Vacancy for Technical Director, Global Burden of Crop Loss

Company Details

Vacancy for Technical Director, Global Burden of Crop Loss



CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. CABI is an intergovernmental organization that can trace its origins back to 1910. Our 50 member countries guide and influence our core areas of work, which include International Development and Publishing.



We have over 400 staff based in 16 countries. We have offices in Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK, the USA and Zambia.

Salary: 44,913-52,839
Location: Wallingford or Egham, UK


CABI’s Knowledge Business

CABI produces key scientific publications, including CAB Abstracts – the world-leading abstracting and indexing   database   covering   applied   life   sciences.   We   also   publish    multimedia  compendia, books, eBooks and full text electronic resources aiming to further science and its application to real life.



International Development projects and research

Through knowledge sharing and science, CABI helps address issues of global concern such as improving global food security and safeguarding the environment. We do this by helping farmers grow  more and lose less of what they produce, combating threats to agriculture and the environment from  pests and diseases, protecting biodiversity from invasive species, and improving access to agricultural and environmental scientific knowledge.


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Review Conference

The Review Conference is held every three years, bringing together Member Countries, key donors and partners so as to review CABI’s work programmes and to determine general policies and strategies.

Executive Council

The Executive Council of Member Countries meets annually in London. It has delegated authority from the Review Conference for the direction of the general operations of CABI, in particular the approval of CABI Board Directors, agreement on annual operating budgets, appointment of auditors and sign-off of annual accounts as well as monitoring progress with the implementation of Review Conference resolutions.

CABI Board

The CABI Board oversees CABI’s programmes and its general operations, as well as monitoring financial performance. It guides management on operational and strategic issues.  The Board is responsible to the Executive Council of Member Countries for the stewardship of CABI at the level of strategy and institutional policy. It is responsible to ensure that CABI operates in an efficient and commercially-oriented manner, whilst having due regard to CABI’s status as a not-for-profit organisation. The CEO and CFO are also members of the Board.

Executive Management Team

The Chief Executive Officer is responsible for managing CABI’s day-to-day affairs and the implementation of the agreed strategies and plans, with the support of the Executive Management Team.




Job title:                                Technical Director, GBCL


Grade:                                    Hay 7


Reporting to:                       Global Director, Digital Development


Direct reports:                     n/a


Functional Reports:          Staff members of the modelling & data science group


Key peer group:                 Sub-theme Coordinators Digital Development, Senior

Advisor Plant Health, Global, Director (themes), Senior

Regional Directors and the executive Director Global



Location:                              Egham, UK or Wallingford, UK




Purpose of the role


The Global Burden of Crop Loss (GBCL) initiative aims to generate comprehensive, authoritative evidence on the causes and quantum of crop losses worldwide at a national level, disaggregated by crop, biotic and abiotic causes and risk factor. This will allow agricultural research, policy, funding and interventions to maximise impact through improved targeting and relevance. GBCL is modelled after the Global Burden of Disease initiative in human health, which has transformed health policy, research, and funding over the last 25 years through better use of data. An initial scoping stage has been completed, establishing the demand for the initiative, gathering user requirements, mapping out the data landscape and developing the theoretical framework for estimating the burden. A technical director is now required to drive development and implementation of the detailed modelling and analytical tools that multi-partner collaborative teams will use to generate the estimates of crop loss and economic burden.


Candidate profile


The appointed candidate will have a track record of leading research teams in modelling and data analysis in an agricultural context. The job holder will interact with scientists of different disciplines and in different parts of the world. Even though job holder may not be expert in all technical areas of the initiative, s/he will be able to engage with the different teams, understand the methodological challenges they may be facing, and contribute to the identification of solutions.  While having an eye for detail, the job holder will also be able to see and communicate the big picture to different stakeholders. GBCL is a young programme with a big vision, so this role offers an opportunity to play a major role in the development of a transformative initiative. S/he will therefore be ambitious to use their skills to deliver results and impact at a large scale. The role requires creativity and innovation, and the job holder should be willing to explore new avenues rather than follow well-established routes.


Key accountabilities


·         to work closely with the Global Director Digital Development and the Senior Advisor Plant Health, to ensure cohesion, coordination and implementation of the initiative across all ID centres globally to promote the creation and exploitation of inter-centre ‘One CABI’ linkages;

·         to identify and develop strong partnership with national and international public and government bodies, private-sector stakeholders, other regional bodies or key individuals globally in order to establish productive working relationships with those who join the GBCL initiative (including negotiation of access to useful datasets with the data holders in the public or private sector);

·         to support new business development and meet income generation targets, working closely with the Partnerships Development Director, Project Development Group (PDG), Key Account Managers and external collaborators to grow and expand the portfolio of existing donors;

·         to provide overall leadership in the development and use of the GBCL methodology and co-chair the methodology working group in order to determine the technical expertise needed for the different phases of the methodological framework, and facilitate the formation of teams of partners with the range of expertise needed;

·         to review a;nd assess published research related to GBCL and its potential relevance

·         to assess GBCL data hosting needs and options, and develop a data management plan and establish the data committee;

·         to oversee the quality of all scientific outputs and support writing effective and impactful communication, publication (including the development of GBCL policy documents) and technical reporting in all matters relating to the GBCL initiative both within CABI and to external stakeholders and partners;

·         to represent and to be CABI’ technical focal point to promote the GBCL initiative regionally and globally at high level events including flagship conferences and workshops;

·         to ensure consistent adherence to CABI policies and procedures at the centres, including regulations on access to biodiversity, quarantine, HR and Health and Safety, financial and project management procedures, risk management and Intellectual Property Rights.





Experience & Qualifications


·         PhD in a relevant subject (natural or social science) and at least 7 years’ post-doctoral experience

·         Experience of coordinating collaborative, international research teams

·         Experience of modelling in an agricultural context using approaches relevant to GBCL

·         Understanding of data management processes, and the manipulation, analysis and integration of large geospatial datasets

·         Proven ability to develop fundable research proposals

·         Fluency in English, with knowledge of one or more other languages desirable

·         Excellent writing skills, as shown by publications in refereed journals


Personal Characteristics


·         Excellent interpersonal skills, with ability to interact effectively and convincingly with senior scientists and technical experts from different disciplines

·         strategic thinker with a sharp analytical skill set and intellectual capability;

·         Strong analytic and quantitative abilities

·         Flexible and creative in planning and problem solving

·         Broad interests, beyond area of own research and qualifications



This job description is not intended to be exhaustive. It is expected that the post holder and CABI will adopt a flexible attitude and accept that the duties may have to be varied according to circumstances, in particular changing corporate requirements and individual development needs.



CABI is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation or marital status.  No applicant will be disadvantaged by conditions which cannot be shown to be justified and selection will be based on merit.



To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter via our online recruitment portal at


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