Proposal Development Specialist

Posting Date
2 November 2021
Closing Date
23 November 2021
Dubai, UAE
Report To
Head of the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization
Vacancy Type
Job Number

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture(ICBA) is an international, non-profit agricultural research center established in 1999 through the visionary leadership of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), and the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). ICBA is a unique applied agricultural research center in the world that is focused on marginal areas where an estimated 1.7 billion people live. It identifies, tests and introduces resource-efficient, climate-smart crops and technologies that are best suited to different regions affected by salinity, water scarcity and drought. Through its work, ICBA helps to improve food security and livelihoods for some of the poorest rural communities around the world. ICBA is an equal opportunity employer and appoints qualified staff regardless of race, creed, color, age, gender, religion or national origin. We demonstrate our commitment to each member of our team through a competitive benefits package designed to assist our employees to cover their needs and the needs of their immediate family members.

Job Summary

The Proposal Development Specialist will support ICBA’s scientists and the Head of the Partnerships and Resource Mobilization (PRM) Unit in the preparation of project proposals that meet the requirements of ICBA’s prospective donors. The incumbent will be a team player with the skills to coordinate proposal development exercises.

Job Responsibilities

1. Manage small and average-size grant applications and support the Head of PRM / Senior Proposal Development Specialist in the complex bids. This includes:

  • Participating in the planning of pitches and approaches;
  • Researching the contexts in which the proposed projects will be implemented and reflecting relevant information in the grant application;
  • Articulating clearly how ICBA’s proposed projects address donors’ objectives and national strategies;
  • Developing theories of change and/or logical frameworks;
  • Providing input to partner / subcontractor selection;
  • Developing project budgets, ensuring that all ICBA services are included as appropriate;
  • Flagging to management when full-cost recovery cannot be achieved and proposing solutions;
  • Ensuring that all grant applications are well written, concise, persuasive, presented in a structured and easy to follow-manner;
  • Ensuring grant applications are compliant with ICBA’s and/or donors’ branding guidelines and making the best use of graphic design to enhance their presentation;
  • Working within time and cost constraints.

2. Ensure a robust pipeline of business opportunities for ICBA by:

  • Identifying grant opportunities using ICBA’s subscriptions and proactive online searches;
  • Managing the alert system for open calls for proposals within the ICBA intranet;
  • Working closely with ICBA’s scientists and specialists to ensure that appropriate action is taken in response to these calls for proposals;
  • Repositioning past proposals in response to new opportunities;
  • Ensuring all grant opportunities are addressed timely and professionally.

3. Develop a thorough understanding of ICBA’s research areas and services provided to various partners and support the Head of PRM in the development and implementation of a strategic plan to enlarge the scale of these services. This includes:

  • Identifying strategic themes that address donors’ objectives and ensuring they are incorporated into grant applications;
  • Supporting the development of pricing models, a database for operational costs, and a repository of costing guidelines from major donors;
  • Supporting internal and external capacity development in project proposal preparation;
  • Attending relevant events to gather information on donor and partner interests;
  • Performing any other tasks as assigned by the Head of PRM.
Qualifications and Experience
  • University degree in development studies or a related field, preferably at Masters level
  • A minimum of 3 years of proposal writing experience, preferably related to agriculture research and development
  • Demonstrated ability to write technical scopes of work and develop budgets.
  • Knowledge of the international agricultural and/or development arena with focus on food, water, and nutrition security
  • Excellent writing skills in English; Arabic an advantage
  • Advanced computer literacy

Other Skills and Competencies

  • Strategic mindset, analytical skills, attention to detail
  • Rapport and relationship building at organizational level
  • Project management skills, problem solving, organizational and planning skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and multi-task
  • Results driven, innovative and able to work on own initiative
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