The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is seeking for an innovative principal researcher to join its headquarters in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

The ideal candidate will assume the role of a researcher responsible for spearheading and overseeing advanced research in data generation methods, aimed at capturing the present and anticipated changes in water resources and demands within the water-energy-food-environment systems. This individual will pioneer innovations in water data science, introducing novel approaches to data generation, such as leveraging Artificial Intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), digital twins, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. Moreover, the person will take charge of leading projects, offering guidance to colleagues, ensuring research oversight and quality control, fostering partnership development, and effectively disseminating research findings to achieve tangible impact on the field. The successful candidate will collaborate closely with a diverse team of multidisciplinary researchers and partners from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the CGIAR.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead highly innovative computational science research approaches on water resources, multi-sectoral demand, and water/climate futures.
  • Contribute to a growing portfolio of digital innovation projects used for supporting the management of water and land resources through advances in AI/ml, digital twins and Internet-of-Things;
  • Provide computational data science expertise in designing, testing, and evaluating contextually- relevant, innovative solutions in the fields of climate change impacts, renewable energy, environmental needs, and other water sectoral use areas.
  • Initiate, develop, and strengthen collaboration with technology organizations, research partners, governments and development partners, private sector, civil society, networks, and other CGIAR centers in Africa, Asia, Middle East North Africa and potentially Latin America.
  • Use research and innovation developments to engage and support policymakers, water and development professionals, investors, civil society organizations, private sector actors, researchers, and farmers.
  • Ensure that project-specific deliverables and deadlines are met and are of a high quality; manage project budgets; and work closely with relevant internal stakeholders, research teams and partners to ensure timely delivery of outputs.
  • Manage projects and mentor early career researchers at IWMI and its partner organizations on digital innovation with a particular emphasis on AI; and
  • Carry out technical trainings and organize workshops and learning forums to transfer knowledge, technology and build the capacity of policymakers and other stakeholders, including local water users, organizations of right-holders, including women


    Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  • Ph.D. in computational science, or disciplines related to the computational modeling of water science, climate science, or environmental sciences.
At least ten years post-doctoral experience in digital innovation particularly around AI/ml and developments in water, climate, or environmental data generation, in technology or research organizations. Established experience of leading, managing and/or providing technical contributions to complex research projects, preferably in low and middle-income countries. Experience of with and leading interdisciplinary and multi-cultural research teams. Experience of leading concept note and proposal developments in digital innovation. Ability to establish and maintain partnerships and working relationships with research or technology organizations, or data users in government or development agencies, private sector, or like-minded institutions. Familiarity with gender, inequality, and social inequity issues in developing countries in general, and the water and natural resource management sectors particularly. Excellent oral and written English language skills.


Demonstrated experience in high quality and productive collaborative research at international and national levels. Knowledge of scenario analysis, and other approaches and tools relevant for decision support within a geographic context. Experience in leading/contributing to the design and operation of innovative decision support tools to examine socio-economic, water and environmental impacts, and opportunities for sustainable and equitable water allocation and uses at the different scales


What we are offering:

This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary, an attractive retirement plan, comprehensive international health insurance, life insurance accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance, and long-term disability coverage. Internationally recruited staff who are employed at a duty station outside of their home base/country of nationality will also receive relocation assistance, a housing allowance, home-leave plane tickets for self and eligible dependents and education assistance for eligible dependents. The duration of the contract will initially be for a period of three years.

HOW TO APPLY: Qualified applicants should submit a CV, cover letter, and three (3) references, which may be contacted if you are shortlisted. We will be accepting applications through 24:00 (IST) June 15, 2023. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged, but only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

IWMI believes that diversity powers our innovation, contributes to our excellence, and is critical for our mission. We offer a multi-cultural, multi-color, multi-generational and multi-disciplinary working environment. We are consciously creating an inclusive organization that reflects our global character and our commitment to gender equity. We, therefore, encourage applicants from all cultures, races, ethnicities, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, and gender identities.

This vacancy is archived.

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