Visiting Program Specialist - Soybean Innovation Laboratory, Department of Agricultural and Consume

Job description

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Soybean Value Chain Research (Soybean Innovation Lab, "SIL") seeks a Visiting Program Specialist to implement new and existing programs across SIL's ten Managed Research Areas (MRAs) within the soybean value chain. The Soybean Innovation Lab is a technical team of soybean experts that work collaboratively to produce evidence-based innovations, technologies, and solutions to fulfill the research-for-development linkage to enable a successful soybean industry in the developing world. SIL's 10 Managed Research Areas (MRA) address all components of the soybean value chain including Plant Breeding, Seed and Grain Quality, Agronomics, Human and Animal Nutrition, Socio-Economic Impacts, Environmental Impacts, Gender Impacts, and Seed Systems. Researchers for the ten MRAs are based at the University of Illinois, University of Missouri, Mississippi State University, and numerous African universities and research institutes. SIL currently operates projects in 17 countries across Africa as well as smaller projects in Latin America and Asia.

Primary Function of Position
The Visiting Program Specialist will implement new and existing programs across SIL's ten Managed Research Areas (MRAs) including program development, implementation, and evaluation.

Major Duties and Responsibilities
- Implement a wide array of SIL programs and initiatives with independent deliverables, timelines, and budgets
- Conduct daily communication with new and existing partners based both domestically and internationally including development agencies, research institutes, NGOs, the private sector, and government agencies through email communication, conference calls, and in-person meetings
- Successfully collaborate with local counterparts (individuals and organizations) to ensure programs are implemented efficiently, effectively, within budget and timeline parameters and achieve stated deliverables and objectives
- Draft Memoranda of Understanding, financial contracts, Scopes of Work and teaming agreements with new and existing partners
- Coordinate program financials including drafting and execution of new contracts, sub-award agreements, purchase order contracts, and travel and service reimbursements
- Produce independently written communication content on SIL programs and initiatives for a wide array of audiences and mediums (web-based, print)
- Implement domestic and international events including workshops, symposia, conferences, and partner meetings (both in-person and virtually) and coordinate post-event monitoring and evaluation
- Fulfill reporting requirements for USAID and other external stakeholders focused on qualitatively and quantitatively describing program successes, impact metrics, and sustainability and scalability indicators
- Assist in data collection, data monitoring, evaluation, analysis and reporting for SIL research partners
- Coordinate travel planning, logistics, and implementation as well as post-travel trip report development and follow-up with partners and stakeholders
- Identify new funding opportunities and collaborations and lead grant proposal development
- Prepare and give presentations, both in-person and virtual, about SIL's suite of programs
- Represent SIL in domestic and international meetings, workshops, and conferences
International travel is required for the position.


- Required: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree

- Required:
o Experience with program coordination, implementation, and evaluation
o Capacity to work on multiple programs involving different timelines, budgets and deliverables
o Experience writing technical and non-technical pieces for internal and external reporting, marketing, and promotion
o Experience with monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects involving impact assessments and associated reporting

- Preferred:
o Experience with program budgets
o Experience organizing and implementing events
o Experience working in developing country contexts and/or with developing country partners

Knowledge Requirements:
- Required:
o Excellent written communication skills
o Excellent oral communication skills
o Ability to implement and coordinate programs efficiently within a fast-paced and dynamic organization
o Strong organizational skills, ability to follow through, and a strong work ethic

Apppointment Details: This position is classified as a 12-month, 100% time Visiting Academic Professional position located at Urbana-Champaign, IL. This position may become non-visiting at a later time, dependent upon funding and programmatic needs.

Salary: Commensurate with education and experience.

Proposed Starting Date: As soon as possible after closing date.

Application Procedures: Please create your candidate profile at and upload your resume, cover letter, 2 to 3 professional writing samples and the names and e-mail addresses or phone numbers of three professional references, by the close date of July 3, 2018,. All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered. For further information regarding your application procedures, you may contact Melissa Warmbier, 217-333-8859 or via email to [email protected].

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit

College Name or Administrative Unit: ACES
Category: Academic Professional
Title: Visiting Program Specialist - Soybean Innovation Laboratory, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics (A1800373)
Open Date: 06/12/2018
Close Date: 07/03/2018
Organization Name: Agr and Consumer Economics





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Job No:
Posted: 6/13/2018
Application Due: 7/4/2018
Work Type: