Researcher (Irrigation Engineer / Irrigation Systems)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Accra, Ghana
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

Job Purpose

Lead and undertake innovative research for development to improve agricultural water management in large, medium and small irrigation systems in West Africa, using approaches that combine the technical understanding of water management and farming systems. The Researcher will lead relevant outreach, apply good project management practices and disseminate research results to target audiences, while contributing expertise across the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on irrigation and agricultural water management.

Duties AND Responsibilities

  • Lead research and technical assessment of irrigated agricultural production systems, including the design of appropriate irrigation interventions across scales: large, medium and small irrigation systems; and matching water management interventions to biophysical and social conditions.
  • Develop a coordinated approach for the utilization of surface water and groundwater resources for sustainable irrigation systems.
  • Identify new research trends and niches, and develop new research proposals for projects addressing important irrigation issues, especially in West Africa but also contributing to such initiatives in other regions.
  • Initiate, develop and sustain collaboration with research partners, governments and donors in the irrigation sector in African countries.
  • Serve as Lead Irrigation Engineer for the African Development Bank-funded ‘Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation’ (TAAT) project and future irrigation projects in West Africa.
  • Contribute to relevant research conducted by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), which is led by IWMI, and other CRPs in which the Institute is participating, particularly in relation to the management of irrigated agroecosystems.
  • Prepare research reports, journal articles and other scientific manuscripts (e.g., policy guidelines, policy briefs, etc.) for dissemination and uptake of research results.


  • PhD in Irrigation Engineering, Agricultural Engineering or Soil and Water Engineering or a related field; or a master’s degree and 10 years of related experience.



  • Minimum 5 years of postdoctoral work experience in the field of irrigation management in developing countries.
  • A good understanding of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and on-farm irrigation methods, as well as principles of water productivity and interaction of irrigation with surrounding ecosystems.
  • A good track record of relevant scientific publications.
  • Experience in working on a diverse range of irrigation scales, and a good knowledge of irrigation design and the operation and maintenance of small, medium and large irrigation systems.
  • Experience in developing and leading research teams with multiple partners and multiple disciplines from both advanced research institutes and developing countries.
  • Ability to independently design and conduct field research and work in data-scarce environments.
  • Fluent in English – both written and spoken.


  • Experience of working in and familiarity with water management and agricultural development issues in West Africa, in particular, and Africa, in general.



  • Track record as a good team player with the proven ability to interact with stakeholders.
  • Ability to work with irrigation organizations to build capacity in irrigation management.
  • Ability to develop fundable research proposals.
  • Proven ability to work in multicultural teams.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Experience in managing research projects to ensure that work is executed according to an agreed work plan and progress is reported periodically to relevant stakeholders.


  • Ability to effectively establish priorities, and plan, organize and monitor own work in a multiple-task environment.
  • Strong focus on ensuring the development outcomes and uptake of your research.
  • Ability to communicate and work in languages other than English (e.g., French and/or African languages).


  • Frequent travel in the region of posting.