ILRI Hiring Research Officer II

ILRI Hiring MSc Graduate Fellowship

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Research Officer-Geospatial & Remote Sensing on behalf of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) who will support the mapping of climate vulnerability indicators and other abiotic risks with satellite image time series and GIS datasets; crop area and yield; suitability sites and patterns for climate smart agricultural technologies;  and will contribute to develop remote sensing applications in the region (east, west and southern Africa).

ILRI works to improve food security and nutrition and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock. It is the only one of 11 CGIAR research centers dedicated entirely to animal agriculture research for the developing world.


Co-hosted by Kenya and Ethiopia, ILRI has regional or country offices and projects in East, South and Southeast Asia as well as Central, East, Southern and West Africa.

ILRI hosts the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Nairobi ( with its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna in the Philippines. IRRI is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations.

Key Responsibilities  

1. Purpose

  • Map climate vulnerability indicators and other abiotic risks with satellite image time series and GIS datasets;
  • Geospatial modelling of suitability sites and patterns for climate smart agricultural technologies; 
  • Map crop area and yield, cropping system, intensification and diversification models using satellite or drone data and crop models,  develop methods for assessment of climate-driven production losses;
  • Apply rice area/yield data to climate derisking and financial resilience activities, e.g. crop insurance in context of extreme climatic  events;
  • Development of precision agriculture approach including nutrient/water stresses, weeds and diseases mapping and control;
  • Facilitate the execution and implementation of additional planned Geospatial activities in close coordination with the supervision team, local National partners and other stakeholders.
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2. Engagement

  • Acquire and process remotely sensed time series to extract information from multiple sensors (optical, SAR) and platform;
  • Coordinate and implement field data collection campaigns; develop innovation field – drone approach for model calibration and validation;
  • Organize and maintain project database, including field data, imagery, and geospatial datasets; ensure quality data quality control;
  • Analyze the datasets, and contribute to the writing of reports, research papers and other communication material
  • Work closely with project team members to ensure full understanding of the scope, priorities, and deadlines of the activities;
  • Assist project leaders and/or collaborating partners to define the scope of research activities;
  • Collaborate with scientists at IRRI, collaborating research institutes, and the private sector to develop new research products;
  • Inform the immediate supervisor on the development of activities, image processing, and geospatial based activities.

3. Delivery

  • Ensure timely delivery of processed geospatial datasets and products;
  • Collect, store and curate data generated from the analytics; ensure the generation of quality field datasets;
  • Ensure the timely completion of high-quality research deliverables;
  • Communicate research results and new ideas in a broad array of outlets, including peer-reviewed journals, mass media, policy fora as well as national and international scientific conferences ;
  • Any other tasks as assigned by Supervisor and supervision team.


  • Master’s degree in Geospatial Science, Agriculture, Geography, Environmental Science, or other related discipline with at least 5 years’ relevant research experience in Remote Sensing and GIS in agriculture;  
  • Sound capabilities in acquiring, processing, and analysing a range of remotely sensed datasets, including multispectral, hyperspectral and synthetic aperture radar imagery, satellite and airborne imagery;
  • Experience in crop types mapping, vegetation phenology, cropping system mapping, database management and data curation, data quality insurance;
  • Proven knowledge of field data collection (including protocol development);
  • Experience in publishing research papers and writing reports;
  • Good working knowledge of remote sensing and GIS software, database and software such as ERDAS, ENVI and e-Cognition and drone image processing tools like Pix4D, Agisoft and other open source package;
  • Substantial experience in scripting/programming languages such as R and Google Earth Engine, python, etc;
  • Experience in flying drones;
  • Experience of any of statistical analysis packages and logical development development of models;
  • Experience working with large team and different disciplines;
  • Experience with working on multiple remote sensing datasets like satellite & drone images;
  • Knowledge of agricultural systems is a plus;
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Post location: The position will be in Nairobi, Kenya

This position is at job level HG14  and it is only open to Kenyan nationals. The position is a 2-year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes pension, medical and other insurances.

How to apply: Applicants should send a cover letter and CV expressing their interest in the position, what they can bring to the role and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to the Director, People and Organizational Development by clicking on the “Apply Now” tab above on or before 29/08/2023.

The position title and reference number REF: IRRI-GIS/08/2023 should be clearly marked on the subject line of the cover letter.

We thank all applicants for their interest in working for ILRI. Due to the volume of applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

ILRI does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview meeting, processing or training). ILRI also does not concern itself with information on applicants’ bank accounts.

To find out more about ILRI visit our websites at

 ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.

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