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RESEARCH ASSISTANT - Water Resources Management

Dresden | Germany (Germany)

United Nations University Objectives:

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering 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. For more information, please visit United Nations University-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 recognized as 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 The Water Resources Management Unit:

As part of this year’s work plan, the Water Resources Management Unit’s work consists in a) seeking and applying for funds, b) prepare scientific publications mostly as review articles, c) activate and establish relationships with partners. The Research Assistant will be fundamental to keep up with the expected work load.

Water Resource Management at UNU-FLORES focuses on the following research areas:

  • Water availability – assessment of amounts of water in surface and sub-surface waters, amounts of virtual water (green, blue, grey), conflicting uses and management (abstraction versus recharge);
  • Water quality – assessment of types and concentration of pollutants (nutrients, pesticides, PCBs, antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals, etc.), effects of single and multiple pollutants on environmental health (plant, animal and human), management practices and ecosystem resilience;
  • Trade-offs (economic, social, and environmental) – assessment of guiding principles for the use and management of water (legal frameworks, socio-economic boundary conditions, etc.), development of options for practices and policies considering a nexus approach.

Under the authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Research Fellow – Water Resources Management, the successful candidate shall carry out the following tasks:

  • Contribute to the research, academic and capacity development activities in water resources management aspects within the soil-water-waste nexus;
  • Support the process of research/knowledge product development such as review and research articles, policy briefs, and technical reports, etc.;
  • Contribute to the upcoming research and capacity development work of funded projects and assist the research assistants in charge of them;
  • Assist in fundraising activities for projects including project proposal development, contacting and maintaining dialogues with potential donors, and other work related to fundraising;
  • Assist in the supervision of inters, visiting scholars, PhD students, consultants and other staff related to the unit;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • A minimum Master’s degree in natural sciences, political or social science, or law in a field related to water and water resource management. Candidates with a PhD degree would be desirable;
  • Minimum one (1) years of work experience in research in water science (quality or quantity), integrated water resource management, transboundary watersheds including legal aspects, groundwater management, or wastewater re-use and recycling;
  • Prior project experience in water resource management, including development and management preferably in developing countries and regions, is an asset;
  • Proven experience in drafting and publishing scientific papers in English is mandatory;
  • Experience with drafting project proposals is highly desirable;
  • Strong motivation and ability to carry out research in an interdisciplinary and international environment;
  • Proven proficiency in oral and written English including scientific writing is mandatory.
  • Knowledge of another UN language is an asset;
  • Ability to work within agreed timelines and to communicate clearly and effectively;
  • 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: Remuneration will commensurate with qualification and experience of the successful candidate.

Duration of Contract: This is a 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 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. Starting Date: 1 July 2016

Application Procedure:

Interested applicants should submit their applications by email (to, 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 downloadable from the UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
  • the email subject must comply with the format: Last Name_First Name_2016/UNU/FLORES/PSA/RA/28.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8).

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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  • Organization: UNU - United Nations University
  • Location: Dresden | Germany (Germany)
  • Grade: Junior - Internationally recruited position - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Administrative support
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Environment
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Administrative support
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2016-05-01

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