Senior Research Assistant

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International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas




The ICARDA Soil, Water, and Agronomy (SWA) Team implements several joint research activities for building resilience and improving water productivity of rainfed and irrigated production systems. This is achieved by combining soil health management techniques, water-saving technologies, and agronomic practices into contextualized solutions for impact at scale. The Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus (WEFE Nexus) approach highlights the interdependence of water, energy and food security and ecosystems – water, soil, and land – that underpin that security. The selected candidate will support the SWA Team in developing and implementing smart solutions for boosting smart energy use on the farm level and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. S/he will contribute to advancing climate smart innovations including renewable energy and bioenergy production that are small-scale, community focused, economical, and sustainable. The candidate will research on determining the trade-offs and synergies that maintain the integrity and sustainability of ecosystems.S/he will be expected to work jointly with multidisciplinary projects related to irrigation, agricultural water management, and agronomy. S/he will contribute to improvement of water, energy, food, and carbon footprint nexus. S/he will provide scientific support, ensure quality data collection and analyses, report and disseminate research results to target audiences, provide effective options for smallholder farmers, and negotiate with potential partners and donors.


The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) is a treaty-based international non-profit research organization supported by CGIAR. ICARDA’s mission is to reduce poverty, enhance food, water, and nutritional security, as well as environmental health in the face of global challenges including climate change. We do this through innovative science, strategic partnerships, linking research to development and capacity development that take into account gender equality and the role of youth in transforming the dry areas. ICARDA works in partnership with governments, universities, civil society, national agricultural research organization, other CGIAR Research Centers, and the private sector.

All CGIAR Centers are currently engaged into a reform process (“One CGIAR’”) that will help ICARDA and CGIAR achieve better impact through more strategically integrated research, unified governance, an integrated structure, and new research modalities across participating Research Centers. This transformation is supported by CGIAR donors who have committed to increased funding as a result of these reforms.

Main responsibilities

  • Participate in planning, designing and implementing WEFE nexus research field trials of the SWA team in Morocco.
  • Support scientists in day-to-day technical aspects in the field (in Agadir, Beni Mellal, Marrakech and Merchouche), and coordinate field trials.
  • Conduct and/or supervise field trials implementation and data collection, filing and monitoring.  Including, but not limited to, site characterization and preparation, data quality assurance, equipment installation and maintenance.
  • Evaluate, improve, and contribute to implementing new approaches/tools in farmers’ fields that improve energy efficiency and alternative energy production and advance climate mitigation and adaptation.
  • Support the co-design process for scaling water, energy, food, and carbon footprint nexus index for quantitative assessment of farm performance.
  • Conduct needs analysis for target regions via field visits and assessing in developing and conducting surveys and focus group discussions.
  • Support the collaboration with governmental, research, academic, and private partners in the irrigation sector in Morocco.
  • Prepare technical/research reports, scientific publications, policy briefs, and extension materials.
  • Contribute to capacity development of national partners through training, supervision, and technical backstopping.
  • Extensive travel to different field sites for data collection, troubleshooting scientific equipment and field tasks.
  • Perform other professional duties assigned by the SWA Team Leader.


  • Education, qualifications, and experience
  • Essential qualifications and competencies
  • Master’s degree in agriculture water management, irrigation management, environmental management, or a related discipline.

The candidate should have the below mentioned experience:

  • 2-4 years of experience with international/regional research organizations in conducting field trials on agricultural soil and water management.
  • Experience designing irrigation systems at farm and scheme levels.
  • Knowledge of precision farming, and the development of digital agriculture tools and applications.
  • Water-Energy-Food nexus in the MENA countries.
  • Excellent verbal and written English, Arabic, and French language skills.
  • Excellent teamwork, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Capable and willing to work in a fast-paced environment, and able to adapt to unforeseen challenges and tasks that arise.
  • Able and willing to travel extensively within Morocco and in the region.
  • Holder of a valid driver’s license.





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