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

Computer Science jobs, Statistics jobs, Information Science jobs, Project Management jobs, Communication jobs,

Research Officer I (Geospatial Research Modeller)

Overall Purpose of the Job

The overall objective of this position is to provide GIS, data science and modelling support to Malawi Digital Plant Health Service (MaDiPHS) project by developing accurate rule-based geospatial models for different insect pests, diseases, and weeds for different crops that will be integrated into the VIPS – a digital pest prediction platform.

Specific Duties

  •  Abstract, collate and accurately record georeferenced data of target pest and disease, as well as host crop from various sources (e.g., Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and FAO).
  •  Source and process multi-date freely available satellite data and other remotely sensed climatic and topo-edaphic variables to feed into the rule-based ecological niche model framework.
  •  Develop rule-based models using weather, insect pest, diseases and weed observations as well as weather, edaphic and crop data.
  •  Perform any other task assigned by the supervisor.


  •  BSc in Computer Science, Mathematics, Geospatial Modelling, Statistics, Information Science or any related field. The degree should be obtained from a recognized university.
  •  At least one year of experience in a relevant area.
  •  Knowledge of geospatial scripting languages (e.g., R, Google Earth Engine, python).
  •  Demonstrated experience in handling and analyzing ‘big’ geo-spatial and satellite data.
  •  Experience in rule-based modeling, python programming language and data science.
  •  Previous experience at an international/ regional research organization is an added advantage.

Other Desirable Attributes

  •  Knowledge of commonly used programming languages for geospatial data analysis.
  •  Knowledge of commonly used and publicly available sources of weather, crop and pest and disease data.
  •  The candidate should be a self-driven with a problem-solving personality.
  •  Will train interns on the use of rule-based geospatial modelling approaches.
  •  Expected to handle minimal imprest.
  •  Document geospatial data workflow processes and compile reports.
  •  Contribute to stakeholder training and support in geospatial data management and workflow.

This position reports to the Research Scientist, Data Management, Modelling and Geo-Information Unit.

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.
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  •  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).

Head of Communications

Overall purpose of the job

  • In collaboration with the management team, the successful candidate will design and implement a Centre-wide communications strategy, boosting the visibility of the Centre to its international donors, and sharing the results of its research widely. A communications team of full-time staff, consultants and several communications officers and social scientists across the organisation support the aims of the Communications Unit. Various writers, photographers and filmmakers familiar with icipe’s work are available to support specific projects. icipe’s communication outputs include a website, newsletters, corporate reports, training and dissemination materials, internal bulletins and social media posts.

Specific Duties:

  • Provide leadership and coordination for all communication activities of the Centre, to enhance icipe’s visibility and credibility as a centre of excellence, by: (i) supporting the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy (as well as coaching research and support staff on the implementation of the communications strategy), and (ii) raising the profile of icipe’s brand equity, programmes, projects and individual researchers.
  • Strengthen and diversify icipe’s communications products, by continuously reviewing the adequacy of icipe’s current communication materials and recommending improvements.
  • Oversee the design and production of icipe’s publications (including press releases, corporate reports, brochures, training materials, newsletters, social media posts, and website).
  • Provide communication/information advice and assistance to icipe teams, helping them to meet their visibility obligations to donors and partners, either by doing the work required or by outsourcing the work.
  • Share icipe’s work in local and international media, to meet the Centre’s obligations to donors, collaborate with partners and stakeholders, and bring the results of the Centre’s research to those who might benefit from it.
  • Ensure effective and appealing internal communication on icipe business, relevant topics, strategies and management decisions (through internal bulletins, intranet and meetings, and organising workshops, seminars, exhibitions and employee functions in liaison with the management team).
  • Ensure that employees know and respect crisis communication preparedness and communication procedures.
  • Establish and manage an annual budget for communication functions in a responsible and cost effective manner.
  • Be accountable for all local and international communication activities that include advocacy and liaison activities with organisations that share similar interests.
  • Knowledge and skills required for performing the job
  • Knowledge of media advertising and publishing is essential.
  • Highly proficient in both spoken and written English. Knowledge of oral and written French is an added advantage.
  • Computer proficiency particularly in MS Office Suite, and familiarity with desktop publishing and spreadsheet software is essential.
  • Familiarity with Apple Macintosh computers is an added advantage.

Minimum qualifications required

  • Master’s degree in communication. A bias in science communication will be an added advantage. Strong written and verbal communication skills are mandatory.

Minimum experience required

  • 10 years of progressive professional experience in positions of responsibility in international organisations.
  • Experience in media relations.
  • Proven track record in leadership, leading to capabilities in driving and developing a communications team.
  • Ability to think strategically, and to develop and execute strategic communication planning (as well as the corresponding messages and communication activities).

Other desirable attributes

  • Strong in relationship building with journalists and other relevant external and internal stakeholder groups.
  • High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritisation, and documentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and well within teams.


  • This position reports to the Director General.

Head, Behavioral & Chemical Ecology Unit

Overall purpose of the job

  •  To provide research and programmatic leadership to the Behavioural and Chemical Ecology Unit.
  •  Coordinate and promote the broad field of chemical ecology through an interdisciplinary research approach across icipe’s 4-H Themes and within the framework of One Health.
  •  To maintain a portfolio of research that is aligned with icipe’s strategic goals.
  •  To undertake research of the highest quality through partnerships, within, nationally, regionally and internationally.
  •  To facilitate new initiatives and opportunities in chemical ecology through resource mobilisation.
  •  To build capacity through the training of the next generation of globally competitive scientists.
  •  To disseminate research findings through high level publications and presentations at scientific/technical meetings.

Specific Duties:

  •  Contributes to Centre’s efforts to engage with global stakeholders in research and capacity building.
  •  Manages human, fiscal and physical resources of the Unit.
  •  Conducts research to develop semiochemical-based management tools for improved food production, animal and human health.
  •  Conducts research to promote use of beneficial organisms that conserve biodiversity.
  •  Actively seek and secure external support for the activities of the Unit, including resources to develop and grow a personal research portfolio.
  •  Enhance scientific productivity of the Unit through mentoring and supervising scientists, postgraduate students, and high-quality publications.
  •  Initiate periodic reviews of the performance of the Unit to ensure relevance and quality.
  •  Act as a spokesperson and representative of the Unit.
  •  Ensure the Unit meets its legal and reporting responsibilities to all stakeholders including national licensing authorities and donors.


  •  PhD in Chemistry from a reputable university, with a strong background in organic chemistry or related sciences but preferably with expertise in Chemical Ecology plus appropriate or additional education in organic spectroscopy.
  •  Ten (10) years’ experience gained at a senior level in either a research organization or university.
  •  Track-record in chemical ecology and interdisciplinary research in tropical insect science.

Other desirable attributes

  •  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 are mandatory.
  •  Track record of exemplary leadership qualities are essential.
  •  High degree of organisation, adaptability and prioritisation


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