Research Assistant

Research Assistant, FOOD SYSTEMS (Hanoi, Vietnam)

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) works to reduce hunger and poverty, and improve human nutrition in the tropics, through research aimed at achieving a sustainable food future. CIAT is a member of the CGIAR (, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for a food secure future. CIAT’s research focuses on increasing productivity of key tropical crops, reversing soil and land degradation, and using information to foster better decisions about issues such as climate change and environmental management. CIAT engages with a broad range of institutions and groups for collaborative research, capacity building and knowledge networking in Asia.

CIAT has engaged on a new Sustainable Food Systems initiative. The purpose of the initiative is to help guide food systems toward an equitable and sustainable future, against a background of rapid globalization and urbanization, which have profound impacts on human diets. Through research on shifting patterns in food delivery and consumption, CIAT will be developing new knowledge and interventions that will strengthen Vietnam’s ability to provide all urban and rural consumers with access to healthy food in a sustainable way.

CIAT Asia is also involved in the implementing of the project flagship 1 “Food Systems for Healthy Diets” (FSHD) as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, or CRP-A4NH, led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In Vietnam research in this FSHD flagship will focus on a dynamic analysis of the transformation of food systems and diet transitions at regional level. It will seek to understand not only the impacts and effectiveness of specific types of policy interventions and business innovations in relation to food systems for different target populations, but also their possible environmental and economic trade-offs. .

The Position:

CIAT is seeking a highly innovative and motivated Research Assistant to work with the Food System’s research team. The successful candidate will support and co-implement research, manage and analyze data, coordinate and communicate with key stakeholders under a broad portfolio of food system research in Vietnam.

Job duties will include survey implementation, innovative data capture (e.g. through crowd sourcing), exploring public databases, quantitative and qualitative data management and analysis, support to multi-stakeholder facilitation, literature reviews, and support to preparation of publications and presentations.  The successful candidate will work with CIAT-Asia’s Food Systems Theme Coordinator and research team, as well as national governmental and civil society partners. Opportunities exist for co-authored publications, conference presentations and travel within Vietnam.

Essential Duties:

Specific tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Provide research, analytical and preparation support for surveys, experiments, use of publically available data, and novel data capture designs (i.e. citizen science).
  • Data management, curation and statistical analysis.
  • Assist with the coordination process of food system research in Vietnam from design, implementation to analysis.
  • Assist with stakeholder engagement and research implementation for food system’s research in Vietnam.
  • Contribute to scientific publications and presentations.
  • Support activities related to knowledge mobilization with CIAT’s communication unit.
  • Travel, as needed, within Vietnam.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Human Nutrition, Food Processing, Value Chains or related field, or Development Studies, Agricultural or Environmental Economics, or Political Sciences.
  • Minimum of three years of relevant post-Masters’ work experience.
  • Experience using statistical software packages.
  • Excellent spoken and written English; good written skills are crucial.
  • Excellent communication and coordination skills.
  • Ability to work independently, and pay close attention to detail.
  • Good interpersonal skills, high energy, ability to multi-task and work well with people.
  • Willingness and ability to travel within Vietnam, including to rural areas.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience working with research, government and development institutions in Vietnam.
  • Experience working with international and national researchers will be an advantage.
  • Experience with and/or exposure to research methods.
  • Knowledge of agriculture, nutrition or health programmes, and policies, in Vietnam.

Terms of employment:

This is a nationally recruited position for a one-year renewable appointment. The position will be based at the CIAT Asia regional office in Hanoi, Vietnam, and will report directly to CIAT’s Food Systems theme coordinator. The initial renewable contract will be for up to one (1) year, subject to a probation period of three (3) months, and is renewable depending on performance and availability of resources. CIAT offers a multicultural, collegial research environment with competitive salary and excellent benefits. CIAT is an equal opportunity employer, and strives for staff diversity in gender and nationality.


Applicants are invited to send a cover letter illustrating their suitability for the above position against the listed qualifications, competencies, skills together with a detailed curriculum vitae, including names and addresses of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience. All correspondence should be addressed to the CIAT Human Resources Office to Ms. Douangsavanh Chanthana ([email protected]) and clearly indicate “Research Assistant – Food Systems”.

Closing date for applications: March 22, 2017, or until a suitable candidate is identified.

Pre-application inquiries may be addressed to the Food Systems theme coordinator ([email protected])

We invite you to learn more at: OR OR

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Application Deadline: 
Wed, 2017-03-22