International Atomic Energy Agency
Vacancy Notice No. 2012/128

Position and Grade: Soil Scientist / Plant Nutritionist (P-4)
Organizational Unit: Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Section
Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications
Duty Station: Vienna, Austria
Issue Date: 12 November 2012
Application Deadline: 24 December 2012
Type/Duration of Appointment: Fixed term, 3 years (subject to a probationary period of 1 year)

Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA's major programme on nuclear techniques for development and environmental protection (Major Programme 2). This major programme comprises individual programmes in food and agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The major programme's objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture is located in the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications of the IAEA in Vienna. The Joint Division assists Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and IAEA in using nuclear techniques and related technologies to improve food security, alleviate poverty and promote sustainable agriculture. It does so by coordinating and supporting applied research, providing technical and advisory services to Member State field projects as well as laboratory support and training, and collecting, analysing and disseminating information. The Joint Division consists of five sections, each with an associated laboratory, in the areas of: animal production and health; plant breeding and genetics; insect pest control; soil and water management and crop nutrition; and food and environmental protection. The associated laboratories are part of the FAO/IAEA Agriculture & Biotechnology Laboratories (ABL) located in Seibersdorf, 45 km southeast of Vienna.

The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Section and its Laboratory, assist Member States in developing improved soil and water management practices for sustainable intensification of agricultural production systems through applied and adaptive R&D activities, technology transfer and capacity building.

The Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Section is responsible for supporting the joint FAO/IAEA programme in food and agriculture through the provision of expertise and services in the area of soil and water management and plant nutrition. In particular, it supports research and technical cooperation projects in Member States aimed at the sustainable land and water management for improving food security and environmental quality through the application of isotopic and other nuclear-based techniques. There are four professional staff members in the Section as well as three professional staff members in the Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Laboratory of the FAO/IAEA Agriculture and Biotechnology Laboratory, Seibersdorf, implementing the subprogramme in soil and water management and crop nutrition.

Main purpose

As a member of a team led by the Head of the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition Section, the Soil Scientist/Plant Nutritionist contributes to the results-based sub-programme relating to the development of improved soil and crop management techniques for increasing soil fertility-soil quality and crop productivity, and enhancing sustainable intensification of agricultural production systems through the use of nuclear and related techniques. Additionally, he/she provides expertise in the evaluation of land management practices that mitigate/reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance soil resilience to the impacts of climate change and variability, and increase the conservation of land resources for sustainable agriculture.

Role

The Soil Scientist/Plant Nutritionist is: (1) a technical officer and research coordinator, ensuring the efficient and effective development, implementation and dissemination of research, training, and scientific and technical knowledge, and assisting in the evaluation and implementation of technical cooperation projects for the IAEA and FAO; (2) a technical expert, planning and conducting technical meetings and project review missions; (3) a facilitator, working with Member States to meet their national and regional agricultural development objectives, and; (4) liaison with relevant stakeholders on issues related to soil and crop management practices for improving soil productivity and agricultural resource use efficiency and enhancing the agricultural adaptation to climate change and variability.

Partnerships

The Soil Scientist/Plant Nutritionist engages with national counterparts in Member State institutions regarding project planning and implementation so as to ensure the effective transfer and sharing of technical information. He/she identifies opportunities for collaborating with appropriate UN organizations, particularly FAO, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and other international, regional and national institutions. He/she works closely with the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Department to ensure the effective utilization of technical inputs to both programme design and the implementation of field-based activities.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Contribute expertise to the implementation of coordinated research projects related to land management and crop nutrition, including the evaluation of research contracts and agreement proposals, monitoring the progress of projects, the organization of meetings and the publication of results.
  • Plan, implement, monitor and evaluate technical cooperation projects.
  • Prepare guidance and review information documents on isotopic and nuclear techniques relating to soil and crop management for improving soil fertility-soil quality and crop nutrition, enhancing agricultural resource use efficiency, reducing land degradation and greenhouse gas emissions from farmlands, and improving soil resilience to impacts of climate change and variability.
  • Plan, organize and conduct scientific and advisory meetings, participate in technical missions, and represent the IAEA at international meetings and conferences.
  • Develop novel initiatives and collaborate on relevant cross-cutting activities, such as the coordination of work with other international, regional and national organizations, including UN bodies.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • In-depth knowledge of the principles and practices of the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques for identifying soil and crop management practices to enhance climate smart agriculture and agricultural resource use efficiency, supported by refereed publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Well-developed knowledge of soil-plant-nutrient interactions and the influence of land management in reducing impacts of climate change and variability on greenhouse gas emissions, land productivity and environmental sustainability.
  • Ability to formulate projects, analyse technical and scientific information and to write clearly and concisely.
  • Awareness of relevant FAO and IAEA mechanisms and procedures, including coordinated research projects and technical cooperation projects highly desirable.
  • Ability to travel and conduct technical and research coordinated meetings.
  • Strong presentation and communication skills and ability to produce well-written technical reports.
  • Ability to work effectively in and interact with a multicultural and multidisciplinary team, including scientific counterparts from FAO/IAEA Member States.
  • Knowledge of farming systems in developing countries.

Education, Experience and Language Skills

  • PhD specializing in soil fertility and nutrient management with a first degree in agricultural science or a closely related discipline.
  • Minimun of seven years of relevant experience in the areas of soil fertility and nutrient management, of which two should have been at the international level, preferably in developing countries.
  • Experience in the management of technology transfer, capacity building and multidisciplinary projects in developing countries is an asset.
  • Substantial experience in the use of isotopic and other nuclear techniques in soil fertility, plant nutrition and integrated soil-plant-nutrient management, supported by refereed publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience in the management of multidisciplinary projects and participation in international research networks would be an added advantage.
  • Proficiency in English is essential. Working knowledge of Spanish and/or French is an asset.

Remuneration

The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $67 483 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $37 925*, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks' annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance.

How to apply to the IAEA

Complete an Online Application

* Subject to change without notice


Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process.

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