cimmyt.org

CIMMYT seeks an innovative, self-motivated, and results-oriented candidate for the position of Crop Disease Geo-Spatial / Data Scientist (Post-Doctoral Fellow) to work on improving maize and wheat agri-food systems in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. The holder of this position should conduct and contribute to collaborative research aimed at improving the monitoring, forecasting, early warning and decision-making around transboundary pests and diseases on wheat and maize, using geo-spatial analysis and big data approaches. The specific research focus of this position is to improve the effectiveness of established crop disease monitoring systems (currently focused on wheat rusts, but includes maize lethal necrosis) through new, innovative geo-spatial analysis and modeling approaches. The position will contribute to several research activities focused primarily on sub-Saharan Africa, but also includes activities in South Asia. The work will involve strong integration and collaboration with internationally renowned crop disease modeling groups.

This post-doctoral fellow will work as a member of CIMMYT’s Socio-Economics Program in close collaboration with other CIMMYT programs and with public, private, local and international partners.

The position will be based at CIMMYT’s Ethiopia office, located in Addis Ababa.

Specific duties:

  • Contribute to the development of analytical models for crop disease early warning and forecasting.
  • Development and support for data collection tools via mobile devices.
  • Integration of data from multiple sources, e.g. disease surveys, crowd-sourcing tools, diagnostics data, remote sensing and geospatial data.
  • Database management and development of information products related to disease early warning and forecasting.
  • Provide technical support and capacity building for national partners.
  • Provide support to the development of project proposals and reports.
  • Produce peer-reviewed research articles.
  • Other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Required academic qualifications, skills and attitudes:

  • A recent Ph.D. in geo-spatial science, data science or a quantitatively-oriented science.
  • Experience with modeling climatic and/or environmental systems. Crop/animal (human) disease modeling highly desirable.
  • Experience with spatial modeling, use of geospatial data, remote sensing and geographical information systems.
  • Competency in programming e.g., R and/or Python.
  • Strong understanding of database architecture, statistics, data visualization, etc.
  • Expertise in working with large data sets and the ability to integrate and interpret multi-thematic data.
  • Experience and/or knowledge of crop diseases and epidemiology highly desirable.
  • An ability to communicate effectively and teach others.
  • The selected candidate must exhibit the following competencies: Proactive, Problem Solving, Decision-making, Achievement Orientation, Communication and Teamwork.

The position is for an initial fixed-term for two (2) 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, car, 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.

Candidates must apply here for IRS18153_Post-Doctoral Fellow – Crop Disease Geo-Spatial / Data Scientist. Screening and follow up of applications will begin on Monday 11th February 2019. Applications must include a CV and a letter of interest. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. For further information on the selection process, please contact Yessica Castillo, at y.castillo@cgiar.org

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

This position will remain open until filled. 

CIMMYT is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equality, teamwork, and respect for diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.