Research Specialist

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT [DUPLICATE]

The organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International 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 Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa, and with the 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.

About the position

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT is looking for a highly skilled Research Specialist to support Dr. Alessandro Craparo’s Team in the Climate Security and Migration research theme.

Our research aims to quantify the climate, environment, and security nexus. We produce state-of-the-art and policy-relevant evidence on how climate worsens common drivers of fragility, conflict, and displacement. Nature and humans and intricately connected. In order to solve problems within one sector, it is essential to consider the entire system. To capture the complexities of these dynamic and intertwined social-ecological systems, our work is characterized by inter- and transdisciplinary approaches, as well as complexity. These approaches help us develop the science and evidence needed by our partners to identify development pathways and levers for transformation toward sustainable and just futures.


  • Fragility Conflict and Migration Initiative: Implement analyses that use data science to understand and model the relationships between the environment, conflict, and migration with a geographically explicit focus.
  • Meta‐analysis and dynamic modeling of food, land, and water systems‐related risks to refine a global compound risk assessment framework.
  • Assist in the development of a risk model, risk assessment framework, and guidance for strengthening risk targeting in climate adaptation interventions in fragile and conflicted affected settings.
  • Collaborate with project leads and team members to help define project scope, objectives, and deliverables.
  • Statistical modeling and analysis of migration trends, predictors of migration, and impacts of frequent compound crisis events (e.g., flood, drought, or storms).
  • Guidance on a fragility and risk indicator typology for monitoring socio‐ecological risks and informing early action.
  • Present work and results in a clear and concise way to a wide variety of stakeholders.
  • Work closely with subject-area specialists to bridge quantitative and qualitative work specifically in Southern Africa.
  • Contribute to a project proposal submission and collaboration with partner organizations for the Climate Security Observatory

Key requirements and experience:

  • MSc or Ph.D. in Systems analysis, Biomathematics, or other physical science involving computationally intensive research and advanced modeling techniques.
  • At least 3 years of work experience in the relevant fields or other physical science fields involving computationally intensive research and big data.
  • Experience working with conflict/peace or migration is a plus.
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative, and decentralized environment, including across teams at several levels.
  • Strong interest in environmental, climate, and conflict-related work with a keen interest in exploring new topics and applying new thinking.
  • Skilled in the use of R or Python for research
  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills and ability to apply new approaches.
  • Proven experience with statistical/modelling analyses, and handling of large geospatial datasets using R and/or Geographical Information Systems.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and with short deadlines.
  • Previous experience utilizing complexity modeling approaches.
  • Willing to travel and enjoy working in an international environment.
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas effectively, verbally and in writing, in English.

Terms of employment

This is an internationally recruited position and will be based in Pretoria (South Africa). The initial contract will be for up to two (2) years, subject to a probation period of six (6) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources.

This position is graded at BG08 level on 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.

How to apply


Applicants are invited to visit to get full details of the position and to submit their applications. Applications MUST include reference number 103472: Research Specialist asthe position applied for. Application and CV should be saved as one document using the candidate’s last name and first name for ease of sorting.

Applications closing date: 21st February 2024

Please note that email applications will not be considered.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

We invite you to learn more about us at:

Deadline: 21-Feb-24

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