About Grain Research and Innovation (GRAIN):
The Grain Research and Innovation (GRAIN) project was conceived in response to Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s (GIRoA’s) need to build the wheat research capacity of the Ministry and Directorates of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL/DAILs) and the Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA). The USAID-funded five-year project is being implemented by Michigan State University’s (MSU) Global Center for Food Systems Innovation (GCFSI). The goals of GRAIN are to: 1) strengthen national and provincial capacity to conduct research on wheat in collaboration with farmers, extension agents, provincial universities, international research centers, the private sector and other stakeholders. The focal points are: agronomic practices, characterization of varieties and plant breeding and reduction of postharvest loss; 2) strengthen human and institutional capacity in agricultural research management leading to improved wheat productivity and quality in the areas of agronomic practices, characterization of varieties and plant breeding and reduction of postharvest loss. This will be accomplished through graduate academic programs as well as through technical training in wheat research skills and; 3) strengthen the capacity of the national agricultural research system to collect, store and analyze data to guide research and policy decisions. Further, this system will facilitate the adoption of innovations resulting from this research by Afghan farmers via both public and private sector entities and ensure that research translates to benefits for the entire wheat value chain.
GRAIN serves as an integral component of the MAIL/ARIA’s Wheat Sector Development Program (WSDP) and is being implemented by the GIRoA through MAIL and the DAILs.
Research Advisor’s Principal Role
The Research Advisor provides ongoing monitoring of field trials and other research farm based activities while providing technical advice to ARIA and DAIL Research staff, student interns, and farm laborers. As the key on-site GRAIN technical support, the Research Advisor will provide training to research and farm management teams to ensure proper management of trials to include agronomic production practices while also ensuring field trials are managed according to research protocols and that data is collected and reported accurately. Research Advisor is the first point of contact as a representative of GRAIN at provincial research sites.
Duties and Responsibilities will include but are not limited to:
Monitor day-to-day activities at GRAIN supported research sites
Provide technical advice for ARIA staff for implementation of research trials according to written research protocols and good agronomic practices in research station. This includes following protocols for field trial design, establishment, maintenance, harvest, and ongoing data collection.
Assist ARIA and the GRAIN Technical Advisory Team in designing field and laboratory wheat research initiatives that align with Afghanistan’s Wheat Sector Development Plan.
Advise and monitor small-grant recipients in technical implementation of research activities as prescribed in the grants’ implementation plan. In some cases, assist potential grantees in preparing research proposals (under the direction of the Capacity Building Director)
Assist Regional Manager and GRAIN Wheat Research Specialists in building capacity of ARIA technical staff through formal and informal training and development of training materials.
Assist and give technical advice for ARIA staff in general farm management practices to include: daily observation, insect and weed control, fertility monitoring, irrigation scheduling, and general crop management in alignment with research protocols and the GRAIN Environmental Manual.
Supervise and mentor research farm interns and volunteers to build skills of intern students of Agriculture faculty from Provincial Universities in agronomic research and best practices.
Coordinate with staff and prepare weekly report and pictures from research stations progress
Complete other tasks as required by the line manager in order to carry out the functions of the Project to include supporting ongoing collaboration with provincial stakeholders.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to satisfactorily perform each duty listed above. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability preferred:
Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s preferred) in Wheat Breeding, Agronomy or closely related fields
Five years (8 years+ preferred) of experience in wheat breeding or research or closely related area of agronomic research
Experience facilitating training and extension activities for varied audiences (to include women)
Must be willing to live within 15 km of provincial research site
Fluency in English and Dari (as well as Pashto if regionally required)
Strong management, leadership, decision-making and interpersonal skills
Effective oral and written communication skills including proficiency in computer applications (i.e. Microsoft suite of programs).
The Research Advisor reports directly to the Regional Manager while coordinating closely with the Technical Advisory Team.
Application and Submission Guideline
To be considered, complete applications must be received via email at email@example.com no later than 5:00 pm Kabul, on 25 February 2018.
Application file should include:
Cover letter summarizing relevant skills, experiences, and career ambitions.
CV/Resume including relevant education, experience, and skills.
All application materials should be submitted in one combined PDF file. The file name should be formatted as: last name_Herat _ResearchAdvisor.pdf
Application email subject line should be: Application: Herat Research Advisor 2018
Late, incomplete, or incorrectly formatted applications will not be considered.
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
GRAIN values diversity in its team. All qualified candidates, including women, are strongly encouraged to apply.