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African Women in Science (AWIS) Coordinator

for the 

African Center for Aquatic Research and Education

The African Center for Aquatic Research and Education (ACARE) is seeking a highly motivated, energetic, and organized individual to administer and further develop the African Women in Science program, a program to advance women into the aquatic sciences and leadership positions in Africa. 

ACARE was formed in 2017 to create long-term, highly collaborative processes that strengthen science and increase local capacity of Africa's freshwater experts by enhancing networks, training, and collaborative projects for the African Great Lakes (AGL). ACARE’s work fosters systems that positively affect science, policy, and management for healthy African Great Lakes and the surrounding communities. Because women have been disenfranchised from work in the sciences, their perspectives are missing from critical solutions. Therefore, one of ACARE’s core endeavors is the African Women in Science (AWIS) program, a year-round leadership program for an annual cohort of eastern and southern African female scientists, with a growing alumni network.

Since 2020, AWIS has enabled early and mid-career women scientists towards leadership in the AGL region. AWIS provides online leadership and scientific skills training, and an in-person, North American immersive travel experience for early-career African women scientists working on the AGL and their tributaries. In the online components, participants develop and strengthen: knowledge and skills related to networking; public speaking, scientific writing, writing proposals, and building on their own strengths. During travel, participants broaden their professional and peer networks, engage in public speaking, learn about applied research, develop communication skills (social, technical, scientific, and policy-driven), develop leadership, and present their own research while representing their home country. AWIS includes a growing alumni network with programming that is under development and a blossoming mentor/mentee program. 

Because no one institution can address environmental problems, ACARE partnered with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in an effort to strengthen each organization's capacity to enhance freshwater science globally. To learn more about this relationship, click here. Additionally, IISD-ACARE partners with organizations globally and is advised by a board of directors and led by a team with a breadth of representation and experience. 


ACARE's Programs

​ACARE has initiated five core programs, which include: 

  1. Advisory Groups: Freshwater experts from the ten riparian countries of the seven African Great Lakes make up lake-specific advisory groups, whose goals are to increase information exchange, prioritize research, and help to coordinate freshwater research and management actions. Apart from regular, monthly virtual meetings, advisory group members meet in person annually. The next annual meeting is Feb, 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia.

  2. African Women in Science: An annual eleven-month program providing virtual leadership training and an in-person, North American immersive experience to expose participants to aspects of applied research, communications, and leadership.

  3. Monitoring: This program, still in development, will guide the collection of long-term baseline data on each of the African Great Lakes to better understand the status of these lakes, how they are affected by climate change and and other anthropogenic stressors.

  4. Education and Training: This developing program will make use of existing training programs and institutions, existing research stations on the AGL, to create a comprehensive program to train the next (and current) generation of freshwater experts on the African Great Lakes.

  5. Information exchange and coordination: This program is being developed to help collect all information, data, and publications on Africa’s Great Lakes to increase the ease of access to information, helping to strengthen overall science and understanding of these lakes.

Pos. Desc.

The Position - AWIS Coordinator

The AWIS Coordinator will coordinate and implement all aspects of the program, while continuing to develop and grow the overall program under the guidance and support of ACARE staff and leadership. Supervision, support, and advice from current staff will be ongoing as needed during the first-year's efforts of program development, administration, and execution, and this position intends to move towards being the primary leader of the program. 

Job Details:

Term/Status: Full-time contract position (30-40 hours a week) // Some weekend travel and work. Flexible work times across multiple time zones necessary (North American, European, and African)

Salary: Salary will be based on level of experience

Start Date: February 1, 2024 (or ASAP)

Term: Initial one-year position with prospect for extending

Location: Remote with travel to on-site meetings within Africa and North America

Overall Scope:

The AWIS Coordinator will administer each annual AWIS program which includes:

  • Facilitating the monthly, online meetings and programming for the AWIS program;

  • Organize and implement a 2-4 week travel immersion and scientific/cultural exchange in N. America, including planning for visas, travel, conferences, and program orientation;

    • Coordinate air- and ground-travel, and hotel/lodging bookings for all AWIS members and appropriate ACARE team members; reconcile travel expense claims, and update team on travel logistics;

    • Facilitate North American partner organization visits and interactions, advised by other ACARE staff;

  • Development, implement, and analyze the AWIS evaluation strategy, assessing current participants and leadership development of past participants;

  • Foster and expand programming for the AWIS alumni network with participants from past cohorts;

  • Grow and support fundraising for new aspects of the AWIS program as needed, including additional travel, short courses and other growth opportunities;

  • Build funding capacity to support the AWIS program;

  • Execute the application process for each annual cohort;

  • Other duties in support of the AWIS program planning, implementation, evaluation, and reporting.


Program development

  • Develop program travel and educational logistics;

  • Develop, implement, and update core sessions for the AWIS online program; 

  • Recruit, schedule, and prepare speakers for monthly cohort engagement;

  • Work with N. American partners to develop and implement programming during travels in the US and Canada;

  • Foster the AWIS mentorship component, helping to grow and foster critical relationships and outcomes;

  • Support a robust AWIS alumni network that builds relationships and ongoing support for past participants;

  • Implement and report on an AWIS evaluation strategy for both current and previous AWIS participants;

  • Collaboratively develop short courses and other creative methods to evolve AWIS needs;

  • Plan and implement a potential Africa travel program for the AWIS program;

  • Expand AWIS as needed in ways that are supported by desired outcomes and funding.

Program Administration

  • Implement AWIS program marketing, recruitment, and application process; 

  • Review AWIS program applicants with the AWIS Advisory Team;

  • Facilitate and host online programming for all sessions, typically twice monthly for 10 months;

  • Lead the coordination of AWIS participant visa acquisition for the North American travel component;

  • Work with ACARE’s travel agent to purchase flights for AWIS participants for all program supported travel, including international, regional, and local;

  • Secure accommodations for AWIS participants during program events;

  • Reconcile travel expense claims;

  • Execute and administer on-site logistics for program travel including liaising with hotels, host venues and restaurants, and providing assistance to attendees as needed;

  • Work with ACARE staff to ensure appropriate participation of AWIS members in Advisory Groups;

  • Work with ACARE staff to ensure appropriate participation of AWIS members at the Annual Meeting;

Donor relations and fundraising

  • Give talks to interested parties and donors, explaining the program and highlighting the need of the program and the needs for funding;

  • Develop creative ideas to fundraise for new and evolving program components.;

  • Develop proposals and reports for the AWIS program overall.


The Position - Criteria

Required skills

The candidate will bring the following set of skills to the position:

  • Strong organizational and planning skills, including an ability to manage multiple tasks ranging in demand, sometimes under tight deadlines.

  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills in English.

  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications and Google Suite.

  • Ability to work as part of an international, geographically distributed team, and independently with limited guidance.

  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills.

  • Strong public speaking skills.

  • The position will require travel within Africa and to other international destinations, including North America.


The candidate should possess the following qualifications: 

  • Three years of experience in project administration and operational support.

  • At least a Bachelor’s degree in administration, accounting or in a related field; or equivalent work experience.

  • Preference is for a national of one of the ten African Great Lakes riparian countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia)

Desired (optional) skills

Highly competitive candidates could have one or all of the following:

  • Working use of Swahili and/or French.

  • Knowledge of international development.

  • Social media proficiency.

  • Basic knowledge of freshwater systems.


Applying to this position

Application Deadline: January 7, 2022

All submissions must be in English.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted  

Resumes will be kept on file for one year

To apply you will be directed to an on-line Application form below. Here you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Cover letter describing your interest in the position

  2. Curriculum Vitae, resume, or work/education summary

  3. Two professional references (name, institution, email)

Additionally, you will be asked:

  1. Your level of education

  2. Some self-assessment questions

  3. Your familiarity with various technology and programs

  4. Other work experience

  5. Your motivations

Timeline for this process:

Application Posting: December 18th, 2023

Application Closing: January 7, 2024

Review: on-going basis

Notices: Candidates who are successful will be contacted by mid-January, 2024

Interviews - first round: Those who are contacted will be interviewed during mid-late-January, 2024

Interviews - second round: If necessary, a second round of interviews will take place during late January, 2024

Decision: Job offer is targeted to take place by January 31, 2024

Position Start Date: While negotiable, the chosen candidate is highly encouraged to attend ACARE's Annual Meeting February 5-9, 2024 in Lusaka, Zambia 

Because of the nature of the work at ACARE, specifically meetings of groups of people from various regions of the world, we desire our colleagues to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19.   By accepting an offer to work with ACARE, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.

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