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The Crops Program aims to increase productivity, sustainability and utilisation of major crops by applying genetic and agronomic innovations to cropping systems of mutual importance to Australia and our partner countries.


The Research Program Manager (RPM) position is responsible for commissioning and managing a coherent portfolio of research-for-development projects, closely aligned with the priorities of Australia’s official development assistance program and contributing to ACIAR’s strategy and thematic priorities. Projects typically involve partnerships that link the innovation systems in Australia and ACIAR partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region, bringing together partners in universities, public research and development agencies, and the private sector.


We are seeking an experienced senior research leader who can further develop a substantial research program, while also contributing to ACIAR’s broader research portfolio management including peer review of ACIAR projects in other programs, contribution to scientific submissions and reviews, and membership of internal committees.


The position of Research Program Manager (RPM) is pivotal in ACIAR’s distinctive partnership brokering model of research investment in developing countries. Individual RPMs deliver scientific leadership within their own research program and disciplinary strength, and they also work collectively across programs and across the portfolio as a whole, including multilateral collaborations, to ensure technical excellence, procedural rigour and to capture opportunities for cross-program synergies. The Crops RPM, as with other RPMs, is expected to mentor graduates and early career research officers and contribute to ACIAR’s research outreach and capacity building activities. The appointee will work in a small team supported by a Program Support Officer (PSO). All RPMs are accountable to the ACIAR Executive through the Chief Scientist and interact directly with the Chief Executive Officer on a regular basis.


The key duties of the position include:

Manage the ACIAR Crops program and contribute to ACIAR corporate activities through the following duties:

1. Identify and assess crop breeding, agronomic and farming systems opportunities and needs for agriculture in developing countries, and the extent to which scientific research can contribute to solutions. Identify research priorities in consultation with the Chief Scientist and General Manager Country Programs, consistent with ACIAR’s Corporate Plan and relevant Country Strategies.
2. Develop, implement, monitor, review and evaluate a program of activities addressing crop production priorities:
* identifying and conceiving original and innovative projects that involve research, development and capacity building in priority areas;
* assisting in brokering research partnerships and in preparing and assessing research and development proposals;
* developing the scientific and technical basis of contracts for approved projects;
* coordinating and monitoring progress of implementation of the projects by collaborating agencies; and
* analysing and evaluating the results of research in programs and projects and identifying extension and outreach initiatives.
3. Maximise the potential contribution of project findings to the solution of identified technical problems by facilitating the appropriate communication of the results of ACIAR projects, in consultation and collaboration with the ACIAR Outreach team. As appropriate, represent ACIAR at international seminars and workshops to promote research findings.
4. Advise the ACIAR executive and other agencies on production and policy matters relating the sustainable intensification of crop production, maintain effective liaison and communication with ACIAR’s research partners and stakeholders, within Australia and in partner countries, and represent ACIAR as required.
5. Manage the Crops Program procurement processes, budgeting, financial management and reporting in accordance with ACIAR policies, procedures and systems.
6. Contribute to activities in the ACIAR research portfolio, including peer review of ACIAR projects, contributing technical and program management expertise to relevant multilateral initiatives including the CGIAR (in consultation with the Director, Multilateral Engagement), contribution to submissions and reviews, and contribution to internal committees.
7. Supervise and mentor program support staff, graduates and early career research officers in accordance with ACIAR’s Certified Agreement, Government policy and overarching legislation.
8. Contribute to the corporate development of ACIAR by assisting in the induction, training and mentoring of staff and participation in broader corporate activities.

Applications close 22nd June, 2020 Apply Online

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