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We are hiring!

Sept. 27, 2019

WCR is hiring a Director of Research

The Director of Research is responsible for outreach to advance WCR’s research partnerships and to provide oversight of WCR’s global research portfolio. Responsibilities include partnership building, programmatic leadership including project management, staff management and strategy development.

The DoR is a line Director Position and has two direct reports. This position reports to the CEO and will join and work closely with WCR’s team of six Directors.

Research program management: 45%

The DoR will be responsible for direct management of a portfolio of research grants and partnerships, including through direct reports, and will provide scientific and technical guidance to WCR’s full portfolio of activities. The DoR is responsible for developing and overseeing project budgets, ensuring reporting requirements and relevant monitoring and evaluation activities are accomplished, ensuring compliance (e.g. human subjects research and environment compliance requirements), and all routine program management responsibilities. Responsibilities include identifying needs for specific technical capacity and developing scopes of work for hiring consultants to respond to changing program needs.

Research program leadership and technical guidance: 30%

World Coffee Research leads a portfolio of research conducted in-house and through partnerships funded through contributions of WCR donors from the private sector and publicly funded development and research donors. The DoR oversees this portfolio through direct engagement with partners, through direct management of a team of technical experts, and indirect management through WCR’s matrix management system of large global programs. The DoR is responsible for implementing WCR’s research strategy on technical areas including Arabica and Robusta coffee breeding, sensory/quality analysis, genetics, and agronomy with a focus on reducing farmer cost of production, increasing coffee quality and ensuring long term sustainability and productivity of coffee production. The DoR will ensure the portfolio of research is relevant to WCR’s clients, stakeholders and beneficiaries and will ensure the portfolio is composed of the most critical research and implemented in innovative ways to achieve impact at scale. She or he will provide scientific guidance to WCR’s research protocols and, as needed, will engage specialized expertise to provide technical review of WCR research activities. The DoR will also work closely with the Global Programs Director and Partnership Director on proposal development and program reporting for key projects, programs and grants.

Partnership Building: 25%

To drive impacts at a global scale, World Coffee Research partners with an array of organizations - advanced research institutes, National Coffee Institutes, supply chain partners at origin, and others to advance a global research agenda to secure the future of coffee. These partnerships are critical to ensuring the relevance of the WCR agenda and ensure complementarity of effort and coordination of a global research agenda. The Director of Research will cultivate and maintain relations with key partners to inform WCR strategy refinement and its implementation.

In addition to the above responsibilities and duties, the DoR will serve as a member of the WCR
Directors Committee that provides oversight to all management and technical issues and meets on a
monthly basis. As a Director of WCR, there will also be representational duties to represent WCR at
coffee shows, workshops, conferences as well as giving presentations on our work.


  • Alignment with WCR core values: Passionate, Gets things done, Collaborative, Critical thinking, Optimistic, Farmer-first
  • Impassioned and personally driven scientist who seeks to transform the current ‘subsistence farming-level-like’ coffee sector into a professional business and science-based sector capable of generating increased supplies of quality coffee for the market while generating a compelling livelihood for producers.
  • PhD (Ms will be considered with 10+ years of relevant experience) in plant breeding, genetics, agronomy, food chemistry, sensory/food science or related field of relevance to the WCR research portfolio with strong data analysis and statistical skills
  • Ability to work well with diverse partners including farmers, agronomists, advanced research institutes including universities, private sector researchers and their leadership teams, and government agencies
  • Strong organizational skills. Organization and good communication are essential for success.
  • Ability to communicate to lay audiences as well as sophisticated scientific peer communities
  • Ability to speak and write fluently in English
  • Strongly preferred: Experience in coffee science and/or coffee industry
  • Strongly preferred: Multi-lingual, especially Spanish and/or French

The position is a remote telework position. Travel expectations: 25% international travel Compensation commensurate with experience.

Start date: January 1, 2020

Interviews: early November 2019.

To apply: Please send a resume and cover letter describing your interest in the position and demonstrating alignment with the qualifications listed below for the duties listed above. Please send your resume and cover letter to with a subject line reading “Application for Director of Research”. Three professional references will be requested and reviewed prior to receiving an offer of employment.

  • Authors: N/A