Principal Researcher

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
New Delhi, India
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
10+ Years
Degree Required: 


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The International Water Management Institute is seeking a Principal Researcher to lead Solar irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR), a multi-year, multi-stakeholder regional project to promote solar irrigation, water saving agricultural practices and groundwater governance for climate-resilient agriculture in South Asia. The Principal Research scientist will conduct high quality scientific research, prepare final reports and journal articles disseminating the results of that research. S/he will plan and provide scientific direction for interdisciplinary research projects within his/her specific expertise area and mentor more junior scientists. The researcher may also provide high level of scientific research expertise for activities associated with new program initiatives, new and on-going development activities and applied scientific research.


  • The key responsibility will be to lead, manage, develop and provide technical contribution to SDC-funded multi-year, multi-stakeholder project- Solar irrigation for Agriculture Resilience (SoLAR), to identify, assess and promote sustainable models of solar irrigation in South Asia, ensuring activities and deliverables are on time and to budget.
  • Organize stakeholder consultations, review national and sub-national solar promotion policies in South Asia and comparative assessment of alternate solar irrigation promotion models to develop an entry proposal for submission to SDC.
  • Plan and develop project proposals for scalable pilots of solar irrigation with third party funding of infrastructure as part of the entry proposal.
  • Ensure effective policy communication of messages emerging from the ongoing action-research under SoLAR.
  • Work closely with other IWMI scientists and collaborators to deliver successful project results and outcomes.
  • Communicate research results to various audiences, including non-technical audiences, publish research results in the international scientific literature and other relevant media to ensure research results dissemination to targeted audiences.
  • Coordinate with key international partners to ensure their deliverables are on time/budget and are fit for purpose for IWMI.
  • Maintain a close working relationship with donor(s) to ensure awareness of developments, coordination is maintained with bilateral missions in the project countries, and all required reporting is undertaken in a timely manner.
  • Contribute to IWMI’s fund-raising efforts through the development of proposals and donor relationship engagement.
  • Represent IWMI at local/global meetings and events, make presentations and other intellectual contributions; manage requests for financial and other resource input requests, etc.
  • Provide research leadership and/or contribute in water policy and other projects/areas and contribute to research oversight and quality control.
  • PhD in one of the following disciplines: international development, water resources management, development economics, hydrology, anthropology or sociology,
  • At least 15 years of relevant work experience holding positions of increasing responsibility.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and research experience relevant to IWMI’s overall mission of water management in developing countries, as well as knowledge of the functioning of the CGIAR system.
  • Experience of managing complex research projects, with multiple partners, in complex political environments, under conditions of limited access to data.
  • A deep understanding of water, land, agricultural development challenges and opportunities, water-energy-climate nexus in low-income countries and emerging economies.
  • Successful track record of representing an organization at a senior level, and working closely with senior level colleagues and working in and leading high performing teams.
  • Experience engaging with regional networks and building strong partnerships with different categories of stakeholders.
  • Significant experience in producing high quality written proposals, reports and academic papers for scientific and non-scientific audiences, as evidenced by a strong publications record.
  • Proven ability to communicate research results to stakeholders at different management levels in multiple countries.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with coworkers, managers and other stakeholders in a multicultural setting, with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary commensurate with experience, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international insurance coverage and a transportation allowance. If successful candidates require international relocation, they will be eligible for additional allowances, which include housing, education, shipping assistance, and annual home leave travel for employee and eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with possible extension.