IITA seeks a qualified Project Administration Specialist to support various plant pathology and mycotoxin projects under the aegis of CGIAR Research Projects and funded by several other development investors. One of the major focus areas of the work is on biological control of aflatoxins (www.aflasafe.com). The objective of our research is to manage diseases and minimize mycotoxin contamination to improve health and enhance income of African farmers and consumers. We achieve these objectives by developing, testing and deploying disease and mycotoxin management practices on the foundation of a good knowledge base on key biological, environmental, institutional and policy drivers that influence disease development and mycotoxin contamination. Our research is conducted with all relevant public and private sector actors in the crop value chain and with the health sector plus key collaborators internal and external to IITA.
The Project Administration Specialist is expected to work closely with principal investigators of various projects, and under the guidance of IITA’s lead Plant Pathologist in conducting and monitoring activities of various research projects. He/She will report to IITA’s lead Plant Pathologist and through him to the IITA Director of West Africa Programs.
Successful candidate will among other things perform the following:
RESEARCH PROJECT PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
- Develop and maintain plans to support research projects including task analyses, schedules, and resources needed
- Establish and maintain cost, schedule, and technical performance standards for projects and proposals
- Ensure activities are completed on time, within budget, and meet quality assurance standards
- Develop and implement plans for evaluating project progress.
- Coordinate group-writing processes and deadlines.
RESEARCH REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
- Monitor project adherence to the funding requirements
- Communicate status of funded activities to the principal investigators and research team.
- Maintain positive relationships with all internal and external stakeholders.
- Track expenditures and report on the status of the budget.
- Write financial and project progress reports as required by funder.
- Collaborate with PIs and project leads to develop, write, and submit annual progress and summative project reports
ORGANIZE PEOPLE AND RESOURCES
- Plan for resources needed to support project and proposal implementation
- Provide leadership for support team members, use participative management and/or consensus decision making as appropriate
- Conduct periodic evaluation of project procedures and assess resource allocation
- Schedule and conduct project meetings as needed
- Participate in strategic planning for project staffing
- Establish and maintain project management information system
- Assist in writing public awareness materials, including social media
- Keep aflasafe website up-to-date and initiate a mechanism of regular updates of project activities for communicating to relevant stakeholders
- Keep principal investigators informed of the status of the projects
- Collaborate with principal investigators to develop, write, and submit proposals to a variety of funding sources with different requirements.
- Collaborate with principal investigators on the development of the research project budget and authorize allocations to various budget centers within each cost centers
Qualification and Experience
- M.A/M.Sc. Degree in Management, International Development Studies, Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources Management, Social Sciences and Natural Science or related qualification from a recognized University;
- Project management qualification, ideally Prince 2 Practitioner level or APMP Level 7 with Microsoft Project. Having portfolio or program management experience is an advantage.
- Specialization in the area of programming and coordination is an advantage.
- At least 7 years of professional experience in managing large-scale projects with a strong programming approach in an international research/development organization
- Extensive international experience in working with governments, multilateral and bilateral development agencies and civil society organizations;
- Experience with budget preparation and monitoring, project activity monitoring
- Demonstrated project management skills
- Ability to meet tight deadlines for various activities
- Ability to prioritize work and handle multiple tasks; keen attention to detail
- Ability to communicate complex research results in a concise and engaging fashion
- Excellent spoken and written communication skills in English
- Ability to work independently in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, and multi-cultural environment
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Conversant in social networking tools
We offer highly competitive salary with equally attractive fringe benefits and excellent working conditions in a pleasant campus environment.