Nepal nationals: Researcher (Agricultural Water Management)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
Kathmandu, Nepal
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is looking for a highly motivated researcher to manage the work carried out under the Water, Food and Ecosystems Strategic Program at its office in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The position holder is expected to lead and undertake research for development on inclusive, sustainable and resilient food production systems in the country, using approaches that combine the technical understanding of water management and farming systems under conditions of a changing climate, federalism and the Covid-19 pandemic. The person will also provide scientific leadership, negotiate with potential partners and development partners, apply good project management practices, and disseminate research results to target audiences, while contributing expertise across the Institute on key research topics related to irrigation and agricultural water management (AWM).

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead high-quality and innovative applied research and proposal development on AWM in rain-fed or irrigated systems, with a view to ensuring food and nutrition security, and sustainable natural resource management in Nepal and South Asia.
  • Develop a systems approach to assess the impacts of scaling AWM solutions on water and agricultural productivity in farming systems under a changing climate.
  • Design new approaches, tools and frameworks to close water-related yield gaps in rain-fed and irrigated agriculture under a changing climate.
  • Design, test and evaluate contextually relevant, innovative R4D pilots in the areas of AWM and solar irrigation to reduce water and energy consumption while boosting agricultural productivity.
  • Lead the Nepal component of the Solar Irrigation for Agricultural Resilience in South Asia (SoLAR-SA) project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), in delivering high-quality research and implementation outputs, and achieving the desired development outcomes.
  • Provide technical support to teams working on the scaling of AWM solutions with public and private sector partners in relation to technology suitability, crop water demand, etc. (the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia [CSISA] Covid-19 response and resilience activity).
  • Ensure that project-specific deliverables and deadlines are met, manage project budgets, and work closely with the Country Representative - Nepal, relevant Research Group Leaders, project leaders, internal and external research teams and partners to ensure timely delivery of outputs.
  • Initiate, develop and sustain collaboration with research partners, governments and development partners, and other CGIAR centers in the irrigation and natural resource sectors in Nepal and South Asia.
  • 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.
  • Carry out technical trainings and organize workshops with the aim of transferring knowledge and building capacity of students, and national and international partners.
  • Prepare research reports, journal articles and other scientific manuscripts (e.g., policy guidelines, policy briefs, blogs, etc.) for dissemination and uptake of research results.
  • Support the Nepal office in implementing its country-specific strategic roadmap in alignment with the government’s priorities and plans.
  • Represent IWMI in knowledge forums and meetings related to policy, science and development in Nepal.



  • A PhD in Agricultural Science, Irrigation Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Civil Engineering, or related discipline or M.Sc. in the similar discipline with 5-7 years of proven research for development experience and technical competence of designing, monitoring and analyzing AWM interventions in agricultural systems with famers and communities
  • A good track record of relevant scientific publications
  • Experience working on a diverse range of irrigation scales, and approaches, techniques and tools appropriate to each scale


  • A good understanding of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, approaches to sustainable agricultural production systems and on-farm irrigation methods in a changing climate, as well as principles of water productivity and the interaction of irrigation with surrounding ecosystems.
  • Experience in developing and leading interdisciplinary and multicultural research teams.
  • Ability to be a great team player while being able to independently design and conduct action research, with the overall ability to work in data-scarce environments, generating new datasets.
  • Excellent knowledge of project management with strong teamwork skills, and the ability to mentor and engage young researchers in the research projects of IWMI and its partners.
  • Ability to establish and maintain partnerships and working relationships with the government, development agencies, civil society organizations, private sector, research and similar institutions.
  • Familiarity with gender, inequality and social inequity issues within Nepal, in general, and the irrigation and natural resource management sectors, in particular, with the ability to think and act on AWM interventions differently.
  • Familiarity with federalism in Nepal and the resulting restructuring of the water resources management sector.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.


Your application must include a copy of your curriculum vitae, cover letter which addresses IWMI’s requirements stated above, and contact information of three professional referees who may be contacted if you are short-listed for the position.

Applications must be submitted by 24:00 on November 2, 2020 (Monday).

This is a nationally recruited staff position and only citizens of Nepal are encouraged to apply. IWMI offers a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes transport and health insurance. The duration of the contract will initially be for a three-year period with the possibility of extension based on performance and availability of funds.

IWMI is an equal opportunity employer and emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in identifying candidates for this position and its staff more generally.