Senior Research Associate – Data Science

  • Location:
  • Salary:
  • Job type:
  • Posted:
    3 weeks ago
  • Category:
    Research and data science
  • Deadline:


The Organization

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) 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 is part of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future. With novel partnerships, the Alliance generates evidence and mainstream innovations to transform food systems and landscapes so that they sustain the planet, drive prosperity, and nourish people.


  • Implement analyses that use data science to understand and map the relationships between climate, conflict, migration, and peace, with a geographically-explicit focus. These analyses will tap into large databases of climate, agriculture, migration, and conflict, and use innovative methods to explore this complex problem.
  • Develop methods that to support risk modelling and projection based on climatic and socio-economic data.
  • Use analytical skills to support the implementation of national and local-level analyses that feed into the Climate Security Observatory. This will include agriculture and conflict risk analysis, and model-based climate impact and adaptation assessments in the areas (countries, regions) of interest to the Alliance and its partners.
  • Automate and document analytical routines and contribute to capacity development of partners as needed.
  • Contribute to the writing of high-quality technical notes, project reports, and if of interest also peer- reviewed publications.
  • Work collaboratively with the rest of the Climate Security team to develop a deep understanding of the relationships between climate and conflict. The team uses a wide array of approaches spanning the social and natural sciences, and the challenge is to integrate data science approaches with other approaches used by the team.
  • Stay up to date with the most recent literature on spatial data science, climate and conflict, climate impacts, adaptation, sustainable agriculture, food systems modelling, and climate risk assessment.
  • Contribute to project proposal writing and bilateral fundraising.
  • Other tasks as assigned as relevant to expertise and ongoing or future projects.
  • Ensuring that risks management are considered in the delivery of the assigned duties and responsibilities.



  • MSc degree in agricultural science, data science, environmental science, geography, geoinformatics, geospatial, geomatics, with an understanding of climate-related risks, climate impacts, and adaptation in agriculture, and an interest in modelling complex problems.
  • Experience working with conflict/peace and linkages to migration is a plus.
  • Proven experience with spatial analysis, and handling of large geospatial datasets using R and/or Python is a must.
  • Familiarity with Google Earth Engine a plus.
  • Experience with collaborative algorithm development.
  • Strong familiarity and experience working with large geospatial climate datasets including climate model outputs (e.g., CMIP5/6), historical climate data (e.g., station data, CHIRPS, CHIRTS), and agricultural datasets such as crop yield data, soils data, etc.
  • Experience with modelling and forecasting yields, climatic and/or environmental systems.
  • Experience in the use of remote sensing data is a plus.
  • Specific experience with machine learning approaches, and spatial statistics is a requirement, as is experience handling large databases for modelling and data analysis.
  • Excellent/proven English writing skills. Other languages (e.g., French, English, local languages) would be a plus.



Terms of employment

This is a nationally recruited position based in Nairobi, Kenya. The contract will be for a period of two (2) years, subject to a probation period of three (3) months and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. The Alliance offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits; we believe that the diversity of our staff contributes to excellence. The Alliance is an equal opportunity employer and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.


Applicants are invited to visit to get full details of the position and to submit their applications. Applications MUST include reference number Ref: 102857 Senior Research Associate -Data Science as the position applied for. Application and CV should be saved as one document using the candidate’s lastname, firstname for ease of sorting.


Note: The Alliance does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). The Alliance also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.