Zambia Agriculture Research Associate at One Acre Fund – Job Ref: 56

Founded in 2006, One Acre Fund supplies smallholder farmers with the agricultural services they need to make their farms vastly more productive. We provide quality farm supplies on credit, delivered within walking distance of farmers’ homes, and agricultural trainings to improve harvests. We measure our success by our ability to make farmers more prosperous: On average, farmers harvest 50 percent more food after working with One Acre Fund.

We are growing quickly. We currently serve more than 800,000 farm families in Eastern and Southern Africa, with more than 7,500 full-time staff, and we aim to serve 1 million farm families by 2020.


The Agricultural Research Associate will focus on agriculture research from Desk Research to participatory farmer field trials. This position will involve trial prioritization and design, trial management, analysis and interpretation of results, and recommendations for core program change and improvement. The Agricultural Research Associate will be on the Zambia Innovation Team.

The Innovation Team is the driving force behind improving One Acre Fund’s programs, products, and services to farmers. The position will be based in Kabwe, Central Province Zambia.


  • Desk research: Conduct outsight research and liaise with other agriculture institutions in Zambia and elsewhere to inform trial questions. Many questions need more in depth research to improve trial planning and success. Some example topics include:
    • Reducing the cost of growing maize for One Acre Fund Zambia farmers
    • Moving forward with trials and scale up of reduction of weeds pressure
    • Developing a strategy to build soil fertility and structure for One Acre Fund Zambia farmers
    • Best practices for designing crop storage trials
    • Lead farmers’ preference tests for maize and other crops
    • Develop surveys, focus groups, semi-structured interview protocols and other farmer engagement strategies, and analyse data to discover and evaluate new trial ideas for improving impact along our 3 major impact categories: Farmer profit, Healthy soil, and Healthy families.
  • Designing and supporting execution of Research station trials
    • Play a leading role in trial prioritization and design for all research station trials.
    • Prioritize trials effectively based on research and station results
    • Create impact models for each product or idea to be tested throughout trials
    • Create crop management protocols and calendars for trials
    • Support the research station team in executing trials and solving problems
    • Gather feedback from research station teams to inform further trial ideas
    • Develop and deliver trainings to research station teams
  • Designing and supporting execution of participatory farmer field trials
    • Prioritize trials effectively, particularly through use of desk research and research station trials results
    • Create planting protocols and calendars for trials
    • Support the Impact field team in executing trials and solving problems
    • Develop and deliver trainings to Impact field team
    • Data audit and analysis
  • Analysis and reporting
    • Following completion of trials, the Agriculture Research Manager will:
    • Carry out statistical analyses and interpret results
    • Draft trial reports
    • Make recommendations for next steps e.g. repeat trial, add treatments, scaling-up.


We have a strong culture of constant learning and we invest in developing our people. You’ll have weekly check-ins with your manager, access to mentorship and training programs, and regular feedback on your performance. We hold career reviews every six months, and set aside time to discuss your aspirations and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.


We are seeking an exceptional professional with 2-5+ years of experience and a demonstrated passion for and knowledge of agricultural sciences and development. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Experience with agricultural research and application of findings, especially in smallholder tropical agriculture.
  • Experience with trial management (research station and / or participatory farmer field trials) required
  • A formal educational background in the agricultural sciences or soil science. . An MSc is required, PhD welcome.
  • Strong work experiences, which may include a demanding professional work experience, successful entrepreneurial experience, leading a conference, starting a business, etc.
  • Strong project management, communication, and leadership experience.
  • Strong data management and analysis skills. Experience with Excel required; experience with R or Stata strongly preferred.
  • A willingness to commit to living in East Africa for at least two years.
  • The ideal candidate will have at least one year demonstrated experience working in the developing world, although this is not a strict requirement.
  • Language: English required.
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