The Bureau for Middle East, Office of Technical Support (ME/TS) is seeking a highly qualified and motivated direct-hire FSL-03 to serve as a Natural Resources Officer for the Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC) team. The position is based in Washington, DC. The position provides expert technical advice on scientific research issues, particularly those related to human and animal health, marine science, and/or energy research. The incumbent’s diverse responsibilities include providing support for MERC, which reviews, funds, and monitors joint Arab-Israeli research grants, and identifying potential implementation mechanisms and partnerships in the public and private sectors to further improve MERC’s and ME’s effectiveness in transitioning research results into critical development solutions. This will include leveraging MERC's connections to engage academic, private sector, and regulatory experts in Israel and in countries in the Middle East and North Africa region to promote dissemination and uptake of research results.
Background: ME/TS provides technical field support to the Middle East region, facilitates technical liaison with other Bureaus, and manages programs of a uniquely regional nature. MERC promotes cooperation between Arab and Israeli scientists, engineers, technicians, students, and communities by supporting joint research projects to address development challenges.
MERC is succeeding in increasing direct Arab-Israeli cooperation and building science and technology capacity for development in the Arab world. MERC supports 30 to 40 ongoing projects at any given time, with each project including teams of researchers from Israel working with counterparts from one or more Arab countries on a single shared grant. Projects cover a wide range of topics in the water, agriculture, environment, marine science, and health sectors, with many examples of development success. Links with local public- and private-sector institutions help translate research results into development impacts and demonstrate tangible benefits of Arab-Israeli cooperation.
Responsibilities: The Natural Resources Officer, while working to fulfill MERC’s mission, will be responsible for the following:
- Provide technical leadership and program guidance on human and animal health, marine science, and/or energy research;
- Assess technical, cultural, regulatory, financial, and political barriers to the adoption of improved technologies resulting from supported research;
- Identify potential implementation mechanisms and partnerships in the public and private sectors to further improve MERC's and ME’s effectiveness in transitioning applied research results into development solutions;
- Serve as a technical resource for ME, other USAID Bureaus, and other U.S. Government (USG) stakeholders on scientific research issues related to human and animal health, marine science, and/or energy;
- Promote research best practices including identifying opportunities to incorporate appropriate economic and social- science approaches into projects, as well as non-technical factors such as ethical and regulatory issues and intellectual property rights;
- Conduct site visits to track progress and see that MERC recipients continue to meet objectives, and organize internal and external evaluations; and
- Provide general support for MERC, including proposal review, technical oversight, and liaising with grant recipients and other implementers on issues that involve technical determinations by USAID.
- Must be a U.S. citizen;
- Must hold a PhD in engineering or the natural sciences;
- Must possess a research background in human health, animal health, marine science, and/or energy;
- Must have at least five years of work experience in international development;
- Must have experience with the research-funding process, preferably prior work in a competitive technical grants selection process in an international development context, including experience with peer-review panels and assessing complex, multi-faceted research proposals;
- Must have experience facilitating research collaboration between partners from different countries and cultures, preferably in the Arab-Israeli context, including a strong understanding of the relevant political and cultural constraints; Preference for USAID experience and experience working overseas; and
- Must have, or be able to obtain, a Secret security clearance.
Interested candidates should submit a:
- A short written statement of interest;
- Three relevant professional references; and
- Copies of school transcripts.
Please submit your application information to ME Administrative Management Services (AMS) at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line:"FSL-03 MERC." Application submissions are requested by 11:59 p.m., July 21, 2023. Additional resources include:
Any questions concerning this notice may be directed to: