Intern (Characterization of Soils)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

, , GH


IWMI is seeking a candidate to collect and analyze soil data related to current projects engaged in on-farm and field research in agricultural water management in northern Ghana.

Context Of Work

Northern Ghana is identified as a high potential zone for agricultural development, especially for smallholder farmers in the region. However, rainfall variability and water management have been identified as major constraints to achieve profitable, sustainable farm-level investments. The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is working with farmers in several on-farm trials to test and develop agricultural water management and irrigation strategies to improve incomes and food security for households in the region. A critical component for this work is the characterization of soils, which largely influence the effectiveness of both rainfed and irrigated water management.

Scope of work: Specific tasks

The candidate will review soil characterization and classification already done by the Soil Research Institute and identify the soil types in the selected sites. S/he will further work with existing soil samples collected from varying depths at several sites in Northern Ghana to characterize soil physical and chemical properties based on standard requirement for crop production. The candidate will use FAO World Soil classification to determine tentative profile class/name.

The objectives of the assignment include:

  • Synthesize and characterize field site soil profiles based on existing soil data
  • Collect additional samples where necessary
  • Use pedo-transfer functions (e.g., ROSETTA) to characterize soil profile data from a water management perspective (incl. waterholding capacity, infiltration characteristics)
  • Impose the analyzed soil profiles at a greater scale for Northern Ghana, based on areas of interest using existing soil maps at highest available resolution
  • Prepare a report that includes thorough discussion of the analyzed data using current literation
  • Following analysis and completion of report, prepare data for sharing on open access platform

The expected output is a high quality publishable report that includes a description of methods and results related to each of the above objectives. Data should be prepared for relevant data clouds (IWMI Water portal, ISRIC) as appropriate.

Terms of assignment

IWMI is an international scientific research institution with a multicultural staff across regions and offices. As such, the candidate is expected to exhibit professional dedication and collegial attitude toward the assignment and in interactions with staff, interns and students.

IWMI will provide a monthly stipend during the assignment duration and will cover costs related to travel and local field work in Northern Ghana. IWMI will provide office space and internet access in Ghana, as needed.

Location: The candidate is expected to work for part of the assignment in IWMI’s Ghana and West Africa Office. At least one field visit to data collection sites will be required. Some tasks may be home-based.

Duration of assignment: The candidate will submit the final report and all deliverables by 15 September 2017.

Application and Contact information

Applicants should submit the following:

  • A cover letter stating why the applicant wishes to undertake this internship, how the assignment contributes to applicant’s professional and academic goals, and the key capacities s/he contributes to the assignment (1 page)
  • CV (maximum 4 pages)
  • List of references
  • One sample of previous work in related subject

If difficulties are encountered in submitting application on-line, please e-mail to [email protected].


  • Minimum M.Sc in soil science (Chemistry or Physics)
  • Previous experience in soil classification
  • Land management/use, geography, morphology or related expertise and experience is an advantage
  • Skills and capacity in Arc GIS, Statistics, data management
  • Demonstrated ability to produce a high quality paper in English with potential for publication in a scientific journal
  • Capacity to use common software for report development (Word, Excel, PowePoint, etc.)