United Nations University (UNU)

Senior Scientist (Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services)

United Nations University (UNU)

Job Description

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, Conflict Prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of 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. For more information please visit www.unu.edu. United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of Research and Training Institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit www.ehs.unu.edu. The Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services (EVES) Section at UNU-EHS focusses on the vulnerability and risk of social-ecological systems exposed to environmental hazards. We develop social-ecological risk assessment methodologies to identify appropriate ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change adaptation (Eco-DRR/EbA) strategies in a spatially explicit and context-specific way. Resource degradation and trade-offs in the use of scarce natural resources, such as water and land, as well as the provision of ecosystem services complement the research portfolio in the overall context of disaster risk and sustainable development. Our research and Capacity Building activities aim at furthering sustainable development by advancing ecosystem-based solutions while contributing simultaneously to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Aichi Biodiversity targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Responsibilities Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the Head of the EVES Section the successful candidate shall be responsible for the following tasks:
  • support the management of the EVES programme with respect to its scientific profile

  • raise funds with German as well as international donors for policy relevant topics that also open-up research possibilities for the extension of the contract and for junior scientist

  • under the authority of the PI, manage UNU-EHS’ contribution to the UKRI funded GCRF LivingDeltas Hub; coordinate the work in WP 5 on the development of an improved monitoring of sustainability in Asian river deltas (Mekong, Red River and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna) https://www.livingdeltas.org/

  • publish research results together with other researchers at UNU-EHS and beyond in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters

  • maintain and further develop existing cooperation with UN agencies, the University of Bonn, and other external partners, e.g. the Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction (PEDRR)

  • supervise MSc and PhD students

  • represent UNU-EHS at major conferences

  • provide scientific, technical, and logistical support to the EVES section at UNU-EHS

Qualifications and experience requirements Required qualifications and experience include:
  • a PhD in a relevant academic discipline, preferably ecology, environmental science, forestry, agricultural sciences, or similar disciplines

  • at least five years of professional experience in research and academia, some of which preferably in an international setting

  • experience with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), e.g. research experience related to the SDG monitoring process, trade-offs, gap Analysis, etc.

  • experience with sustainability challenges of the low-lying coast such as river deltas or small islands

  • excellent team spirit

  • familiarity with UN and/or other international institutions and mechanisms

  • strong publication background in the areas related to the EVES programme

  • good track record in securing third party funding

  • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

  • fluency in English; fluency in German or additional UN working languages is desirable

  • experience in supervising PhD and MSc students

  • experience in organising seminars, workshops, and conferences

  • experience with working in river deltas is an asset

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation. UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. Contract and remuneration This is full-time (40 hours/week) employment on a twelve (12) month Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with possibility for renewal subject to satisfactory work performance and availability of funds, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years. Remuneration will be within the range of the PSA pay scheme applied by UNU in Bonn, at PSA 6 level, commensurate with qualifications and experience. This is a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. The United Nations University is a non-smoking environment. Starting date As soon as possible. Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (hrbonn@vie.unu.edu), and must include the following:
  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position

  • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations

  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/EHS/PSA/SS/85)

Vacancy Announcement: UNU-EHS Senior Scientist – Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services (211.5 KB PDF)

By email: hrbonn@vie.unu.edu
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