Jack Koci discusses ‘Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID)’ – a new Australian-based network of early-mid career agricultural scientists working in international development.
RAID was established in late 2013 by a group of young scientists from around Australia. The group saw a need to promote international agricultural research for development, as part of an Australian career in agricultural research.
As Jack explains, “I grew up in a farming community on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, and always knew I wanted to be involved in agriculture, but I had no idea in what capacity. Going through uni, I gained a keen interest in agricultural research to improve productivity and reduce environmental degradation, but was unaware of the amazing opportunities to apply my research skills in developing countries.”
Visiting an ACIAR funded rice trial in the Ayerwady Delta, Burma.
Working at ACIAR, over the past year, has opened Jack’s eyes to the rewarding opportunities that a career in international agricultural research for development can provide.
“Travel to developing countries and seeing, first-hand, the daily struggle faced by millions of smallholder farmers and their families, while also witnessing the amazing positive impact agricultural research can have on livelihoods and food security, has provided me with the motivation to dedicate my career to this cause. If it wasn’t for my time at ACIAR, I probably wouldn’t have even thought about this as a career pathway.”
RAID is seeking young, motivated agricultural scientists like Jack to join the network. “If you are just finishing uni, and wondering ‘what am I going to do with my life,’ or if you’re an early to mid-career scientist, already working in this space, become a RAIDer and network with, and learn from like-minded people.”
RAID has just launched their website. “The website provides an online platform for knowledge and resource sharing, promoting opportunities (employment, further study and volunteer posts) and for sharing experiences. We want as much member input as possible – the success of the network really depends on the ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm of our members. To become a member, simply register online.”
RAID is also facilitating networking at conferences and other professional events. “We will hold our first networking event on Wednesday 27th August, 5:00pm at the Hotel Realm, Canberra, following the Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conference. Please register on our website if you would like to come along for a drink and a bite to eat.”
Jack Koci is an ACIAR Graduate Research Officer and a founding member of RAID.
RAID core management group (left to right, bottom row then top): Bonnie Flohr, Emma Zalcman, David McGill, Rebecca McBride, Jenny Hanks, Jack Koci, David Parsons, Dianne Mayberry, Rowan Smith.