Council on Energy, Environment and Water Integrated | International | Independent

Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), New Delhi
Senior Programme Lead – Sustainable Agriculture and Ecological Services

Terms of Reference

At CEEW, we are deliberate about what we stand for (and what we don’t stand for!) as an employer. We are proud to build careers in public policy and social impact.

  • We offer strong visionary leadership – with emphasis on research and impact at scale
  • We actively promote leadership by initiative
  • We celebrate talent and ambition
  • You will be surrounded by smart people who will challenge you and help you grow
  • You will learn faster than your peers in other organisations
  • Curiosity and irreverence as well as responsibility come together at CEEW
  • You will get above-market remuneration
  • We provide a safe space for all
  • At CEEW, your life is your example for others

If you are someone with strong research background and with a passion to transform global food system towards healthier, more nutritious, more local, and more sustainable, then we would love to hear from you!

Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has been Great Place to Work-Certified™.

Designation offeredSenior Programme Lead

Reporting toSenior Management

LocationNew Delhi


We seek to hire a Senior Programme Lead to conceptualise, design, lead, and expand our work in the area of sustainable agriculture and ecosystem services. The individual would build on The Council’s existing work in this field and develop it into a full-fledged programme. She would identify our niche and strengths and would create and maintain our thought leadership in those areas. While building and leading a time, she would advance our research, policy engagement, and impact in the fields of sustainable agriculture, food systems, forestry, ecosystem services, landscapes restoration, and biodiversity.

Job Duties and Accountabilities


  • Lead research in the programme area as a principle investigator. Guide and provide relevant inputs to the research. Some examples of the kind of research ideas/projects:
    • Assess the major agricultural practices and food systems value chain stages in India for their impact on land degradation, GHG emissions, species loss, and forest loss.
    • Document global best practices to mitigate climate and biodiversity risks posed by existing agricultural, and food consumption and production practices, and analyse how they may be implemented and/or scaled up under various contexts.
    • Assess the willingness and capacity of various food system actors (i.e. farmers, certifiers, food processing companies, government, etc.) to engage on the broader issues of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Propose capacity building measures for these stakeholders in areas such as biodiversity and forest conservation, improvement of soil quality, agroforestry, sustainable production, etc.
  • Lead research on the impact of various initiatives or emerging sustainable agricultural practices on biodiversity, emissions, water stress, crop production, etc.
  • Assess and improve existing methodologies and frameworks in the valuation of natural capital and build institutional capacity on such methodologies
  • Research and design economic incentive mechanisms such as polluter pays, or payment for ecosystem services to address incentives-related challenges in the resolution of conflicts that are of an environmental nature
  • Leverage community-based participatory research to engage with the target research subjects to refine new project objectives, research scope, and build local capacity
  • Develop and lead primary surveys and questionnaires and to collect, collate and analyse responses using different statistical and econometric approaches
  • Develop strong monitoring and evaluation protocol to assess quality and efficiency of data collection and programme interventions
  • Keep a tab on policy and technological developments in sustainable agriculture and food systems

Management and Leadership

  • Take end-to-end ownership of the programme. Ideate new research concepts with team members, develop project proposals and budgets, build relationships with donors that align with the institution’s interests, secure resources for building and expanding the work programme, deliver high-quality timely outputs, engage with the sectoral stakeholders, strive for impact, and develop CEEW’s thought leadership.
  • Build and lead your team. Hire the best. Hone the team members to the best of their abilities. Stretch and strive and set leadership by example. Ensure that each team member is aligned to the programme and institutional objectives and mandates. Guide and help them in building their careers.
  • Lead the strategic outreach of the programme. Lead external meetings, conferences, seminars and be the face of CEEW in your programme area, while also creating platforms for your team for public engagement. Strategise communication and outreach of research outputs along with the outreach team. Ensure implementation of developed strategic outreach plans. Build deep relationship based on trust and credibility with key policymakers and sector stakeholders.
  • Build institutional capacity. Build institution-wide capacity for new research methods in ecosystem services and broadly in your areas of research. Proactively contribute towards building a young, fast-growing institution, which strives for impact at scale—in whatever way you can.

Selection Criteria


  • PhD or Master’s degree with specialization in energy, environment, or water in relevant disciplines such as economics, politics, law, international relations, public policy, physical sciences, sociology, anthropology, etc.

Professional experience

  • At least eight years of relevant experience in undertaking and leading research, policy engagement, and project management, preferably in the areas of ecosystem services agriculture, food systems, biodiversity, forestry, sustainable production, and climate policy
  • Demonstrated history of publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Strong track record of team management and project management including timely delivery of outputs
  • Experience in dealing with public and private institutions and building relationships with collaborators and government stakeholders
  • Experience in designing and leading interdisciplinary and inter-programmatic work
  • Significant field experience of working with on-ground stakeholders including farmers, agriculture extension organisations, communities, etc.
  • Demonstrated experience in raising research project grants
  • Have demonstrated thought leadership in the areas relevant to the ToR.

Main skills

  • Strong proficiency with various quantitative and qualitative research methods in ecosystem services and agriculture research
  • Deep understanding of agricultural science including its relationships with ecosystem services
  • Strong analytic skills and quantitative research skills, including proficiency in R, Stata, SPSS, Python, or other statistical software
  • Ability to apply technical knowledge to varied socio-cultural, ecological and political contexts
  • Strong writing skills with the ability to write coherently and concisely emails, opinion pieces, policy briefs, and reports
  • Strong oral communication skills as well as an interest in public speaking
  • Strong interpersonal skills, and confidence to engage with political and business leaders
  • Strong interest and ability to lead teams, to empathise with younger researcher, and to guide them


  • Ambitious. Curious. Adaptive. Proactive.
  • Leader. Comfortable with uncertainty. Strategic and deliberate.
  • Striving for rigour and impact at scale
  • Detail-oriented, while always keeping the larger picture in mind
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary and multicultural environment
  • Strong interest and flexibility to travel and be on the ground
  • Flexibility towards long work hours when the situation demands

Application Process

CEEW is an equal opportunity employer and the selection process does not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or caste. Female candidates are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates may send their CV and cover letter (in one pdf) to  jobs@ceew.in  with 'Application: SPL – Sustainable Agriculture’ as the subject line.  The last date to send applications is 31 July 2020. We will review applications on a rolling basis, so we advise interested applicants to apply at the earliest possible.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. We appreciate your interest.