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Job ID: 204133

Postdoctoral Scholars in Humanitarian Response in Pastoral Areas of the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa (Two Positions)
Tufts University

Date Posted Jan. 23, 2023
Title Postdoctoral Scholars in Humanitarian Response in Pastoral Areas of the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa (Two Positions)
University Tufts University
Medford, MA, United States
Department Feinstein International Center
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
    Community Health

Postdoctoral Scholars in Humanitarian Response in Pastoral Areas of the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa (Two Positions)

Postdoctoral Scholars in Humanitarian Response in Pastoral Areas of the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa Two three-year positions at the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University
Project: Early Warning Systems and Humanitarian Responses in Pastoral Contexts in the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa

About the Center
The Feinstein International Center (FIC) is a research policy center that promotes the use of evidence and learning in operational and policy responses to protect and strengthen the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of people affected by or at risk of humanitarian crises across the globe. The Center combines a unique approach drawing on both academic rigor and practitioner knowledge to support affected communities and the programs that support them. The Center works across a range of contexts in risk of a humanitarian crisis and receives grants and contracts for international projects and programs. The Center is based at the Gerald J and Dorothy R Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, located on Tufts University’s Boston, MA campus. The Friedman School is a rare blend of interdisciplinary nutrition research and policy expertise, and a leader in science, education, and public policy, whose faculty work together to address large and complex food systems issues across the globe.

About the Project
The Center is implementing a new three-year project funded by USAID/BHA which re-examines early warning systems and humanitarian responses in pastoral areas across the Sudano-Sahel and Greater Horn of Africa. Many of the crises in these dryland locations are driven by a combination of climatic and conflict factors and are often complex and protracted. While pastoralism is well adapted to cope with drought and rainfall variations (both seasonally and annually), multi-year droughts, rising temperatures, extended conflicts, and overlapping drought and conflict conditions pose greater challenges to the adaptability and resiliency of pastoral systems. Local systems of reciprocal support and exchange exist to mitigate the effects, but humanitarian assistance from external sources is frequently required when the shock is widespread, prolonged, or multi-faceted. It is thus critical to have early warning systems and integrated humanitarian interventions that are tailored to the unique needs and diverse contexts of pastoral communities and the dryland areas that they inhabit. This project is in two phases. The first phase, ending in September 2023, entails the production of desk studies on key topics and the selection of four case study countries. The second phase runs for two years and entails research with local partners in the selected countries.

About the Opportunity
The Center will recruit two post-doctoral scholars to work fulltime on this project. The postdoctoral scholar will work in a team-based approach to achieve the project aims. The post-docs will work on all aspects of the project, including leading the desk studies, working with the team to determine the case study selections and partners, conducting research in the case study locations, and leading the data 2 analysis, writing, and presentation of final results. The post-docs will work closely with the Center faculty engaged in this study, namely Drs. Elizabeth Stites, Paul Howe, Anastasia Marshak, Helen Young and Daniel Maxwell. The positions are to run until September 30, 2025, with an initial 12-month hire with renewal conditional on performance. The position will be based in Boston, Massachusetts. We encourage candidates of any nationality to apply.

Duties & Responsibilities
Dr. Elizabeth Stites will serve as the primary supervisor of the Postdoctoral Scholars, who will also work with the other investigators listed above. A Program Manager will assist with day-to-day logistics, management, and coordination of the project. The Postdoctoral Scholars will have the unique opportunity to join a team of multidisciplinary experts working on different components of pastoral livelihood systems, conflict, early warning systems, and humanitarian response. A major emphasis will be placed on designing and leading original research, career development, and transition toward an independent research career.

Key responsibilities of the Postdoctoral Scholars will include:
Leading the desk studies and contributing to the landscape review in Phase I of the study. This will entail literature review, analysis, writing and managing the contributions of the broader team.
In conjunction with the team, selecting and justifying the four case study selections for Phase II of the study. The expertise and interests of the post-docs will be one of the factors considered in determining the selection of the case study locations.
Designing the studies to take place in the case study locations, including selecting appropriate local partners, designing tools, piloting technological innovations where appropriate, applying for national ethical approvals, and training local investigators.
Managing the local partners in conjunction with the program manager and the PIs.
Overseeing and participating in the collection of primary data in conjunction with the local partner organizations and local investigators.
In conjunction with the local partners, analyzing the data from the case study locations and writing the reports arising from the data analysis.
Contributing to the provision of real-time advisory services to practitioners responding to crises.
Presenting findings to local, national, international and donor audiences. Developing peer-reviewed publications.
Supervising graduate student and intern projects as required.
Engaging in other relevant duties as required.

Required education, experience and skills
Applicants must have a doctoral degree and experience (academic or practical) in African pastoral or dryland systems, early warning systems (conflict and/or climate), emergency nutrition or food security, and/or humanitarian response. Candidates should have a record of publications demonstrating their skills and experiences in conducting research and analysis in these areas or topics. Candidates must have excellent English written and oral communication skills, proven ability to collect and synthesis large amounts of secondary data, primary research mixed-methods experience with local populations (including participatory methods), experience of working with diverse partners, and the ability to work well independently and as part of a team with collaborators.

Preferred education, experience, and skills
Formal coursework and research experience are preferred in areas relevant to the research, including livelihood systems in dryland areas, conflict, climate adaptation, humanitarian response and emergency nutrition, gender, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, and the use of digital technologies for data analysis and visualization. Previous experience and/or fieldwork in pastoral contexts in the Sudano- Sahel and/or Greater Horn of Africa would be a major benefit. Preference is given to those with doctoral degrees awarded in the past five years.

Application Instructions
Application should include
1. Cover letter describing previous achievements, research interests, career goals, and why the candidate is suitable for this position (maximum 2 pages),
2. CV including a list of relevant publications.
3. Official copy of academic transcript(s) from undergraduate and graduate studies.
4. Three formal reference letters.

Applications should be submitted to Anna Ronell at by February 1, 2023. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Finalists will be interviewed via video conference and references contacted. A competitive salary, benefits, and travel opportunities in the interdisciplinary environment at the Feinstein International Center and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy are offered. Position available starting in January 2023. Candidates from all over the world are encouraged to apply who are willing to be primarily based in the United States, at the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA.
Location Boston, MA
Open Date TBD

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Tufts University, founded in 1852, prioritizes quality teaching, highly competitive basic and applied research, and a commitment to active citizenship locally, regionally, and globally. Tufts University has also committed to becoming an anti-racist institution and prides itself on the continuous improvement of diversity, equity and inclusion work. Current and prospective employees of the university are expected to have and continuously develop skill in, and disposition for, positively engaging with a diverse population of faculty, staff, and students. Tufts University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. We are committed to increasing the diversity of our faculty and staff and fostering their success when hired. Members of underrepresented groups are welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. See the University’s Non-Discrimination statement and policy here If you are an applicant with a disability who is unable to use our online tools to search and apply for jobs, please contact us by calling the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 617-627-3298 or at Applicants can learn more about requesting reasonable accommodations at

Position Type: PostdoctoralPosition Location: Boston, Massachusetts

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