Vacancy-Consultant Senior Research Scientist

Research on Sustainable Governance of Food Systems in Bolivia (South America) and Kenya

Call for Application for a Consultant Senior Research Scientist for a Food Systems Trade Study in Kenya

Date of call: 12 December 2016
Closing date: COB 31st January 2017

Project Setting
CETRAD is a research and training organisation established through a bilateral instrument between the governments of Kenya and Switzerland. We are based in Nanyuki, Kenya.
CETRAD is in a consortium of leading research scientists and institutions in Switzerland and Bolivia that is implementing a research project focusing on Food Sustainability in South America and Africa under the funding of the Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d Programme) implemented jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). The main objective of the Food Sustainability Project is to provide evidence-based scientific knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovation strategies and policy options that improve individual and aggregate levels of food systems’ sustainability. The emphasis of the project is on finding ways to enhance collaboration within and between coexisting food systems.
The project is structured into five thematic Work Packages, namely WP1 (context mapping, trends, and space for democratic participation); WP2 (institutions, actors, and perceptions); WP3 (activities, value chains, livelihoods, and food security); WP4 (environmental integrity and social-ecological resilience); and WP5 (integration, policy options, and dissemination).

Study Content
The WP1 team is looking to recruit a suitably qualified, dynamic, highly motivated, and self-driven person to conduct a study on how economic regimes impact on the food systems under study: local food system (maize); national food system (wheat, dairy, beef); and international food system (flowers and vegetables). The study will specifically look at the prevailing trade regime; government involvement in the food processing industry in Kenya; and the food standard regulation and intellectual property rights, as briefly outlined hereunder:

1. Trade Regime
The component on trade regime will primarily examine the prevailing trade conditions and endeavours to respond the questions “to what extent are the current food systems shaped by Kenya’s trade policy? And to what extent is Kenya’s trade policy embedded in / restricted by international commitments?”


2. Government Involvement in Food Processing Industry
This component will analyse agricultural policy with respect to assessed products and seeks to answer the following key questions:

Discussion: what is done, what is lacking?

3. Food Standards and Labelling policy, in particular GMOs
This component on food standards and labelling policy will focus on standards and labelling policies, particularly , but not only, with respect to GMOs, and enquire on:

Discussion from a food sustainability perspective: what is lacking? What is good? What should be improved?

4. Seed and input rights (intellectual property)
This fourth component looks at the intellectual property rights in the context of seed and inputs and explores in detail:

Discussion from a food sustainability / human rights perspective? Is there a problem?

Proposed Methodology and Process of Study
This is largely a desk study with no requirement for field surveys although some scheduled interviews are foreseen mainly with institutional stakeholders in order to get to relevant supplementary information where the desk study approach may become insufficient.
The study process will involve wider reading and literature review; intensive interaction and extensive discussions and exchange/sharing of information with other researchers (PhD students, supervisors and heads of this and other WPs; and also the consultants who are in charge of the trade study in Bolivia) of the larger R4D Project in order to gain relevant local and contextual knowledge that is already available, including on target markets; the concept of food sustainability, and links to the 3 food systems; etc.
The main interaction with the content supervisors at the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern shall be through skype meetings and email correspondence with the possibility of physical contacts during scheduled meetings and workshops here in Kenya. The main content supervisor at CDE/WTI in will be Dr. iur. Elisabeth Bürgi. With her, at least one skype meeting per month shall be scheduled, beginning first week of March.

This is a scientifically involving assignment requiring a senior research scientist and preferably holder of a PhD in law, political science, development studies or its equivalent. A highly experienced researcher who is well grounded into the topic under investigation who should specifically:

Terms of engagement
1. Project communication: Structurally, the successful candidate will answer to the WP1 leadership directly and/or through the local        Research Coordination Office at CETRAD. Details of project communication policy shall be availed upon appointment.

2. Timeframe: This is a short term engagement, calculated to last four months on full time engagement. However given the challenge of getting a suitable candidate who is not engaged elsewhere, the assignment may be spread between February - September 2017, thus making it a 50% engagement.

3. Level of remuneration: This is a very competitive offer and the specific level of remuneration will be negotiated depending on the level of qualification, work experience, and competence in the topic under investigation.

4. Payment Schedule: The successful candidate shall sign an output/work based contract so that payments are based on successful completion and approval/acceptance of agreed milestones and
products by the Content Supervisor at the WTO/CDE and Research Coordination Office in Nanyuki, as follows: 40% first payment will be made, upon signing of the engagement contract on 1st February 2017; 30% second payment will be made on 30 June 2017 upon submission of 1st draft of the report; 20% third payment will be made upon submission of final report on 31 July 2017; and 10% final payment upon satisfactory contribution, as a co-author, to a peer reviewed journal paper (8,000 words and bibliography) on 30 September 2017.

Enquiries/ submission Contact

Boniface Kiteme, PhD
Director CETRAD, and
Coordinator of Sustainable Governance of Food Systems Project, Kenya
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype address: b.kiteme