This post was originally published on this site


The role of the newly formed CGIAR Advisory Services (CAS) Secretariat is to provide operational support for the Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC), the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), and the implementation of the CGIAR System’s multi-year evaluation plan.

On behalf of the CAS Secretariat, Bioversity International is now seeking a qualified candidate to serve as a Senior Manager, Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC).


The Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC) is a standing panel of impartial, world-class scientific experts with responsibility for providing rigorous, independent strategic advice to the CGIAR System Council and the broader CGIAR System. The ISDC is appointed by the CGIAR System Council and provides its strategic advice according to approved Terms of Reference.

The Senior Manager, ISDC, is a critical role, requiring a highly skilled leader in the broad field of agricultural research for development. The position holder will be an accomplished collaborator and results-oriented professional with a track record of delivering service, managing change and driving innovation in a complex partnership-based environment.

The Senior Manager, ISDC will lead the ISDC related work stream within the CGIAR Advisory Services (CAS) Secretariat (in Rome) and work collaboratively with CGIAR System colleagues to ensure effective delivery of successive CGIAR System business plans.

Key Responsibilities

Under the overall direction of the Director of the CAS Secretariat, specific responsibilities include:


  • Lead the development and review of the component of the CAS Secretariat’s rolling multi-year work plan in support of ISDC deliverables in consultation with key stakeholders, and in a manner that is aligned to the System’s business plan
  • Ensure delivery of the ISDC work plan to agreed high quality criteria and timelines, providing technical and policy advice and critical review and analysis to support its implementation
  • Lead the commissioning and delivery of foresight studies and horizon scanning activities, in consultation with key stakeholders, under the direction of the ISDC, and facilitates provision of technical and scientific analysis and advice to CGIAR funders on behalf of ISDC
  • Co-ordinate the planning and delivery of program and proposal reviews requested by the System Council, including commissioning of independent expert reviewers and supporting the ISDC in its moderation role
  • Ensure that ISDC is able to efficiently and effectively deliver on its mandate and work plan through clear, focused and actionable advice
  • Support the ISDC in its provision of priority recommendations to the CGIAR System
  • Implement due process to ensure the objectivity and independence of outputs generated in relation to ISDC work

Financial and Human Resources Management

  • Manage staff and consultants relevant to the ISDC work stream according to System Organization policies and guidelines, ensuring effective management of team capacity and talent to successfully deliver on the CAS Secretariat’s mandate
  • Contribute to highly collaborative teamwork and communication within the ISDC workstream and across other CAS Secretariat work streams, proactively participating in knowledge and capacity building initiatives that seek to improve overall alignment in the actions of the CGIAR System
  • Oversee and manage the overall budget and planning for the ISDC workstream within the CAS Secretariat and manages key communication on this with relevant stakeholders


  • Actively participate in planning sessions of the other work streams and initiate invitations on a reciprocal basis
  • As a member of the CAS Secretariat’s senior team, support the Director to ensure that workload and quality is managed effectively across the Secretariat, supporting other work streams through peaks and troughs and requesting support from them when capacity is needed and/or input required

Communication and Engagement

  • Ensure ISDC findings and recommendations are translated into communication products and engagement events appropriate for key stakeholder groups
  • In consultation with the ISDC and/or Council members, lead the planning and organization of meetings of the ISDC, its specialized panels and ad hoc workshops
  • Represent the ISDC workstream at meetings as required


  • Build and maintain a broad range of partnerships with national and regional research bodies, including advanced research institutions and the private sector

Advocacy and Capacity Building

  • Build awareness and recognition of the importance of ISDC’s work and identifies opportunities to build capacity, raising skill levels across the CGIAR system and beyond

Qualifications and competencies

Essential qualifications and competencies

  • Advanced University Degree (PhD or equivalent) in Agriculture, Food Systems or related Natural Sciences or Social Sciences
  • At least 10 years post-doctoral progressively more relevant experience, for example in managing research for agricultural development programs and projects, with experience in foresight and horizon scanning activities
  • Excellent English, both written and spoken
  • Excellent technical skills in one or more areas of CGIAR research
  • Strong understanding of the branches of science encompassed within the CGIAR System and their integration for impact
  • Appreciation of and commitment to multidisciplinary approaches to scientific work and ways of working
  • Strong understanding of foresight and horizon scanning and their application to research for development strategy
  • Skills in quantitative and qualitiative analysis of trends and scenarios
  • Strong strategic, analytical, planning, budgeting, management and reporting skills
  • Excellent presentation and report writing skill
  • Good proficiency in the use of MS windows-based software packages including word processing, PowerPoint, spreadsheets and databases
  • Team player with a strong ability to think strategically, and pragmatism to turn strategies into concrete actions
  • Outcome/results focused, with a strong commitment to ensuring their work contributes to bigger agreed goals
  • Ability to manage staff and consultants in a multicultural work environment, ensuring they deliver on time, to agreed quality standards and budget
  • Performance-orientated working style, with a focus on continuous improvement
  • Excellent collaboration, relationship management and decision-making skills

Desirable qualifications and competencies

  • Experience of working in an international setting and of managing programs aimed at delivering outcomes for developing countries
  • Working proficiency (spoken and written) of another language is considered an advantage in terms of demonstrating cultural awareness of other cultures

Terms and conditions: This is an internationally recruited position. The salary is level 2, in a scale of 6 levels, with level 1 being the highest. Bioversity International offers an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary, non-contributory retirement plan, medical insurance, housing allowance and leave provisions. All benefits are denominated and paid in US dollars. The initial contract will be for a period of 3 years, subject to a probationary period of 12 months, and is renewable based on performance and availability of funds.

Applications: Please apply online through Bioversity International Job Opportunities by clicking on the “Apply” button, completing the online application and attaching the required information, no later than 1 November 2019. Please note that in the application you are required to provide the contact details (address, telephone number and e-mail address) of at least three referees, whom we will contact for short-listed applicants.

For more information please contact Ira Vater, Programme Officer, CGIAR Advisory Services Secretariat, at

Bioversity International and the CGIAR System Organization are equal opportunity employers and strive for staff diversity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here