event 17 juil. 2017

Vacancy // Research Assistant at UN University/UNU-FLORES, incl. Nexus Observatory project

The UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) is hiring a research assistant for its Capacity Development and Governance (CDG). The Nexus Observatory is an important project of the CDG unit. The goal of the Nexus Observatory is to facilitate the organisation of data and analytical tools to support innovations in research and knowledge translation for evidence-based decision-making.

category Jobs
Logo unu flores

United Nations University objectives

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international comunity of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU 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.

UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

The mission of UNU-FLORES is to contribute, through research, capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge, to the resolution of pressing challenges in the area of sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources (water, soil, and waste), particularly in developing and transitional countries. It aims to serve within the UN as the think tank on resources management and be internationally recognised as a major hub and intellectual focal point promoting integrated management strategies addressing, in particular, the needs of developing and emerging countries. The Institute is located in Dresden, Federal Republic of Germany. For more information please visit http://flores.unu.edu.

Capacity Development and Governance unit

Research activities of UNU-FLORES have a strong applied and policy-oriented focus, in line with the general mission of UNU. Translating research into practice, and the question how to implement management strategies, receives ample consideration. Therefore, the Capacity Development and Governance (CDG) unit at UNU-FLORES develops implementation concepts and management strategies, and focuses on governance of environmental resources and capacity development at the individual and institutional levels.

Nexus Observatory project

The Nexus Observatory is an important project of the CDG unit. The goal of the Nexus Observatory is to facilitate the organisation of data and analytical tools to support innovations in research and knowledge translation for evidence-based decision-making. In this regard, an important focus of the CDG unit is the development of methodologies for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and innovative approaches to capacity development that would advance the nexus approach for the management of environmental resources. Since the inception of the Institute, the CDG unit has organised regional consultation workshops, produced high-impact publications, and supported collaborative research based on agreements with UN agencies and relevant ministries in Africa. Important lessons have also been drawn from two rounds of online courses on nexus topics. The activities during the inception phase of the CDG unit have resulted in a renewed interest by external partners in collaborating to advance research and capacity development efforts with a likely emphasis in the following areas:
  • instituting a regional call within the context of the Africa Points of Excellence (APE) research consortium
  • typology development for organisation of data workflow for the Nexus Observatory
  • training courses targeting decision-makers to advance the implementation of Wastewater Reuse
  • Effectiveness Index (WREI) as a monitoring tool for SDG target 6.3


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Academic Officer – Capacity Development and Governance, the successful candidate shall carry out the following tasks:

Policy-relevant research assistance

  • Undertake original research with the objective of publishing in high-impact journals on topics covering methodologies for monitoring of drought risk and wastewater reuse.
  • Assist in monitoring developments/issues on subjects related to the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the UN and discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Prepare a variety of reports, presentations, tables, lists, graphs, charts, and/or literature to support collation of reading material for delivery of online training courses offered by CDG unit.
  • Contribute towards the development of a reader on environmental governance to support delivery of the UNU-FLORES/TUD joint PhD programme mandatory course on the subject.
  • Support fundraising efforts, including project proposal development, with a particular focus on the role of indices in supporting knowledge translation; training courses for nexus practitioners on monitoring methodologies for drought risk and/or wastewater reuse; and typology development for organisation of workflow for the Nexus Observatory.
  • Assist with interacting with other academic units to facilitate translation of scientific research outputs into material that supports policy dialogue on governance of environmental resources.

Tutoring and administration of online courses

  • Assist in managing student registration and respond to queries.
  • Assist in producing and managing content for the online course web page, moodle, and promotional material.
  • Maintain strong links between online courses.
  • Liaise with the ICT Associate to ensure the sound operation of the online e-learning platform.
  • Assist in tutoring at least two online courses on the nexus approach to management of environmental resources based on prior academic training.


  • Assist in the administrative tasks concerning the unit and the Institutes including organising meetings and preparing summaries of meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor or required by the need of the Institute.
  • Support knowledge dissemination on nexus topics through presentation of original nexus-relevant research at conferences/workshops.
  • Support innovations in capacity development by identification of relevant literature and didactic approaches for training courses targeting nexus practitioners.

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • a master’s degree in natural sciences, engineering, or in a social science field such as geography, economics, political science, or statistics
  • a PhD in a relevant area would be an asset
  • minimum one (1) year of professional work experience in the area of programme or project management covering issues of environmental resources, services, and/or risks
  • work experience in a non-governmental organisation or UN would be an asset
  • experience with academic tutoring in fields of relevance to nexus governance would be an asset
  • experience with drafting project proposals would be an asset
  • demonstrated ability of undertaking academic writing on the topic of data visualisation and transformation techniques in bridging the science-policy divide in environmental governance
  • proficiency in oral and written English is required; knowledge of another UN language would be an asset
  • ability to work within agreed timelines
  • a good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-FLORES, with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointment shall not exceed six (6) years. The successful candidate will be employed under a personnel service agreement, will be based in Dresden, Germany, and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged.

Starting date

September 2017 Source: UN University website

Cecilia Vey

Bulletin d'information

Restez informé!

Nous vous informons sur les projets, les évènements, les actions, les publications et les nouvelles en cours !