Terms of Reference – GDN Fellow (Research Capacity Strengthening in Francophone Africa)
The Global Development Network (GDN) is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and compelling experience to manage an ambitious research capacity building initiative in Francophone Africa. The initiative has a twin focus on strengthening research culture in research institutions, and opening access to research opportunities to young researchers.
About the Global Development Network
The Global Development Network (GDN) is a public international organization that supports high quality, policyoriented, social-science research in developing and transition countries to promote better lives. It supports researchers and research institutions in these countries with financial resources, opportunities for global networking, as well as access to information, training, peer review and world-class scientific and technical support. GDN acts on the premise that better research leads to more informed policies and better, more inclusive development. Through its global platform, GDN connects social science researchers with policymakers and development stakeholders across the world. Founded in 1999, GDN is currently headquartered in New Delhi, India, and operates globally.
About the GDN’s work with Southern research institutions
Since 2014, GDN has developed a unique approach to working with institutions on research capacity strengthening. We acknowledge that institutions are best placed to identify the goals, opportunities and methods that can enable them to strengthen their internal research culture and activities. Accordingly, we ask them to articulate their blueprints, and work with those who have the most compelling projects, by pairing them with world-class experts who have experience implementing similar approaches in their own/other research establishments. Both the GDN-appointed advisors and the GDN manager engage with the project, with an interest in understanding the internal processes, opportunities and barriers that support institutional change and a project’s success (or failure). This demand-driven work has proven over the years to be effective, but also requires a candid interest in understanding the limitations and added value of external/international support, and the broader ecosystem in which research culture within institutions exists. Along the year, GDN has also identified high barrier to access research opportunities (funding, mentoring, peer review, etc.) by young and early-career researchers as a systemic challenge for research across developing countries. This program aims to align and combine GDN’s demand-driven institutional support for research and a focus on opening research opportunities for early-career scholars into an ambitious regional initiative in Francophone Africa, covering institutions in 5 countries and fostering regional networking among them.
About the position
GDN is looking for an individual to be appointed as GDN Fellow (Inst. Research Capacity Strengthening in Francophone Africa) to run a 5-country regional initiative in Francophone Africa, in the period 2022-25. The Fellow will also contribute to leveraging the results of the regional initiative vis-à-vis the program’s main donor, French Development Agency (AFD), national stakeholders and the international community of donors, in view of further scale-up in Africa.
The Fellow will work closely with the institutions at the country level which will be selected, GDN’s Head of Programs, and GDN partners in the region, including the French Development Agency. This role reports to the Head of Program, with whom s/he shapes the program strategy.
The Fellow will:
Manage the selection of a broad thematic area for the initiative, in coordination with AFD, and of the Call and selection process that will lead to identify 5 institutions in Francophone Africa to be part of the initiative.
Manage, support and monitor the implementation of two sets of grants: institutional capacity building grants, and an add-on grant scheme for young researchers that will be managed by each institutions in their own country;
Manage quality control and provide quality support and oversight to the 5 institutions, including but not limited through the identification and mobilization of the advisors, also as an advisory group for the regional initiative as well;
Identify strategic outreach opportunities, innovating whenever possible, to leverage early wins of the program, and animate a debate on institutional research capacity building, including through the network of institutions that applied to be part of the initiative;
Support the definition of an M&E framework for the initiative that reflects the diversity of approaches included in the initiative;
Manage events in the region (virtually and in person, when possible), with support from the GDN team.
Support the visibility of the program with substantive inputs for GDN’s comms team.
Scope and lead discussion with external partners and donors interested in expanding the initiatives to further countries in the region (Francophone/Anglophone/Lusophone/Arabic speaking Africa).
A PhD, or equivalent research experience, in any of the social sciences. (essential)
Relevant professional experience conducting research in developing countries, and/or collaborating with
developing country institutions. (essential)
At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in managing projects with an international vocation. (essential)
Strong intellectual and professional interest in the topic of research capacity and its institutional dimensions, research systems, knowledge systems, research communication, research-policy interface and research for development. (strongly desirable)
Openness to adapt to, and learn from, the process of program implementation. (strongly desirable)
Willingness to travel internationally (tentatively up to 10 days per year, when possible) (strongly desirable)
Knowledge of and experience working with international donors, including AFD. (strongly desirable)
Fluency in both French and in English, in writing and verbally. (essential)
Conditions of employment.
GDN offers a competitive remuneration. The position is based in the offices of GDN in Clermont Ferrand, France, but the candidate should be available to start working from home if conditions do not allow office-based work. Based on candidates’ experience and qualifications, GDN may consider flexible working arrangements, particularly if based in the region (Francophone Africa). The capacity and willingness to relocate to Clermont Ferrand, France, is essential.
Duration of Contract
GDN seeks to appoint a Fellow till June 30th 2024. The contract is subject to Six month probation. The contract is extendable/renewable subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance. Starting date Dec 2021/Jan 2022.
Interested candidates should send the following paperwork via email to firstname.lastname@example.org:
an updated CV highlighting relevant experiences;
a list of relevant publications (including links), including signed blogposts and op-eds if applicable;
a brief cover letter (max 2 pages) expressing their interest for this position.
Please mention “Fellow (Research Capacity Strengthening in Francophone Africa) – Application – [YOUR NAME]” in the email header. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, and until October 10th 2021.
Shortlisted candidates might be asked to sit for a written test in English and French during the selection process.
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