Apply For The Position Of Director For Research In WASCAL


The West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL)  is looking for a Director for Research to consolidate its position as a regional research partner institution, to expand into new areas of work, and to lead the Competence Centre as well as develop the Research Team. The position is based at WASCAL’s Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

WASCAL is a research and education-focused institute designed to provide knowledge and climate services that should help tackle the climate change challenge and thereby enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include: Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, and Cape Verde.

Job Summary

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Director of Research will make the necessary linkages between the different poles of the WASCAL research programme and external research partners, particularly the national, regional and international research institutions.  The Director of Research will also lead the staff of the WASCAL Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The candidate is expected to have a strong track record in the research community – perhaps in a research centre, foundation or academic institution – and specifically have experience of managing and publishing projects in at least one of the Centre’s areas of expertise.

The Director of Research, among other things, will

  • Coordinate the WASCAL research programme’s activities;
  • Coordinate joint research activities of research institutions in the member countries of WASCAL and build a strong network with them;
  • Lead the staff at the WASCAL Competence Centre;
  • Initiate the design, development, execution and implementation of basic and applied research projects;
  • Design and implement a fundraising strategy for research activities;
  • Ensure scientific excellence and maintenance of standards for high scientific quality;
  • Maintain substantial knowledge of state-of-the-art principles and theories, and contribute to scientific literature and conferences;
  • Initiate and oversee the dissemination of science and research information and knowledge to the academic and broad public;
  • Write and submit proposals to international partners for funding; and
  • Maintain a high level of communication with WASCAL’s management and provide high-level scientific advice to the Executive Director as well as the Governing Board.

Position Summary

The duties and responsibilities of the Director for Research include but are not limited to the following:

  • Managing and coordinating the research group of WASCAL from the Competence Centre in all respect, and developing strategies to ensure effective achievement of WASCAL’s vision and scientific objectives;
  • Collaborating with the regional and international scientific community for developing and maintaining effective partnerships and to ensuring that WASCAL’s research is well-positioned, demand-driven and responsive to current and future adaptation challenges;
  • Collaborating with WASCAL’s graduate studies programme;
  • Writing, editing and approving research proposals to be submitted to partners or donors for fundraising or joint research projects;
  • Writing, editing and approving manuscripts for publication;
  • Overseeing, monitoring and evaluating research activities and completion of scientific projects;
  • Selecting, supervising and evaluating personnel to ensure the efficiency of the research group;
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of internal research policies and programmes, and ensuring the application of scientific ethics, codes, rules, standards, and guidelines; and
  • Any other duties that may be assigned.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • A doctoral degree in life sciences, climate change, geosciences, economics or socio-economics.
  • At least 5 years of research experience in a research institution, with specific experience in leading interdisciplinary scientific teams, senior research management and coordination of research and development activities;
  • Extensive experience in acquisition of research funds from national and international donors, as well as administrative and financial management of research programmes;
  • A track record of significant scientific achievements and demonstrated success in raising funds from national and international donors;
  • Ability to manage, motivate and develop staff, and equally maintain a good working relationships with individuals of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent interpersonal relationships and an ability to approach regional leaders and donors;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and French.
  • Work experience in West African countries and willingness to travel is an added advantage.

Application procedure:

Applications including a covering letter (not more than two pages long) with a statement of motivation, highlighting the candidate’s experience in respect of the criteria listed above (desired skills and experience), and a curriculum vitae including a list a publications, with names, addresses, fax numbers and e-mail addresses of three professional referees should be emailed to Please indicate “Director of Research” in the subject line. 

Prospective candidates must be from WASCAL operating countries – Republic of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, the Gambia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, and Senegal.

The successful candidate will be appointed for an initial term of three (3) years, starting with a six- month probation period.

WASCAL offers an attractive tax-free remuneration package. WASCAL is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women to apply.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted until August 30, 2019.

Applications will be acknowledged, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please visit for further information.

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