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Job posting // Senior Research Assistant: Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations

Sep 12 2022

About UN University (UNU) •

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

For the past four decades, United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

About the Institute (UNU-FLORES)

UNU-FLORES is one of 13 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing issues in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, waste, energy, and other geo-resources that are of concern to the United Nations and its Member States – particularly in developing and emerging economies. Based in Dresden, Germany, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, postgraduate teaching, advanced training, and knowledge dissemination to advance the Resource Nexus. For more information, please visit https://flores.unu.edu/


Under the overall authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Head of Nexus Research Programme: Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

Technical Support: Perform research and technical activities to support the Programme

Knowledge Management: Provide support for knowledge documentation, building and dissemination

Programme Support: Provide administrative and logistics support for the Programme

Perform other duties as assigned by the Supervisor or the Director

Key performance indicators

Timely and quality development and implementation of the assigned performance goals

Quality and proactive level of engagement with UNU-FLORES partners (research partners, government, donors)

Contribution to the positive reputation of UNU-FLORES as a reliable and trustworthy partner among research partners, governments, donors, and civil society

Qualifications •

A Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences (including geo-, bio- and other sustainability sciences), Environmental Management, Environmental Policy, Environmental Economics, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Health, Environmental Sociology, Environmental Psychology, Sustainable Development, or a related field with at least one (1) year of environment-related research experience with the Resource Nexus would be advantageous; or

A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with at least three (3) years of environment-related research experience;

Knowledge and first-hand work experience related to at least one of the following: (1) integrated resources management, (2) Global Change and its regional/local manifestations (e.g. climate change, soil degradation, biodiversity losses), (3) environmental challenges of the Global South and adapted solution strategies, or (4) development cooperation in an environmental context;

Experience with the scientific analysis of regional transformation related to either the environment, or society, or both (e.g. climate change, land cover change, socio-economic or political change, urbanisation/demographic shrinkage); experience with the coal transition or the energy transition, in general, would be highly advantageous;

Experience in drafting reports, communications, and presentations is required; experience of publications and social media outreach is desirable;

Experience and extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office is required;

Knowledge and experience of statistics, geodata management and visualisation (e.g. GIS) would be advantageous;

Strong planning, organisation, and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently;

Must be flexible with the ability to establish priorities and work within prescribed timeframes;

Must be an excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;

Previous experience with environmental issues of the global south, regional experience and familiarity with the world’s complexities is beneficial;

Experience with stakeholder engagement, outreach, and event organisation is an asset;

Experience with grant writing and fundraising would be desirable; and

Fluency in English is required, and fluency in German is desired; Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.

Duration of contract

This is a part-time (50%) employment for an initial duration of 1 year. This is a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, you are asked to:

fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);

provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and

answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Further Information •

Please find further information and more details in the offical job description. •

Source: Nexus - The Water, Energy & Food Security Resource Platform