Post-doc Soil Fertility Management (Ref: DDG-R4D/PD/SFM/K/07/12)
Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the position of Post-doc Soil Fertility Management.
IITA is an international non-profit research-for-development (R4D) organization created in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and supported primarily by the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Our R4D is anchored on the development needs of sub-Saharan Africa. We develop agricultural solutions with our partners to tackle hunger and poverty by reducing producer and consumer risks, enhancing crop quality and productivity, and generating wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.
IITA is seeking to fill the position of Post-doc Soil Fertility Management in the context of a project on ‘BREAD- Assessing, understanding and targeting non-responsive soils for improved crop production in smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa’, operating in Nigeria, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Kenya.
The success of the African Green Revolution depends on increased use of fertilizers and improved germplasm. Yields have doubled or tripled in some locations but evidence indicates that in many fields crop yields are low and yet show little response to fertilizers. There is limited understanding of where, why, and how this non-responsiveness occurs. Inputs that drive the African Green Revolution must be efficiently targeted and managed to realize the benefits of improved crop germplasm. The project has four objectives: (i) quantify the occurrence of non-responsiveness as related to soil type, topography/landscape, and management practices; (ii) characterize the soil chemical, physical, and biological processes and properties that result in non-responsiveness to mineral fertilizers, (iii) evaluate rapid and cost effective field tools for diagnosing these soil factors, and (iv) construct a decision tree for targeting improved management options for these non-responsive soils. State-of-the art analytical methods (near and mid infrared, total element, x-ray and laser diffraction) will provide the quantitative characterization of soil factors underlying non-responsiveness and be compared to simple field measurements with the aim to develop key diagnostic and recommendations via smart phones.
The Post-doc Soil Fertility Management will report to the Director for NRM and East Africa. He/she will be responsible for delivering the project outcomes in all target countries. More specifically, he/she will:
- Coordinate the implementation of the various activities in the 4 target countries.
- Liaise with partners within the cooperating national agricultural research systems to ensure all activities are implemented with the highest rigor and quality.
- Supervise MSc trainees engaged in the context of the project.
- Analyze cross site data investigating links among soil properties and yield response
- Prepare consolidated technical progress reports.
- Monitor expenses against available budgets.
- Write scientific papers for submission in high quality peer-reviewed journals.
- Participate in and contribute to NRM meetings.
- Represent the project in meetings and conferences.
- Contribute to the Humidtropics and Soils and ecosystems CGIAR Research Programs.
Educational Qualifications: PhD in tropical soil fertility management or related field, with demonstrated working experience in Africa.
- Demonstrated publishing skills in top quality scientific journals.
- Demonstrated experience with soil science and soil fertility-related tools and approaches.
- Demonstrated experience with multivariate statistical tools.
- Demonstrated experience of working with national research systems in Africa.
- Working experience in Advanced Research Institutes.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Ability to motivate students and support staff to produce quality work within tight timeframes.
- Team player with personality traits that enable him/her to motivate and communicate with all levels of the professional and support staff.
- Self-starting, energetic working style, with an ability to work effectively with little day-to-day direction or supervision.
- Reputation of integrity, high intelligence, creativity and the ability to exercise good judgment.
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to establish rapport and credibility with people at all organizational levels, forming strong relationships, both internally and externally.
- Committed to transparency and continuous improvement in a cooperative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning.
- Fluent in English. Working knowledge of French would be a strong advantage.
Duty station: IITA Nairobi, Kenya
General information: The position will be filled pending approval of the sub-agreement. The initial appointment is for two years. IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.
Applications: Applications including curriculum vitae, names and addresses of three referees should be addressed to the Human Resources Manager. Please complete our online application form using this link: http://www.iita.org/irs-online-application
Closing Date: 31 July 2012
IITA is an equal opportunity employer and particularly welcomes applications from women candidates.
Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.