Postdoctoral Fellow (Water Data Science)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

Colombo, Sri Lanka 🇱🇰


The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a CGIAR Research Center is looking for a competent, self-motivated, and dynamic candidate to join as the Postdoctoral Fellow – Water Data Science.


Digital innovations are rapidly transforming food, land and water systems in unprecedented ways in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These changes have the potential and can offer opportunities to transform how we view and manage these vital natural resources, none more so than water. There are a range of data science and digital opportunities that are advancing rapidly which may provide pathways to improving and sharing information, that when collated provide a greater insight and depth to operational decisions regarding a range of water management decisions that lead to greater efficiency and sustainability. The work will be collaborative across different Strategic Programs and Research Groups within IWMI, the CGIAR and wider external partnerships.

The purpose of this appointment will be to support a large research team on digital innovations in the management of water resources in selected transboundary river basins in Africa and Asia. Particular contributions will be through advanced modelling and testing of innovative water resources management possibilities (such as IoT, remotely sensed data and visualization).


  • Collaborate with international, regional and national partners and stakeholders to understand their prioritized needs and how digital tools and potentially a digital twin approach may enhance the evidence, investment and capacity requirements that result in a more sustainable operational management approach to water
  • Develop and implement research ideas, that can contribute through digital approaches, to improving water management decisions in irrigated agriculture and wider river basin management to deliver a more system-based approach which uses multiple data and information sources.
  • Lead effective communication of research results through collaborative approaches, including developing narratives on key use and uptake of innovative, practical, and more inclusive digital innovations in food, land and water systems
  • Proactively support IWMI’s efforts at establishing and strengthening partnerships with public, private and grassroots institutions at all levels – enabling transformations in water data science and digital inclusion
  • Contribute to developing an effective and sustainable body of funded work through exploring bilateral funding opportunities, including with partners
  • Substantially contribute to the authorship of key research outputs including, but not limited to, research papers and journal articles, blogs and webcasts/podcasts, multimedia presentations and social media.



  • A PhD in an aspect of water data science, internet of things/ modelling and machine learning/ virtual or augmented reality as related to natural resources especially hydrology, and digital transformation with experience in the context of developing regions across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Experience in research for development, specifically on issues relating to water (e.g., hydrology)/natural resource management, water use and allocations, digital inclusion, and innovations/data science.
  • Experience of considering digital approaches and their use in management by a range of users (and co-developers) as part of a wider systems based approach.
  • Strong desire to work on research for development projects focusing on digital inclusion and collaborating with multiple partners to deliver policy influence, investments and practical results
  • Experience of transforming research results into knowledge products that have impact and reach, including through communicating at major conferences and via other platforms, including social media


  • Strong publications track record (preferably in internationally peer-reviewed journals)
  • Knowledge of proposal writing for innovative R4D projects
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and effectively with academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Experience and exposure to working with private sector and start-ups
  • Excellent understanding of digital innovation as related to input to societal development
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and capacity to work in a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional and multicultural environment
  • Excellent communications skills and the ability to explain complex issues clearly and to diverse audiences, including at an international level
  • Fluent written and verbal communication in English
  • Knowledge of other regionally-relevant languages would be an advantage


This is a globally recruited position with a USD demoninated base salary, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, long-term disability insurance coverage and a USD 400/month transportation allowance. The duration of the initial contract will be for 2 years.

HOW TO APPLY: Apply for the position by following the application instructions at Include the names of 3 referees who may be contacted if you are shortlisted. We will be accepting applications through 24:00 (IST) August 17, 2022 but applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applications from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.