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Researcher in agro-ecology in irrigated systems

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CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development and innovation.

It has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems for tropical and Mediterranean regions capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.  



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Science - Agricultural sciences



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Researcher in agro-ecology in irrigated systems

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Job description

Irrigation accounts for 70% of global water consumption and is at the forefront of challenges and strategies for adapting to climate change. However, there has been little research into the role of irrigation in the agro-ecological transitions and agro-ecological practices remain underdeveloped in irrigated areas, especially in arid and semi-arid environments.

In an interdisciplinary framework, you will contribute to producing methodologies for exploring new and existing agro-ecological practices in irrigated systems:
• a scientific frame of reference for agro-ecological practices to facilitate the adaptation of irrigation systems towards more sustainable pathways
• environmental impact analyses on these practices;
• practically usable knowledge and resources for stakeholders and operators of these systems (representations, indicators, models, etc.) to support their decision-making processes.

Against the background of severe constraints on water resources, you will contribute to the design, experimentation, simulation and assessment of practices that can improve water efficiency while preserving the integrity of the ecosystems that depend on it. You will assist farmers and managers in the implementation of agro-ecological solutions on the scale of a plot, a farm and at territorial level.

These activities will be part of a multi-scale and multi-criteria strategy taking into account:
1/ quantitative and qualitative control (and possible reuse) of water flows and of environmental services production;
2/ environmental impact assessments on the scale of cropping systems, farms and at territorial level;
3/ maintain of agricultural production and productivity..

The relevance of these agro-ecological practices will be assessed, taking current and projected hydro-climatic variability and the related risks into account, with a view to assisting with decision-making processes, facilitating discussions between stakeholders and initial and further training. Research results will also contribute to teaching modules in academic and professional education.

The research will be carried out in the field in partnership with water stakeholders, users and managers. It will essentially involve identifying ecological intensification practices suited to the respective environments (by means of interviews and field work), gaining understanding of the processes (experimentation, evaluation and modelling) improving them through co-design and assessing the impacts on different scales in order to produce useful information for the various stakeholders and for dialogue between them.

Desired profiled

PhD in agricultural science, specialising in agro-ecology.

Development experience: Assisting stakeholders to implement new techniques: participating in the co-design of agro-ecological solutions to improve the combined management of water resources, agricultural production and negative environmental externalities (pollutants, GHG); experience in tracking innovations and analysing practices would be an asset.

Experience in developing countries in partnership with stakeholders in the field and/or experience in irrigated systems would be preferable.

Experience and ability to respond to requests from lenders and consultancy firms for expert knowledge and project design.

Experience in conducting individual and collective field surveys and interviews.

Experience in initial training (using a flipped learning approach if possible) or continuous training.

Ability to adapt to a variety of cultural situations.
Ability to adapt and work independently and as a team.
Ability to communicate and to participate in multi-disciplinary teamwork.


After an induction period of a few months at the Montpellier site, you will be posted to Brazil or North Africa (depending on projects).

Position constraints

Computer screen work exceeding 4 hours per day.

Socio-professional category


Salaire base France, hors indemnités d'expatriation le cas échéant

27-37 K€


Job location



Après une période d'intégration de quelques mois sur le site de Montpellier, vous serez affecté.e en expatriation au Brésil ou au Maghreb (selon projets).

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