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Opportunity: Post-Doctoral Scholars in Humanitarian Response in Pastoral Areas of the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa
About the Project: Early Warning Systems and Humanitarian Responses in Pastoral Contexts in the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa
The Center is implementing a new three-year project funded by USAID/BHA which re-examines early warning systems and humanitarian responses in pastoral areas across the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa. Many of the crises in these dryland locations are driven by a combination of climatic and conflict factors and are often complex and protracted. While pastoralism is well adapted to cope with drought and rainfall variations (both seasonally and annually), multi-year droughts, rising temperatures, extended conflicts, and overlapping drought and conflict conditions pose greater challenges to the adaptability and resiliency of pastoral systems. Local systems of reciprocal support and exchange exist to mitigate the effects, but humanitarian assistance from external sources is frequently required when the shock is widespread, prolonged, or multi-faceted. It is thus critical to have early warning systems and integrated humanitarian interventions that are tailored to the unique needs and diverse contexts of pastoral communities and the dryland areas that they inhabit. This project is in two phases. The first phase, ending in September 2023, entails the production of desk studies on key topics and the selection of four case study countries. The second phase runs for two years and entails research with local partners in the selected countries.
About the Opportunity:
The Center will recruit two post-doctoral scholars to work full time on this project. The postdoctoral scholars will work in a team-based approach to achieve the project aims. The post-docs will work on all aspects of the project, including leading the desk studies, working with the team to determine the case study selections and partners, conducting research in the case study locations, and leading the data analysis, writing, and presentation of final results. The post-docs will work closely with the Center faculty engaged in this study, namely Drs. Elizabeth Stites, Paul Howe, Anastasia Marshak, Helen Young, and Daniel Maxwell. The positions are to run until September 30, 2025, with an initial 12-month hire with renewal conditional on performance. The position will be based in Boston, Massachusetts. We encourage candidates of any nationality to apply.
Duties & Responsibilities
Dr. Elizabeth Stites will serve as the primary supervisor of the post-doctoral scholars, who will also work with the other investigators listed above. A program manager will assist with day-to-day logistics, management, and coordination of the project. The post-doctoral scholars will have the unique opportunity to join a team of multidisciplinary experts working on different components of pastoral livelihood systems, conflict, early warning systems, and humanitarian response. A major emphasis will be placed on designing and leading original research, career development, and transition toward an independent research career.
Key responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Scholars will include:
- Leading the desk studies and contributing to the landscape review in Phase I of the study. This will entail literature review, analysis, writing, and managing the contributions of the broader team.
- In conjunction with the team, selecting and justifying the four case study selections for Phase II of the study. The expertise and interests of the post-docs will be one of the factors considered in determining the selection of the case study locations.
- Designing the studies to take place in the case study locations, including selecting appropriate local partners, designing tools, piloting technological innovations where appropriate, applying for national ethical approvals, and training local investigators.
- Managing the local partners in conjunction with the program manager and the PIs.
- Overseeing and participating in the collection of primary data in conjunction with the local partner organizations and local investigators.
- In conjunction with the local partners, analyzing the data from the case study locations and writing the reports arising from the data analysis.
- Contributing to the provision of real-time advisory services to practitioners responding to crises.
- Presenting findings to local, national, international, and donor audiences.
- Developing peer-reviewed publications.
- Supervising graduate student and intern projects as required.
- Engaging in other relevant duties as required.
Required education, experience, and skills
Applicants must have a doctoral degree and experience (academic or practical) in African pastoral or dryland systems, early warning systems (conflict and/or climate), emergency nutrition or food security, and/or humanitarian response. Candidates should have a record of publications demonstrating their skills and experiences in conducting research and analysis in these areas or topics. Candidates must have excellent English written and oral communication skills, proven ability to collect and synthesis large amounts of secondary data, primary research mixed-methods experience with local populations (including participatory methods), experience of working with diverse partners, and the ability to work well independently and as part of a team with collaborators.
Preferred education, experience, and skills
Formal coursework and research experience are preferred in areas relevant to the research, including livelihood systems in dryland areas, conflict, climate adaptation, humanitarian response and emergency nutrition, gender, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and the use of digital technologies for data analysis and visualization. Previous experience and/or fieldwork in pastoral contexts in the Sudano-Sahel and/or Greater Horn of Africa would be a major benefit. Preference is given to those with doctoral degrees awarded in the past five years.
Application should include:
- Cover letter describing previous achievements, research interests, career goals, and why the candidate is suitable for this position (maximum 2 pages),
- CV including a list of relevant publications,
- Official copy of academic transcript(s) from undergraduate and graduate studies,
- Three formal reference letters.
Applications should be submitted to Anna Ronell at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 1, 2023.
Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Finalists will be interviewed via video conference and references contacted.
A competitive salary, benefits, and travel opportunities in the interdisciplinary environment at the Feinstein International Center and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy are offered. Position available starting in January 2023. Candidates from all over the world are encouraged to apply who are willing to be primarily based in the United States, at the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA.
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