WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a research and education-focused institution designed to provide knowledge and services to help tackle climate change challenges and 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 Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

WASCAL seeks to recruit a Post-Doctoral Scientist at its Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The candidate will be required to service WASCAL by providing support to the project COINS (Co-developing innovations for sustainable land management in West African smallholder farming systems), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF under the guidance of the local project coordination team at WASCAL.

The aim of COINS is to incentivize and enable sustainable farming and land use measures and associated governance mechanisms to improve livelihoods and food security in West Africa while increasing natural capital by reversing land degradation and increasing resource use efficiencies. The chosen candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team of experts from different African and German institutions to produce and disseminate the results of the COINS project to all stakeholders in West Africa.

The position is funded for 3 years and is based in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The chosen candidate will be given an initial 1-year fixed-term contract, which is renewable for 2 additional (maximum) years pending successful performance and availability of funding. Some travel will be necessary to conduct workshops and field work campaigns in the project region of northern Ghana and Senegal, and to engage with collaborators and stakeholders.

Key responsibilities include, among other things:

Essential Duties:

  • Contribute to biodiversity assessment and monitoring of sustainable agricultural intensification practices in the project regions.
  • Contribute to the development of a data strategy and management (including collection, processing, integration, storage, and dissemination) of spatial data gathered from the project.
  • Work closely with other project partners on sustainable intensification (SI) practices and land use in the project regions.
  • Lead the development of the project’s communication and dissemination strategies.
  • Translate project’s scientific results into policy documents for dissemination.
  • Work closely with other project partners and stakeholders to organize workshops for the development of educational materials and for the dissemination of project results in Ghana and Senegal.
  • Support activities geared toward outscaling of recommended SI practices and the sustainability of the innovation labs established as part of the project.
  • Lead and contribute to high quality scientific publications related to the project in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Write project reports.

General Duties:

  • Support WASCAL’s fundraising initiatives.
  • Other duties relevant to the execution of the COINS project and the progress of WASCAL that may be assigned later.

Qualifications and background needed:

  • PhD in Ecology, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Management, Agriculture, or a related field is required.
  • Strong academic record and a passion for biodiversity conservation and monitoring.
  • Knowledge of geographic information systems, remote sensing, and computer programming is a plus.
  • Familiarity with social science research methods and facilitation.
  • Good knowledge of sustainable land management.
  • Experience engaging with stakeholder groups and communities.
  • Work experience in West-African countries (especially, Ghana and Senegal) is an advantage.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (i.e., scientific publications, development of policy briefs, conference presentations, report writing, etc.) in English and verbal communication in French. Note: For candidates from French speaking countries, working proficiency (i.e., speaking, reading, and writing) in English is strictly required. For candidates from English speaking countries, ability to speak French is required. 

Application Procedure

Interested applicants should submit following documents to candidature@wascal.org (with copy to Codjia.k@wascal.org) by 10th November 2023: a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) outlining motivation, qualifications, and experience for the position (considering the background and desirable qualifications), a curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of three references. Applicants must come from ECOWAS member countries. Only applications from candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be considered.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information or questions, please contact Hackman.k@wascal.org.