Job Opportunities at icipe – African Insect Science for Food and Health

Research jobs, Science jobs, Project Management jobs,

Senior Scientist (Medical Entomology/ Disease Ecology)

Overall purpose of the job

  •  To be part of a multidisciplinary team providing leadership and research strategy to the Centre in collaboration with icipe’s other Themes and Units.
  •  To lead the Human Health Theme (HHT) activities at icipe’s Thomas Odhiambo Campus.
  •  To maintain a portfolio of research that is aligned with icipe’s strategy and goals and integrates with ongoing research at icipe.

Specific Duties:

  •  Work in collaboration with colleagues in the Human Health Theme, the icipe leadership team including the Director General (DG), Director of Research and Partnerships (DRP) as well as Heads of Themes and Units to undertake and facilitate research and capacity building activities across the Centre.
  •  Lead and spearhead the development of a coherent research programme within the Human Health Theme.
  •  Contribute to enabling a Theme structure to cost-effectively utilise resources to meet icipe’s research, capacity and institutional building needs.
  •  Guide researchers under their supervision to ensure timely preparation of annual work plans, budgets, scientific and technical reports for donors.
  •  Actively seek and secure external support to develop and grow a personal research portfolio.
  •  Ensure that team members continually update skills and methodologies to keep up with global cutting-edge knowledge.
  •  Promote and establish collaborative linkages with national, regional and international institutions in the relevant fields of research of the Theme.
  •  Foster a culture of scientific excellence and support development within the Human Health Theme the human resources required now and into the future.
  •  Contribute to mentoring team members to develop critical skills including resource mobilization, science writing and peer review.
  •  Ensure the activities undertaken by the research team meets legal and reporting responsibilities to all stakeholders including national licensing authorities and donors.
  •  Conduct annual plans and performance reviews with the staff under their supervision.


  •  PhD in Biological or related sciences but preferably with expertise in entomology from a reputable university.
  •  Ten (10) years of experience gained at a senior level in either a research organization or university.
  •  Excellent publication track record.
  •  Track record of writing successful proposals for large grants.
  •  Proven record of managing large resources (both financial and human) in a research environment.
  •  Experience in capacity building through supervision and mentorship of MSc and PhD students.
  •  Excellent communication skills.
  •  Track record of exemplary leadership qualities are essential.
  •  High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritization.

Other desirable attributes

  •  To make decisions for the research programme, design, lead, define and fulfil the Human Health Theme strategy, and the Centre’s global strategies through the definitions of principles, guidelines and policies for research programmes within the theme.
  •  Demonstrates science leadership, mentors and trains staff. A high degree of problem-solving, planning and controlling.
  •  Manage the programme budgets and contribute to the centre’s policies and procedures.
  •  At least 20 publications with consistent outputs of high-impact papers in respectable peer-reviewed journals.
  •  Must have significant contribution and a good track record of funded proposals, donor relations and building networks for fundraising.
  •  Effectively engage with the partners.
  •  Contribute to the continuity of a vibrant research team through funded projects.
  •  Contribute to the core budget and sustainability of the centre.
  •  Participate in different committees and boards, making presentations at key forums, and representing the Centre at various conferences within the donor community.
  •  Provide support in resource mobilization to other units including quality assurance, information sharing and compliance with donor requirements.
  •  Outstanding contribution to partnerships including formation of new partners or recuperating of neglected or damaged partnerships.
  •  Successful leadership in at least one significant contribution to other complex multi-institutional partnerships.
  •  Build strong relationships with national research leaders.


  • This position reports to the Head of Human Health Theme.

Senior Scientist (Microbiologist)

Overall purpose of the job

  • Across icipe’s four Themes (Plant, Environmental, Human and Animal Health), the Centre is increasingly conducting research related to microbiology. Research areas include identification, diversity assessment and functionality of soil microbiomes in cropping systems and their impacts on soil health (Plant Health Theme); applied bioprospecting of beneficial microbes, and microbial safety of edible insect protein products and frass fertilizers (Environmental Health Theme); and endosymbionts to mitigate vector fitness (Animal and Human Health). Across the Themes, the focus has also been on the development of microbial biopesticides.
  • The purpose of the position is to provide core microbiology expertise to icipe’s research agenda and present new avenues of research related to microbiology. Reporting to the Head of Plant Health Theme, the incumbent will be part of a multidisciplinary team in collaboration with icipe’s other scientists. It is expected that the job holder will develop a vibrant portfolio of research aligned with icipe’s vision and strategy.

Specific Duties:

  •  A research focus on soil/rhizosphere/plant microbiomes in cropping systems and their impacts on soil health.
  • Establish a research agenda on other areas in microbiology such as microbiomes including:
    • Characterization of microbiomes of pests; animal, human and plant disease vectors;
    • Insects for food, feed and other uses.
    • Innovations in mass production and formulation of diverse beneficial microbes.
    • Unravelling unique modes of action of microbes (e.g., induced systemic resistance; microbial metabolites as pest control products, addressing antimicrobial resistance).
  •  Provide microbiology expertise to other researchers during project development and implementation.
  •  Build the capacity of national institutions through the identification and mentoring of projectsupported postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
  •  Contribute to fundraising and develop synergies across icipe’s projects to maximize project impacts.
  •  Publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals.
  •  Effectively communicate research results to stakeholders through presentations, media and other outreach materials.


  •  PhD degree in Microbiology from a reputable university, and postdoctoral training from a highly reputed laboratory.
  •  Ten (10) years of experience gained at a senior level in either a research organisation or a university.
  •  Strong practical knowledge of using advanced microbial technologies such as genomics and proteomics, fluorescence microscopy, among others.
  •  Strong proficiency in the use of statistical tools related to microbiology (eDNA, microbial diagnostics, phylogenetics, among others).
  •  Proven record of writing successful proposals for large grants.
  •  Proven record of managing large resources, both financial and human, in an international research environment.
  •  Experience in capacity building through supervision and mentorship of MSc and PhD students.
  •  Excellent communication skills.
  •  Proven record of exemplary scientific leadership qualities.
  •  High degree of organisation, adaptability, and prioritisation.
  •  Experience or demonstrated interest in working with farmers, preferably in Africa is an added advantage.

Other desirable attributes

  •  Leads experimental designs and research protocols, and advanced data analysis.
  •  Supervises technical staff, postdoctoral scientists, junior scientists, students.
  •  Responsible for project management, including budgeting.
  •  At least 3 publications/year in high-quality peer-reviewed journals.
  •  Excellent publication track record with at least 30 publications.
  •  Strong engagement in resource mobilization.
  •  Strong engagement with partners for project delivery; external representation for meetings, conferences.
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This position reports to the Head of Plant Health Theme

Head, Technology Transfer Unit

Overall purpose of the job

The Head, TTU will establish public-private partnerships and other networks to foster technology adoption and will support testing and improving insect science-based technologies in Africa. The candidate will develop and manage projects and communicate research evidence to stakeholders through various communication platforms. The incumbent will establish frameworks and strategies for dissemination pathways and scaling readiness of selected icipe innovations.

Specific duties:

  •  Update the Centre-wide scaling strategy, and document and support the development of project/programme-specific scaling strategies.
  •  Assess the relevance of different pathways and mechanisms of scaling to maximise adoption of different evidence-based technologies and knowledge products.
  •  Increase the access and promotion of technologies to farmers through last-mile providers and other scaling strategies.
  •  Facilitate and support demonstrations and scaling of technologies.
  •  Work with key stakeholders in Africa to identify, evaluate and implement optimised technology adoption pathways.
  •  Develop, foster and maintain strong collaborative networks of partners, including government agencies, national agricultural research and extension systems (NARES), non-governmental organisations, regional and international agricultural research organisations, and the private sector, committed to scaling out technologies.
  •  Establish entry points for strategic engagement in new countries and with new partners for introduction of icipe technologies.
  •  Publish high-quality scaling-related reports and peer-reviewed papers.
  •  Share technology scaling lessons with a broad spectrum of audiences using various communication platforms.
  •  Support the creation of an enabling environment for farmers to access inputs, financial services and markets to accelerate the adoption of technologies in the region.
  •  Provide evidence to implementing partners on the performance of technologies.
  •  Contribute significantly to resource mobilisation efforts and manage ongoing TTU-related projects.
  •  Work with icipe’s 4-H (plant, animal, human and environmental health) Themes and Support Units to foster a one health approach.


  •  PhD degree, preferably in Entomology, Extension or related fields.
  •  Minimum of six (6) years of relevant postdoctoral experience with at least three (3) years at a senior level in a multidisciplinary research environment.
  •  Proven experience in innovative scaling of arthropod integrated pest management, and/or management of vectors of animal and human diseases.
  •  Proven experience in successful management of large donor-funded projects.
  •  Demonstrated technical competence in one or more of the following areas: agricultural and public health, knowledge diffusion, communication, marketing, and business development.
  •  Good publication record (at least 15 peer-reviewed publications).
  •  Knowledge of digital tools for scaling agricultural innovations is considered an advantage.
  •  Extensive network relating to technology adoption in Africa is considered an advantage.
  •  Excellent oral and written English language skills. Ability to speak French is considered an advantage.

This position reports to the Head, Plant Health Theme (first line); Head, Animal and Human Health Theme (second line).

Method of Application

Use the link(s) below to apply on company website.

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