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Postdoctoral Fellow at CIAT- Soils and Agroecosystem Science

BackgroundThe Soils Research Area of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow to carry out research on soil and agroecosystem management to provide sustainable options that improve benefits for smallholder farming communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, while minimizing and mitigating negative impacts on agricultural ecosystems and the environment.The PositionThe postdoctoral fellow will conduct research with a focus on determining (through experimentation and modeling): (i) the role of components and management options in improving the soil fertility and sustainability of smallholder production systems; and (ii) the impact of widespread adoption of  improved smallholder production systems on agroecosystem services, specifically those related to soil,  water and agro-biodiversity at landscape scale.  The selected candidate will have responsibility to conduct field studies through collaborative research  with national partners, farmers and local organizations in Latin America. S/he will be part of a growing CIAT-Soils team, and of innovative research programs of the CGIAR including Water, Land and Ecosystems and Humidtropics. Main responsibilities
  • Carry out research to assess, analyze and develop recommendations for suitable production system options that maintain or enhance soil fertility and production in smallholder agroecosystems.
  • Combine insights of soil science, agronomy and agroecology to integrate management options into climate-smart production systems for enhancing diverse agroecosystem services at multiple scales. 
  • Collaborate with the CIAT-Soils team, relevant local stakeholders, and other CIAT/CGIAR groups conducting activities in the target region. 
  • Search for and incorporate inputs from the broader agricultural research and development communities.
  • Manage (timely, reliable, and valid) data compilation, analysis and synthesis, prepare scientific papers for refereed journals and books, and prepare work plans and reports for CGIAR Research Programs and donor funded projects.
  • Support communication and publication efforts for scaling of activities and results and engage farmers, institutions, policy-makers and the general public to generate impact.
  • Mentor and supervise support staff and students to publish findings and ensure timely completion of tasks.
  • Contribute to developing research proposals that align with the Soils Research Area and enhance integration with other research areas of CIAT. 
  • PhD in Soil Sciences, Agronomy, Agroecology or other related fields.
  • Experience with research in production systems in tropical regions, including modeling impact of technologies on soils at plot (particularly crop yields and water, soil carbon and nutrients cycling) and landscape (natural resource base conservation/restoration) scales. 
  • Thorough knowledge of experimental design, implementation of research trials, and multivariate statistical analysis a plus. 
  • Excellent communication skills (written and spoken) in English and ideally also Spanish.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish high quality articles in international, peer-reviewed journals.
  • Good interpersonal skills, interest in being an active part of a team, and ability to work effectively in a highly dynamic, transdisciplinary and multi-cultural team across institutions and levels of authority.
  • Experience in use of decision-making tools that guide efficient use of inputs, standard soil and crop analytical techniques, integrated pest management, participatory approaches, and institution engagement is desirable. 
Terms of employmentThe position is globally recruited and will be based in Managua, Nicaragua. The initial contract will be for two years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. The position involves travel to field sites in other countries of Latin America (up to 4 months per year). CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality. Female candidates from Latin America, Africa and Asia are particularly encouraged to apply.ApplicationsApplicants 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. All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Isabella Botero ( and should clearly indicate “Postdoctoral Fellow - Soil Scientist”. Closing date for applications: July 26th, 2013
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