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Programme Specialist (Science)

Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
  • Grade: P-4, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-23

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Post Number : 6ETSC0006RP

Grade : P-4

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Addis Ababa

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 23-JAN-2021


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences (ADG/SC) and the functional supervision of Director of the Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, in close collaboration with the Directors of Division of Water sciences, Policy and Capacity Building and Earth and Ecological sciences at Headquarters, the incumbent will act as focal point and in-house expert for Natural Sciences and coordinate the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) applications for natural resources management to contribute to the Africa union Agenda 2063. S/he will work within the framwork of UNESCO's Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5) and global development plans. In particular the incumbent will:

Long Description
  • Represent the Natural Sciences Sector in UNESCO’s contribution to STEM education and STI applications in Natural Resources management and environmental resilience as intersectoral programme, with the Africa Union.
  • Develop and implement programme activities, work plans and funding proposals for major areas of the Natural Sciences Sector's strategy and its corresponding programmes, projects and activities, including those conducted with partners, and oversee agreements and contracts.
  • Identify and pursue improvements to scientific systems, services, processes, networks and cooperation for Natural Sciences.
  • Ensure cooperation with other programme sectors for the formulation of interdisciplinary activities and assist Member States in needs identification, provide advice on cooperation between regional and international centres, on technical support to networks on the establishment of natural science programmes  and the preparation of studies, collection, analysis and dissemination of information and peer reviews.
Long Description
  • Advise peers, colleagues, partners and governments on policy formulation, programmes, projects and agreements, developments, best practices and emerging trends in area.
  • Strengthen networks, their activity and performance of relevant institutions for improved services and knowledge sharing, increased partnerships, joint programming and integration to regional and international infrastructures.
  • Facilitate communications and their interactions among themselves and with decision makers, provide scientific guidance and technical advice, propose and implement joint activities, establish centres for exchange and monitor, evaluate and report.
Long Description
  • Supervise the preparation of scientific material based on research and training findings and coordinate the editing and publication of subject matter specific technical notes, guidelines and emerging models.
  • Mobilize extra budgetary resources to support sector-wide planning, science policy analysis, Natural Sciences sector assessment and management among Member States in line with country policy priorities and develop a funding and communication strategy for an assigned area within the SC programme and engage with donors to generate additional extra-budgetary resources.
  • Supervise project consultants, experts, and other service providers, and follow through on the dissemination of results.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Building partnerships (M) Driving and managing change (M) Leading and empowering others (M) Making quality decisions (M) Managing performance (M) Strategic thinking (M) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS


  • Advanced University degree (Master’s or equivalent) in one of the natural sciences and/or related fields.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressively responsible relevant experience in the field of natural sciences, of which 3 years acquired at international level.
  • Proven experience in designing and implementing programmes in STEM work plans and managing scientific operational projects/programmes under STI.
  • Relevant experience in fund-raising and resource mobilisation through negotiation with financial Institutions.
  • Proven experience in coordinating STEM programmes, designing methodology and identify funding establishment.  
  • Relevant experience in assessing the impact of STI applications for socio-economic development.
  • Experience in UN Reform and gender transformative STI policy development and their implications for UNESCO’s programmes in Africa.

Skills / Competencies

  • Strong analytical, problem solving and organizational skills.
  • Proven resource mobilization skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (verbally and in writing).
  • Ability to build, maintain and enhance working relations with national/local authorities, cultural institutions and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
  • Ability to lead, manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relationships in a multicultural environment.
  • Discretion and maturity of judgement.
  • Good knowledge of standard office software (word processing, spreadsheets, etc.).


  • Excellent knowledge of English.


  • Relevant professional training in the field of natural and/or social sciences.

Work Experience

  • Experience in developing networks and partnerships at the international, regional and national levels.


  • Familiarity with UNESCO's standard-setting instruments and programmes in the field of natural sciences.

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.


For more information in benefits and entitlements, please consult ICSC website.


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 applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain 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. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) 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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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