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Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Paris
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : SC 481

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 09-APR-2024 (Extended)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences’ Sector (ADG/SC) and direct supervision from the Chief of Section for the Small Island Developing States (SC/SIDS), the incumbent, in close collaboration with relevant colleagues from all Programme Sectors in UNESCO Headquarters and field offices, shall coordinate, monitor and report on the house wide programmes in support of the SIDS Operational Strategy and through six related Accelerator Programmes, within the context of SIDS-4 outcome framework documents, and with particular attention to the need for novel approaches to on-the-ground practice that consider the unique context and specific needs of SIDS. 

In particular, the incumbent will:

Long Description
  • Contribute to monitoring and reporting of implementation on activities (regular programme and extra-budgetary projects) and progress towards the attainment of the strategic objectives for SIDS, as outlined in the UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), approved Programme and Budget (C/5), UNESCO Operational Strategy for SIDS in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Outcome document and framework of the 4th International Conference on SIDS.
  • Support activities conducted by UNESCO’s intersectoral collaboration. Provide support and technical feedback to Member States in achieving the strategic objectives of SIDS and coordinate activities in close partnership with Category 2 Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO, UNESCO Chairs and University Twinning and Networking Programme (UNITWIN), UNESCO field offices, and relevant partners. 
  • Coordinate the development, follow-up, and implementation of the UNESCO’s SIDS Operational Strategy across the Organization. Ensure the mobilisation and coordination of UNESCO's contribution to the international SIDS review processes. Coordinate a network of colleagues engaged in SIDS-related activities throughout the Organization and ensure their participation in regular planning and reporting across UNESCO. Contribute to internal and external visibility through the UNESCO SIDS website, periodic publications on UNESCO’s action for SIDS, and by providing information to the Executive Board and the General Conference of UNESCO, and relevant United Nations bodies. 
  • Contribute to the work of UNESCO-programme sectors while coordinating and executing the Section’s work in establishing connection and dialogue within and between SIDS regions (AIS Caribbean and Pacific), with particular emphasis on raising awareness and knowledge by amplifying the voices of local SIDS communities and youth, including through SIDS-SIDS sharing of good practices, among other methods. Innovate, develop, coordinate, and execute training and capacity-building activities designed specifically for SIDS within the context of the Section’s programme. Lead and coordinate UNESCO's engagement in inter-agency collaboration with relevant international and regional agencies and programmes.
  • Mobilise extra-budgetary funding for projects’ implementation, activities and events, and contribute to and support field colleagues in joint programming and Delivery as One exercises within the framework of the UN Reform such as Common Country Assessment (CCA), the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCFs), Regional Opportunity and Issue-based Coalitions (OIBCs) in SIDS’ Member States.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Accountability (C) Communication (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Professionalism (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in one of the relevant fields of natural sciences, social science and/or development studies. 



  • Minimum four (4) years of relevant professional experience in the fields of natural sciences, social science or development studies, of which preferably 2 (two) years acquired at international level.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, implement and manage programmes/projects in natural science, social science or interdisciplinary fields.
  • Experience in implementation and management of SIDS programmes (regional or international).
  • Relevant work experience at the interface of science and policy.
  • Experience in coordination, monitoring and design of SIDS programmes.



  • Excellent project management and coordination skills, including organizing international seminars and conferences on development issues.
  • Knowledge of Results-Based Management.
  • Ability to collect, consolidate, synthesize, and analyze information from various sources.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment and with relevant institutions, intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
  • Experience in establishing and maintaining professional scientific networks.
  • Experience in fundraising and other mobilisation of financing mechanisms and building partnerships for international science programmes.
  • Proficiency in IT skills (Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.).



  • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of French.



  • Advanced university degree (PhD or equivalent) in one of the relevant fields of natural sciences, social sciences or in development studies.



  • Experience with specialized agencies of the UN system, professional NGOs, and/or organizations in scientific and technical cooperation.
  • Experience and/or service in developing countries in the field of natural sciences.
  • Experience in working with multi-stakeholders/international team for science projects.



  • Knowledge of another official language of UNESCO (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc. 

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 90 260 US $.

For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult Guide to Staff Benefits


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.


The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 


UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.


Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This vacancy is now closed.
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