Deputy Director General, Research

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) Hyderabad Area, India

About the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)


ICRISAT is headquartered at Patancheru near Hyderabad, India, with two regional hubs and eight country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium, a global agriculture research partnership whose science is carried out by the 15 Research Centers in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

ICRISAT conducts research on its mandate crops of chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet in the arid and semi-arid tropics. The Institute focuses its work on the drylands and in protecting the environment. Tropical dryland areas are usually seen as resource-poor and perennially beset by shocks such as
drought, thereby trapping dryland communities in poverty and hunger and making them dependent on external aid.

ICRISAT envisions a prosperous, food-secure and resilient dryland tropics. Its mission is to reduce poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the dryland tropics. The approach is through partnership-based international agricultural research-for-development that embodies Science with a Human Face.


Aspirational targets and development outcomes

ICRISAT has set four bold targets in the next ten years that will enormously benefit the well-being of the drylands’ poorest people:

  • Help halve rural poverty by increasing farm incomes through more productive, stable, diverse and profitable crops and crop products;
  • Help halve hunger by contributing innovations that increase yields by 30% on a wide scale and through policy advice that stabilizes food prices and availability;
  • Help halve childhood malnutrition by enhancing the nutrient content of staple food crops and helping the poor diversify their crops, delivering more nutritious and safer food; and
  • Increase resilience of dryland farming through innovations that stabilize, safeguard and enhance natural resource capital, biological and systems diversity, and land health.

Research Programs

ICRISAT is responsible for leading three regional and two global research programs:

  • Asia – The ICRISAT Research Program in Asia adopts an integrated and value chain approach to achieve the best possible impacts on farmers’ fields through building partnerships in India, as well as in a number of countries in Asia, such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar and Nepal.

  • West and Central Africa (WCA) – ICRISAT’s Regional Research Program in WCA has Country offices in Mali (Regional hub), Niger and Nigeria. Together with research and development institutions in the region, it conducts research to develop improved technologies to enhance the agricultural productivity of sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut.

  • Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) – ICRISAT’s research program in ESA works to address the challenges of low productivity and profitability, poor access to improved inputs (seeds, fertilizer, knowledge) and equitable markets through its Country offices based in five countries — Kenya (Regional hub), Malawi, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique , as well as in Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan and Eritrea.

  • Genetic Gains – The Research Program on Genetic Gains aims to enhance the gains generated through breeding programs and varietal replacement in farmers’ fields by harnessing the full potential of the Institute’s genebank, modern genomics, molecular biology and breeding approaches.

  • Innovation Systems for the Drylands – Innovation Systems for the Drylands is one of the two cross-cutting global programs at ICRISAT. The concept of an innovations systems approach recognizes the importance of   conditions that are needed to create demand for technologies and how knowledge may be used to bring about food secure and sustainable livelihood systems in resource-constrained smallholder farming systems.

ICRISAT, with an annual budget of over USD60 million, has a global workforce over 3,000 individuals in Asia and Africa.

You can find further details on their website http://www.icrisat.org

Deputy Director General - Research Role Profile 

The Deputy Director General – Research is based at ICRISAT’s headquarters and reports to the Director General.

The successful candidate will be both an inspiring scientific leader and excellent research manager. The DDG-R will provide leadership in setting the strategic direction and priorities of ICRISAT’s research and for ensuring effective implementation of the Institute’s research portfolio using a systems approach to ensure the delivery of outcomes and impact through effective partnerships. 

The successful candidate will: 

  • Provide scientific and management leadership for planning, implementing and monitoring a demand-driven research agenda aligned with the organization’s strategy and contributes to the CGIAR strategy and Result Framework (SRF) and CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs); 
  • Advocate and advance ICRISAT’s research agenda and overall positioning with key stakeholders and in international meetings and fora; 
  • As a member of the senior management team, contribute to the effective management of ICRISAT and its resource mobilization activities.  


Duties and Responsibilities:

The Deputy Director General - Research will have the following key responsibilities:

A. Research Strategy

  • Provide scientific and management leadership for planning, implementing and monitoring an integrated research portfolio and ensure it is aligned with the organization’s strategy and contributes to the CGIAR Strategy and Result Framework (SRF) and Research Programmes (CRPs);
  • Develop and enhance excellent research strategy and business plans of the Institute in the context of a broader research strategy of the Centre.

B. Representation and articulation of research agenda:

  • Represent and articulate the rationale, role, innovation and impact of ICRISAT’s research for development of the semi-arid tropics.
  • Develop and maintain an effective and harmonious relations with IARCs, National Agricultural Research Systems in both developed and developing countries, Advanced Research Institutions, private sector, NGOs in implementing the CRPs and Research Strategy of the Institute.

C. Resource Mobilization and Donor Relations

  • Identify research areas that have donor support and ensure development and submission of appropriate project proposals to obtain such support, including building good donor relations, encouraging new initiatives, addressing funding needs and gaps.
  • Ensure the availability of adequate people of the right quality and other resources to deliver the agreed objectives of the Institute in a cost-effective manner.


Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

  • PhD in an area of agricultural sciences (Crop Breeding, Soil and Water Management, Social Science, etc.) with a broad perspective on agriculture in the developing world and across the research for development agenda.
  • A distinguished record of achievement and innovation, including in scientific publications on topics relevant to ICRISAT’s research agenda.
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and track record in leading multicultural and multi-disciplinary teams and building partnerships for collaborative and cross-cutting research.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build consensus and manage conflict.
  • At least 15 years of relevant experience, including research management experience, with at least 5 years in developing countries with scientific responsibilities at a senior level.
  • A solid understanding of the role of science in agricultural development, particularly in evidence-based decision-making.
  • Strong knowledge of semi-arid tropical agriculture in developing as well as developed countries, to addressing the global challenges of hunger, poverty, climate change, and environmental degradation.
  • Ability to think strategically, synthesize and disseminate messages from complex issues.
  • Strong motivation and leadership skills to bring out the best from both individuals and teams.
  • Proven ability to establish, nurture and oversee multi-cultural, gender-sensitive multidisciplinary research teams.
  • Working knowledge of French is highly desirable.

Terms of Appointment

  • This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a three-year basis with the possibility of renewal.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV and a supporting letter in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to [email protected] or use the Application Form below. All information will be in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service.  We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by ICRISAT to undertake this assignment.

Application form