icipe — African Insect Science for Food and Health

icipe — African Insect Science for Food and Health is a world-class research centre with a mission to alleviate poverty by ensuring food security, improving health, protecting the environment, and building the capacity of researchers and communities across the developing world through the application of insect sciences.  Employing more than 500 national and international staff, icipe is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with outposts in Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, and on the shores of Lake Victoria in western Kenya.  icipe has a proud reputation and history of delivering world-quality science that has made crucial contributions to addressing African food and health constraints and policy, delivered development outcomes to rural communities, and has been at the forefront of building Africa’s biological research capacity. The Centre’s research activities span the African continent with partnerships linking research organisations, not only across Africa but also the globe. In addition, more than 150 graduate students and several postdoctoral fellows contribute to icipe’s research portfolio annually. For more information visit: www.icipe.org

Please also download icipe’s Vision and Strategy 2013–2020 http://www.icipe.org/publications/corporatepublications/vision-and-strategy

icipe is seeking to appoint an outstanding scientist to fill the position of HEAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH THEME. The Theme has a total staff number of 79 with an annual budget of USD 6 million. The work of the Theme spans the impact of climate change on insect populations and the subsequent health and agriculture consequences, development of plant-derived natural insecticides and monitoring the benefits of a reduced environmental burden of chemical insecticides, and bee health and genetics, pollination services, as well as working with communities to establish insect-based commercial activities (e.g. honey and silk).

The position is tenable in Nairobi at the icipe Duduville campus. The position will be offered for an initial contract of 2 years, which is renewable subject to funding availability for the position and performance of the staff member.

A competitive and generous compensation package that includes housing and transport allowances, child education allowance up to university first degree, comprehensive health and life insurance, an offshore retirement package (all payable in US Dollars), will be offered to the right candidate. Furthermore, the incumbent will receive paid annual vacation, return airfare for themselves and their dependents to their nominated home base each year, and duty-free privileges. If the successful candidate is appointed from outside Kenya, he or she will be offered support to relocate and settle in the city. icipe employs a number of international staff. Only shortlisted candidates will be acknowledged.

Living in Nairobi
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, with a population of over three million and hosts all the urban and social amenities and offers a comfortable, convenient and pleasurable life. There are a wide variety of excellent international schools, and well-equipped medical facilities that are open 24/7 in Nairobi. The city is also accessible by various reputable international airline carriers. Nairobi has a thriving international research scene, hosting various
CGIAR centres and several UN agencies. Although it is important to be conscious of security, Kenyans are warm and welcoming of visitors.

Overall purpose of the job
The overall purpose of the job is to lead the Environmental Health Theme. Reporting to the Director of Research and Partnerships the successful applicant will be part of a multidisciplinary team providing leadership and research strategy to the Centre in collaboration with icipe’s other Themes and Units. It is expected that the successful candidate will maintain a portfolio of research that is aligned with icipe’s strategy and goals.


  • Work in collaboration with the icipe leadership team, including the Director General, Director of Research and Partnerships (DRP), as well as Heads of Themes and Units, to facilitate research and capacity building activities across the Centre.
  • Promote and establish collaborative linkages with national, regional, and international institutions in the relevant fields of the Theme.
  • Seek and secure external support for the activities of the Theme, including resources to develop and grow a personal research portfolio.
  • Manage and develop the staff of the Theme to create and foster a culture of scientific excellence, and ensure the Theme has the human resources required now and into the future.
  • Ensure the Theme meets its legal and reporting responsibilities to all stakeholders, including national licensing authorities and donors.

Knowledge required for performing the job

  • Previous experience in research management and a proven track record in a relevant area of scientific research as demonstrated by publication record, and a history of securing external support for a portfolio of research.
  • Ability to create and foster an innovative work environment and to work within, and lead teams, to deliver on agreed goals.
  • Appropriate skills in research governance, including experience in the oversight of resource mobilisation and financial accountability.


  • PhD degree in a relative area relating to entomology or environmental or agricultural sciences from a reputable
  • Excellent publication track record.
  • Ten (10) years experience gained at a senior level in either a research organisation or university.
  • Track record of writing successful proposals for large grants.
  • Proven record of managing large resources—both financial and human—in a research environment.
  • Experience in capacity building through supervision and mentorship of MSc and PhD students.
  • Excellent communication skills are mandatory.
  • Track record of exemplary leadership qualities is essential.

Other desirable attributes

  • High degree of organisation, adaptability, and prioritisation.

This position reports to the Director of Research and Partnerships.

The selected candidate should be available to start as soon as possible.

Applications will be accepted up to 16th September 2017, or until the position is filled, whichever is earlier.
Interested applicants should submit: (a) a confidential cover letter, (b) detailed CV with names and addresses of 3 referees (including e-mail addresses, fax numbers), and (c) a statement illustrating suitability against the listed qualifications/competencies/abilities and skills.

Candidates are required to apply online through: http://recruit.icipe.org

icipe is an equal opportunity employer. It fosters a multicultural work environment that values gender equity, teamwork, and respect for diversity.

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