Senior Scientist “Data Management and Analytical Support”

ICRISAT is a non-profit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi- arid or dryland tropics has over 2 billion people and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT and its partners help empower these disadvantaged populations to overcome poverty, hunger and a degraded environment through better agricultural production systems.

Aspirational targets and development outcomes

ICRISAT has set four bold targets in the next ten years that will enormously benefit the well-being of the drylands’ poorest people:

  • Help halve rural poverty by increasing farm incomes through more productive, stable, diverse and profitable crops and crop products;
  • Help halve hunger by contributing innovations that increase yields by 30% on a wide scale and through policy advice that stabilizes food prices and availability;
  • Help halve childhood malnutrition by enhancing the nutrient content of staple food crops and helping the poor diversify their crops, delivering more nutritious and safer food; and
  • Increase the resilience of dryland farming through innovations that stabilize, safeguard, and enhance natural resource capital, biological and systems diversity, and land

ICRISAT, with an annual budget of over USD60 million, has a global workforce of over 3000 individuals in Asia and Africa.

Position overview

ICRISAT has a compelling mission to fight poverty and improve the lives of people living in the drylands around the world. The drylands are harsh environments with some of the highest levels of poverty and malnutrition, impacted strongly by climate change and battling water shortages and environmental degradation. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be met unless we are persistent in escalating efforts towards finding solutions in these most challenged landscapes.

This is an exceptional opportunity to become a part of a modern and innovative agricultural research organization. ICRISAT is embarking on a journey to implement its new research structure in Asia, East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa through its three newly carved global research programs. To implement its research for development agenda, ICRISAT is looking for a dynamic, experienced, exceptional, multi-talented candidate for the position of Senior Scientist “Data Management and Analytical Support”

The Senior Scientist “Data Management and Analytical Support will lead a vibrant team to ensure better research quality, repeatability, and cost-effectiveness by leveraging modern data science, provide high-quality data science support to agricultural researchers, enabling them to make informed decisions, provide end-to-end research data support including research/study design, digital data collection, databases for managing research data, high quality analytics, genomic selection and help in achieving higher genetic gains. Assist in applying FAIR principles to research data sets and make them open access.

The position will report to the Regional Director, Asia. This position is for three years and is recruited through a globally competitive process with attractive compensation and benefits package. A new contract may be offered at the end of the present tenure based on the performance of the incumbent, funding availability and the Institute’s continuing need for the position. The suitable candidate will need to be able to act fast, engage professionally and build relationships across multiple cultures, besides working closely with the Institute’s Leadership Team and scientists across all our locations in Asia and Africa.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead the data management and analytical support unit ensuring better research quality, repeatability, and cost-effectiveness by leveraging modern data science
  • Lead the team to Investigate, analyze, and evaluate complex statistical and computational problems in plant breeding, genetics, and agricultural and allied sciences.
  • Work with ICRISAT plant breeders in the modernization of breeding programs for enhanced genetic gain particularly concerning the development and deployment of state of the art biometrical, quantitative genetics, genomic prediction, and statistical tools for experimental design and analysis
  • Develop the provision of biometrics support within ICRISAT and enhance the capacity of ICRISAT staff and students to utilize advanced biometrical and data management tools in plant breeding, genetics, Crop management, social sciences and allied agricultural sciences
  • Oversee to extend high-quality data science support to agricultural researchers, enabling them to make informed decisions which lead to fulfilling the ICRISAT mission.
  • Able to extend end-to-end research data support to departments, including research/study design, digital data collection, databases for managing research data, high quality analytics, genomic selection and help in achieving higher genetic gains
  • Drive the implementation of Breeding Management System in ICRISAT for all mandatory crops across the locations
  • Develop training sessions, workshops, data hackathons on various services/products offered
  • Assist in applying FAIR principles to research data sets, repository in ICRISAT dataverse
  • Enable effective Implementation of online open- access data repository, including corresponding metadata available in the public domain.
  • Work with all the scientists/stakeholders in making Open Access datasets

Candidate profile

Qualifications and Core Competencies

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

  • The candidate must have agricultural experience and should hold a PhD in Statistics/Biometrics with minimum of 6 years of experience
  • Expert in applying and developing modern approaches to make spatially optimized experimental designs, quality control, and data analysis of experimental trials in the field, laboratories, plant growth facilities, and on-farm field trials
  • Significant experience and expertise in advanced statistical models, computational algorithms, quantitative genetics, statistical computing, and the incorporation of methods and platforms t o ensure a strong data ecosystem.
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical approaches to the production and implementation of new methods to advance breeding research decision making.
  • Experience in organizing training/workshops/data hackathons on statistical and data management tools
  • Expertise on Breading Management System database schema
  • Knowledge on data curation, historical pedigrees of crops
  • Exposure in managing nurseries, trials, preparing field layouts using BMS
  • Knowledge of Data Repository and understanding of relational databases
  • Understanding Data and its metadata concepts to publish data into dataverse tool
  • Experienced in making data management and data policy in line with institute’s goals and visions
  • Comfortable working with large teams across geographics and proven ability to provide the needed support on the data management and analytics
  • Well connected with institutions, organizations in the relevant areas of research.
  • Exposure in leading multicultural, multi-disciplinary scientific teams and ability to work across diverse environments and cultures.
  • Excellent written and oral skills in English.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Demonstrated leadership abilities, commitment towards organizational goals and strong interpersonal skills.
  • A deep understanding of data management and analytics in agricultural and allied sciences
  • Collaborate with all ICRISAT research units across all locations and various NARS and international research institutions in providing data science support in the areas of biometrics and statistical genetics and provide reliable statistical backstopping to multidisciplinary teams of researchers during the research cycle.
  • Contribute to research publications of scientists and research scholars, and documentation of advance data analytical tools and data management studies
  • Track record of peer reviewed publications in agricultural research and allied sciences
  • Proactive and independent problem solver, and an excellent team player

Assignment Location:

The position will be based at ICRISAT’s headquarters in Patancheru, near Hyderabad, Telangana State, India. Hyderabad is the largest city and capital of the Telangana State; and also the de jure capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh. It is India’s fourth largest city; and is a fascinating combination of the ancient and the modern India. Hyderabad has developed into one of the major hubs for the information technology industry in India. In addition to the IT industry, various biotechnology and pharmaceutics companies have set up their operations in Hyderabad owing to its established Public sector in Life Science Research and Genome Valley. The city incubates several promising start-up companies and is one of the most exciting business centers in the country.

Located at the crossroads of North and South India, Hyderabad has cultivated a unique culture that is reflected in its language and architecture. Hyderabad is known for its rich history, food and its multi-lingual culture. There are four major languages spoken in Hyderabad: Hindi, Deccani-Urdu, Telugu and English. English is the language of business and administration and is widely spoken and understood. The Hyderabadi cuisine is known for its delectable flavors. Traditional Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is the most celebrated dish from Hyderabad.

Hyderabad has world class education facilities. While it is home to the prestigious International Business School, the city also houses educational institutes and schools imparting various national and international curriculum. Noteworthily, ICRISAT hosts the International School of Hyderabad within its campus.

Hyderabad is an ideal destination for expatriation. A vibrant international community, warm and friendly residents, negligible crime rate, sophisticated luxury hotels, sprawling shopping malls, boutique cafes and world class recreation facilities make the city an ideal destination for global citizens.

How to apply:

If this position interests you, please follow the below instructions to apply.

Applicants should apply on or before December 20, 2021, with latest Curriculum Vitae, and the names and contact information of three references that are knowledgeable about their professional qualifications and work experience. All applications will be acknowledged. However, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Please CLICK HERE to submit your application. 

ICRISAT is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing diversity and maintaining a progressive and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified candidates regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, age, marital status or whether they have a disability.

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