Research for Development Coordinator

  • Posted on 10 July 2018

Job Description

The Pacific Community (SPC) invites applications for the position of Research for Development Coordinator Division located at its regional office in Suva, Fiji.


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Land Resources Division (LRD) provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) on all aspects of agriculture and forestry. This includes plant protection, conservation, plant genetic resources, animal health and production, agroforestry, biosecurity and trade facilitation, and sustainable systems for agriculture, forestry and land management. This work has two objectives: improved food and nutritional security, and resilient communities. The division’s services are provided through seven technical/thematic teams: Animal Health and Production; Plant Health; Biosecurity and Trade Facilitation; Forest and Agriculture Diversification; Crop Production and Extension; Genetic Resources; and Forests and Trees.

The Role – The Research for Development Coordinator will provide coordination and project management, working closely with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and other Research for Development (R4D) partners, as well as the division’s ACIAR project managers. The Coordinator will be involved in project inception, design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of activities and funds. The incumbent will lead and support research efforts across LRD’s four pillar programmes.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Facilitate, develop and coordinate strong working relations with ACIAR through convening regular meeting/discussions, and through joint programme planning and development; coordinate joint R4D consultations and development of strategic papers.
  • Provide support to LRD management through the preparation of project concept notes and the design of new programme initiatives relevant to LRD and ACIAR portfolios.
  • Monitor the progress of ACIAR activities and funds and make recommendations to improve execution to LRD and ACIAR management.
  • Manage the ACIAR capacity building agreement.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.

Key selection criteria


  • A degree in a relevant field, such as agriculture, project management or monitoring and evaluation

Knowledge and experience

  • At least eight years of experience in a similar role at a senior level
  • Previous experience in project management, working with donors and developing country partners
  • In-depth knowledge of at least one of LRD’s areas of focus within agriculture and forestry, with skills in research, analysis, and problem-solving
  • Knowledge of LRD’s mandate in the region, country forestry and land policies and plans, and national strategic action plans
  • Knowledge of programmes, such as Adobe and MapInfo; an understanding of spreadsheets, database principles and transport economic models or templates would be an advantage

Essential skills

  • Ability to collaborate, communicate and negotiate effectively with stakeholders
  • Ability to draft succinct, simple and understandable implementation plans linked to transport frameworks
  • Ability to use data and information management systems
  • Excellent report writing skills and meticulous attention to detail
  • Flexible approach and demonstrated ability to meet deadlines
  • Professional initiative and a solid work ethic
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent PC-based computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and strong Internet literacy

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage
  • Knowledge of other languages spoken in the Pacific region is an asset

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to communicate with member country governments and other regional and international organisations
  • A good understanding of the cultures and the working environment in member countries and the ability to be proactive in developing new ideas to serve and to address the needs of member countries
  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment

Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – Three years

Remuneration – The Research for Development Coordinator is a Band 11 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,942‒3,677 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 8,414–10,517 (USD 4,060–5,075; EUR 3,638–4,547). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

Application procedure

Closing date – 2 August 2018

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions. If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening Questions:

  1. As a research and development (R&D) coordinator, the principal task is to create economies of scale in the Pacific region by ensuring improved uptake of R4D results. Please give a few examples of effective R&D coordination mechanisms in the Pacific region.
  1. The success of a well-coordinated R&D programme would consist of a firm pathway for establishing impact. How would you define such an impact, given that ultimately the division works on behalf of the member countries?
  1. Please share a few examples of integrated R&D programmes that would span across the work of the division and link up with the work of other divisions. Please provide a few examples of operational inefficiencies that might exist in this context. How would you go about remedying/resolving such inefficiencies?
  1. A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?

More information

JD Research for Development Coordinator.DOC

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