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Alliance Bioversity & CIAT
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The Alliance of Bioversity International & CIAT delivers research-based solutions that harness agricultural biodiversity and sustainably transform food systems to improve people’s lives. Alliance solutions address the global crises of malnutrition, climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental degradation.

The Alliance works with local, national, and multinational partners across Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia, and with public and private sectors. The Alliance is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and improving natural resources and ecosystem services.

Background of the position

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT have initiated a project, titled Artemis. Artemis is developing AI technology to enable on-farm breeding. Crop breeding is one of the foundations of agriculture, under the current breeding systems a common assumption is that it takes 10 years to develop a new variety. Given the pace of climate change this timeframe is no longer viable. New approaches are needed to speed up the breeding cycle and enable a greater synchrony between plant breeding and on-farm conditions, shifting breeding from a majority on-station to majority on-farm process. Artemis is addressing this issue by leveraging the power of technology to enable breeding programs with a new generation of AI-powered and smartphone-deployable tools. The principal technology is computer vision phenotyping, with explorations into multimodal data that integrates speech and text to actively integrate farmers into the plant improvement process. Artemis is currently in the second investment phase, having been featured recently in Reuters. 

About the position

The Innovation and Research Strategy Coordinator will be responsible for the design, execution, and coordination of all of the field research components of Artemis and related projects, including on-farm and on-station activities. The position will work with perception engineering AI, analysts, mechanical engineers, user-research specialists, and plant breeders to design hypothesis-driven field research for analytics staff to calibrate and develop Artemis phenotyping technologies. The principal activities are to:

Derive standard operations protocols that will enable consistent data quality generation across locations and users.Generate the foundational datasets that will be used for model development.Covert in-field data collection insights into novel approaches to improve phenotyping data collection processes.Coordination activities across all participating partners and locations.

Key Responsibilities

Lead and coordinate all field research activities, including agronomic and hardware development across all project partners and locations.Designs, organizes, and executes a research project, ensuring the content meet established timelines and standards.Collaborate with the perception engineering teams to improve data collection protocols to deliver high quality and consistent data.Collaborate with the breeding and user research staff to derive data collections processes that meet or exceed the minimum efficiency standards for per plot phenotyping data collection.Lead discussions with the mechanical engineering team to develop ergonomic and user-friendly mobile phone companion devices.Collaborate with the software engineering team to develop efficient plot ID and registration systems.Lead engagement discussions with the on-farm research team on developing protocols for on-farm data collection.Communicates and negotiates with partners and institutions to ensure research project objectives and work plans are conveyed and coordinated.Represent the project in international fora.Supervise and mentor supporting staff.Translate research findings into peer-reviewed publication.Take leadership in project reporting.Other tasks as assigned as relevant to expertise and ongoing or future projects.Requirements

Required qualifications and experience.

PhD in agriculture and related fields.Demonstrated experience in the planning and execution of international development projects related to agriculture.Demonstrated experience developing and working with digital technologies for agriculture.Demonstrated experience working with multidisciplinary teams.Demonstrated experience with design and execution of agricultural research trials, including on-station and on-farm applications.Demonstrated experience working with the private sector and non-profit communities.Excellent professional English communication skills. Knowledge of other languages (e.g., Spanish, French, Swahili) is desirable, but not required.Proven scientific English writing skills.Previous working experience in Africa and the global south is preferred, but not a strict requirement.Terms of employment

This is an internationally recruited position based in Arusha, Tanzania. The initial contract will be for two years subject to a probation period of six months and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. This position is graded at BG09 level in a scale of BG01 to BG14 (BG14 being the highest level according to the Alliance job classification framework policy). We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits including but not limited to insurance, retirement plan, staff training and development, paid time off and flexible working arrangements.

The Alliance Bioversity-CIAT is committed to fair, safe, and inclusive workplaces. We believe that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority. We encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability statuses, sexual orientations, marital status, and gender identities. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.



Applicants are invited to visit to get full details of the position and to submit their applications. Applications MUST include reference number Innovation and Research Strategy Coordinator as the position applied for. Cover letter and CV should be saved as one document using the candidate’s last name, first name for ease of sorting. The Alliance collects and process personal data in accordance with applicable data protection laws.

Applications closing date: Thursday, 27th June 2024

Please note that email applications will not be considered.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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