Sentinel Ghana Staff Recruitment 2017 - Postdoctoral and Research Assistants

Starting November 3, 2017 - Ending November 3, 2018

SENTINEL GHANA STAFF RECRUITMENT 2017

Postdoctoral and Research Assistants

 

Project: SENTINEL (Social and Environmental Trade-offs in African Agriculture)

Location: Department of Soil Science, CBAS, University of Ghana

Project Background

Increasing agricultural production to meet rapidly growing demands for food (a 150% by 2050), while safeguarding vital ecosystem services and promoting social equality, lies at the heart of sustainable development. In four years (2017-2021), the SENTINEL project seeks to better understand the challenges, trade-offs and synergies inherent in working toward these development goals in sub-Saharan Africa, with the aim of helping governments to make better-informed decisions about land use and agricultural practices so that food security can be improved without losing precious biodiversity and without increasing social inequality.

Research in sub-Saharan Africa has shown that conflicts between goals on food security, ecosystem conservation and inequality are intensifying in the region because of a number of factors, including rapid progress in economic development and population growth. However, decision makers in government and the private sector continue to act on an insufficient understanding of the socio-economic and environmental impacts of different agricultural development pathways. As a result, current agricultural development strategies are poorly informed - particularly considering projected regional changes in climate - and, in some areas, are on a collision course with forest conservation and restoration policies. This is contributing to increasing inequalities and has the potential to further marginalise those who depend on agriculture for a living.

This four-year, interdisciplinary, collaborative research project, involving 10 partner organisations in the UK and Africa and led by International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), will work in three focal countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia; while working with a wider group of universities in Africa to share lessons and build capacity. The IIED is one of the world’s most influential international development and environment policy research organisations and has been a world leader in sustainable development since its foundation in 1971. Its mission is to build a fairer, more sustainable world, using evidence, action and influence in partnership with others. As an independent policy and action research organisation, IIED works with partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific to tackle key global issues across four programme areas - climate change, urbanisation, the pressures on natural resources and the forces shaping global markets.

SENTINEL Purpose

      I.          To enhance understanding through co-production of novel scientific research by UK and African researchers, the project will generate new knowledge on the impacts, risks and trade-offs within and between social, economic and environmental dimensions of different agricultural development pathways that relate to SDGs 2, 10 and 15.

    II.          To enhance research capacity by using a participatory process that combines state-of-the-art research with effective engagement with research users, the project will enhance capacity of researchers in the UK and Africa to investigate sustainable development challenges using a more interdisciplinary approach.

  III.          To enhance relationships between UK and African research organisations by creating and strengthening collaborative partnerships, in order to maximize responsiveness to development challenges and foster a deeper understanding of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Research Themes

1.     Understanding the past and present: Historical trends and current status of agricultural development and its social and environmental impacts, and the major technical, institutional, political and economic determinants;

2.     Scenarios of future agriculture and land use change: Driving forces that will shape the future of agricultural development - identifying key impacts, risks and trade-offs within and between socioeconomic and environmental dimensions and plausible alternative scenarios that warrant further investigation;

3.     Understanding impacts, risks and assumptions and trade-offs: within and between socio-economic and environmental dimensions of alternative scenarios for agricultural development, and the implications for biodiversity loss and ecosystem processes, and for the productivity and resilience of agriculture.

 

 

Job Category I

Position Title

Post-Doctoral Fellow (50% time)

Subject Category

Agronomy, Crop or Soil Science

Position Summary

Reporting to the SENTINEL Ghana Team Leader  (Dr Dora Neina) and Advisor (Prof. SGK Adiku)

Programme Area

Research

Location

University of Ghana, Accra

Key Duties and Responsibilities

a)    Study important programmes, policies and frameworks related to agriculture and biodiversity in Ghana, e.g. REDD+, green climate programmes in northern Ghana, Ghana National Biodiversity Action plan and other agricultural policies.

b)    Collaborate with Monitoring  Evaluation Officer (M & E) to interact with stakeholders, e.g. National Learning Alliance (NLA)

c)     Adhere to university and departmental ethical standards and policies regarding the research;

d)    Comply with all applicable university policies and the terms of the sponsoring agency’s grant, contract or fellowship stipulations;

e)    Design and implement research protocols;

f)      Collect, prepare and analyze research data; 

g)    Search pertinent scientific literature as needed;

h)    Maintain computer database of research data, process data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation;

i)       Summarize findings from investigators and consultants to publish results in research journals; Keep a detailed notebook summarizing experiments and recording research data

Qualifications and Experience: 

The successful applicant must have:

·       Ph.D. in Agronomy, Crop or Soil Science

·       About 2 years of relevant experience in a research environment

·       Competency in the use of a wide variety of ICT tools, including appropriate software for quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate and effectively engage with project stakeholders

 

 

Job Category II

Position Title

Post-Doctoral Fellow (50% time)

Subject Category

Agricultural Economics

Position Summary

Reporting directly to SENTINEL Ghana Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (Dr John K. Boateng)

Programme Area

Research

Location

University of Ghana, Accra

Key Duties and Responsibilities

·       Conceptualize and assist the M&E expert conduct short-term experiments and research activities in support of broad-based/longitudinal research projects, ensuring consistency with established methodological approaches and models, adherence to project timelines, and completeness of documentation;

·       Conduct studies of related literature and research to support the design and implementation of projects and development of reports, ensuring conceptual relevance, comprehensiveness, and currency of information;

·       Assist in communicating to Programme/Project team developments/progress and results of research activities ensuring that relevant information and issues in the implementation of projects/experiments are captured in as comprehensive and timely manner as possible;

·       Organize data along project frameworks and experimental research design that support overall research management, including the monitoring and evaluation of project inputs, actions, and outcomes, as well as the subsequent integration of these databases to other databanks;

·       Highlight findings from research activities ensuring consistency with the highest standards of academic publication and showcasing the Ghanaian Programme’s scientific leadership;

·       Review and refine project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools in line with Sentinel project goals and visions

·       Assist with coordination of all aspects of project’s M&E ensuring data is of high quality and produced on time

·       Aggregates all monthly/quarterly qualitative and quantitative data from Regional project sites into country status report and country database respectively

·       Collect articles, case studies, best practices across projects for evidence gathering and format so they are suitable for external audiences.

·       Assist the M&E expert, in designing and coordinating baselines, evaluations and staff  workshops and trainings

·       Assist M&E expert conduct support visits on a regular basis and report findings to the project and M&E teams        

·       Provide technical assistance on monitoring and data collection to field officers, volunteers, and local partners.

Assist M&E expert share success stories, and case studies via approved channels for the Project

Qualifications and Experience: 

The successful applicant must have:

·       Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics

·       About 2 years of relevant experience in a research environment

·       Competency in the use of a wide variety of ICT tools, including appropriate software for quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate and effectively engage with project research team and stakeholders

 

 

Job Category III

Position Title

Research Assistant I (50% Time)

Subject Category   

Agriculture/ Administrative

Programme Area    

Research

Location

Accra

Key Responsibilities

a.     Assist Postdoctoral Fellows in data collection

b.     Responsible for daily project secretarial and administrative duties

c.     Prepare agenda for project meetings

d.     Attend project meetings and take minutes

e.     Maintain stakeholder engagement and meeting records

f.      Manage and respond to project-related emails

g.     Monitor project budget under the supervision of the SENTINEL Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

h.     Prepare progress project reports for the Co- and PrincipaI Investigators

i.       Track tasks to be perform within a specified period and prepare work plans

j.       Request and acquire project supplies

Qualification Requirements:

The successful applicant must have:

·       MPhil or  MSc degree in any related field

·       About 1 year of relevant experience in a research environment

·       Competency in the use of a wide variety of ICT tools, including appropriate software for quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate and effectively engage with project research team and stakeholders

·       Be willing to work overtime and during weekends when required.

 

 

 

Job Category IV

Position Title

Research Assistant II (50% time)

Subject Category

Remote Sensing and GIS

Position Summary

Reporting to Remote  Sensing Expert (Dr Selase Adanu)

Programme Area

Research

Location

Accra

Key Duties and Responsibilities

a.     Collect, prepare and analyze research data; 

b.     Analyse optical and radar satellite data to determine historical agricultural land use and cover changes in Ghana; 

c.     Spatially analyse the impact of agricultural land use and cover change on biodiversity and ecosystem services;

d.     Predict future impacts of agricultural land use/cover change scenarios for rural agriculture using appropriate GIS software;

e.     Be skilled in the use of GPS for field data collection and analysis;

f.      Maintain computer database of research data; tabulate and display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data.

g.     Comply with ethical standards of the University of Ghana

Qualifications and Experience

The successful applicant must have:

·       MPhil or MSc Remote Sensing and GIS or related field.

·       About 2 years of relevant experience in a research environment

·       Competency in the use of a wide variety of ICT tools, including appropriate software for quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis

·       Demonstrated ability to communicate and effectively engage with project research team and stakeholders

 

METHOD OF APPLICATION

The application pack should contain the following:

·       A current Curriculum Vitae and relevant supporting documents

·       A statement of motivation and purpose of about 1,500 words indicating how one intends to use the period in office to perform the stated responsibilities for the success of the project. 

Applicants should submit the complete application via email to Prof. SGK Adiku at s_adiku@hotmail.com, Department of Soil Science, P. O. Box LG 245, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana and copied to Dr John Boateng at jboat2009@gmail.com.

The deadline is the close of Friday, 30th November, 2017. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Tenure

The appointments for Job Categories II to IV are valid from January 2018 to March 2019 subject to subsequent renewals up to December 2021 while Job Category I is valid from April 2018.

SENTINEL GHANA TEAM LEADER

31st October, 2017