Data Scientist – Big Data Analytics and Yield Modeling

Data Scientist – Big Data Analytics and Yield Modeling

CIAT exists to advance science for a food secure, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable future. 

The Data Scientist position will help farmers around the world benefit from CIAT’s research on climate and environment. This position will work on projects in the land-use sector that seek to understand the impact and opportunities that climate change will have on their specific crops and subsequent downstream operations. Global companies buying from farmers around the world have years of farmer data, but need help to interpret the role of climate conditions and variability to drive yield projections. The Data Scientist will work in multi-disciplinary team that helps these companies interpret and apply the science to specific crops and supply chains and therefore incorporate the latest research methods and scientific expertise to future-proof their sourcing strategies.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated experience conducting exploratory analyses using very large, diverse datasets, has previous experience in climate and environmental/agricultural fields and is motivated by complex problems. They will be a self-starter, passionate and motivated by the environmental and social impact potential of their work.

Location: Various options available across Africa, Asia and Latin America


Key Responsibilities

    • Design experiments to answer targeted questions and conduct exploratory data analysis
    • Analyze and judge the quality of data produced and work with the project team to resolve issues
    • Present and visualize interim and final results of analyses
    • Implement and test algorithms and techniques relevant to achieving project objectives
    • Manipulate, transform, and analyze abstract data structures
    • Collaborate with other scientists and engineers in developing models to diagnose and/or predict patterns of yield performance through a variety of modeling approaches
    • Assist with high-level analysis, design, and code reviews
    • Prepare deliverables and present results to client management with the highest level of professional standards


  • Travel (post-Covid19)and adapt to unique characteristics of diverse geographies



Key Qualifications

  • PhD degree or MS with 2 years of relevant work experience or BSc degree with 3 years of relevant work experience in Computer Science, Mathematics, or other physical science involving computationally intensive research and advanced statistics
  • Skilled in the use of R or Python for research
  • At last two years of experience with exploratory Big Data analysis through the use of technologies such as Tableau, Hadoop, MapReduce, or Spark
  • Strong drive to learn new topics and skills and to see research and ideas having positive impact in practice
  • Proven record of leadership in a work setting and/or through extracurricular activities
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Ability to communicate complex ideas effectively, verbally and in writing, in English
  • Willing to travel (post-Covid19) and enjoy working in an international environment


About CIAT

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture ( develops technologies, innovative methods and research-based solutions in agriculture and the environment, in order to increase prosperity and improve human nutrition for a sustainable food future. CIAT conducts research for development primarily in tropical regions of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium (, a global research partnership for a food secure future. CIAT recently formed an alliance with Bioversity International, strengthening the role of genetic diversity in food and ecosystems for resilience.


Why you’ll love working here

CIAT’s work culture is defined by a collegial, highly diverse and international team of people who are united around a common cause of using research to address serious threats to environment, food security and vulnerability. Curiosity, idealism and humility are shared values across CIAT. 


CIAT offers:

  • Attractive compensation package that is commensurate with experience
  • Personal development opportunities such as training, conference attendance and continuing education
  • Comprehensive health insurance and attractive benefits for employees and their families
  • An environment which values work life balance along with the career growth



To be considered for this position, please send an email to with the subject line “Data Scientist”. In your email, please include:

  1. A cover letter illustrating your motivation to apply and suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications and work responsibilities, and;
  2. A detailed curriculum vitae, including the names and email addresses of two professional referees who have worked with you and are knowledgeable about your skills and professional abilities.

Rolling application deadline. We will close the position as soon as the desired candidate is identified.

This recruitment notice is posted on September 12th 2020

Candidates have to confirm having received the recruitment information through the recruiting channel NGO Recruitment in the application letter for this position

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