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Research and Communication Associate

Hamilton (Canada)

  • Organization: UNU - United Nations University
  • Location: Hamilton (Canada)
  • Grade: PSA - Personnel Service Agreement - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Water Resource Management
    • Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
    • Environment
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-21

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United Nations University 

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 

United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

The UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health ( is a member of the UNU family of organizations. Its vision is a world free of water problems where sustainable human development and environmental health and security are assured for all. Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges that are of concern to the United Nations, its Member States, and their people. UNU-INWEH pursues its mission through critical analysis and synthesis of existing bodies of scientific discovery; targeted research that identifies emerging policy issues; application of on-the-ground scalable science-based solutions to water issues; and global outreach. UNU-INWEH is the only entirely-water focused Institute within the UNU System, and the only entirely water-related UN entity in Canada. UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University.

UNU-INWEH works on four broadly defined, interconnected thematic areas: i) accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs; ii) activating a technology revolution for water security in the Global South; iii) advancing gender equality for effective water management; and iv) managing water- and climate- related risks for improved water security (UNU-INWEH-Strategic-Plan). The institute focuses primarily on global water issues and their implications for developing countries.



Under the overall supervision of UNU-INWEH Director or Assistant Director the Research and Communications (Digital) Associate will develop water information tools and resources for use by water professionals and policymakers and provide design support, manage UNU-INWEH’s website and social media including, but not limited to the following:

  • Contribute to the third phase of the project “Accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs” ( This is a mature initiative that focuses on provision of tools to UN Member States to accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. The primary activity is to roll out the earlier developed SDG Policy Support System (SDG-PSS: in more countries, from the current 30 to a target of 50 by the end of 2022. Play a key role in the continuing revision and refinement of the SDG-PSS in multiple languages based on participating countries’ feedback.

  • Facilitate partner communications and information exchange within the above project. Assist with logistical arrangements for project workshops, where needed, serving as the primary rapporteur at the project meetings and preparing minutes, reports and other documents.

  • Contribute to analyses and syntheses of the state of knowledge on the key global water issues undertaken by the Institute, and to the development of related numerical assessment / decision support tools, including African Water Security outlook, WAVES (WASH disease Vulnerability: Epidemiology & Surveillance), gender structure of the water sector, and others. Support data extraction, harvesting and processing for these tools and analyses.  

  • Manage the UNU-INWEH’s website, using the organization’s content management system to raise awareness of the organization’s activities.

  • Assist with UNU-INWEH communication campaigns and create art design for UNU-INWEH materials such as reports, policy briefs, quarterly newsletter and related promotional material.

  • Create and update content for UNU-INWEH’s social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to raise overall presence of UNU-INWEH and increase followership and engagement.

  • Coordinate printing and distribution of publications – liaising with vendors.

  • Communicate research outputs at various scientific and policy events; publish research results in peer-reviewed journals, UNU-INWEH reports, and other outlets.

  • Attract and supervise interns and contribute to other capacity building initiatives, including the development of new courses of the online Water Learning Center (       

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Minimum Master’s degree in Water Resources Management, Water Economics, Environmental Sciences, Water or Environmental Engineering or other closely related fields with a distinct water angle.

  • At least three (3) three years of relevant working experience in research, project management and digital communication, preferably in a higher education or scientific institutions at international environment Preference will be given to those with several years of post- degree work experience.

  • Ability to carry out analytical research utilizing a variety of data and information sources to distill policy-relevant messages.

  • Strong quantitative background and good numerical skills. Experience with databases, word processing and spreadsheets is essential. Advanced GIS skills, computer programming and modeling, and knowledge of remote sensing are added advantages.

  • Professional work experience with design software as Adobe Creative Suites, web content management tools and processes and social media preferably within the context of advanced education and/or research.

  • Proven track record creating successful web and social media content and in-depth knowledge of graphic design principles and programs.

  • Knowledge of programs such as Mailchimp, WordPress, Drupal, HTML, CSS, Google Analytics and Prepress are highly desirable.

  • Demonstrated peer-reviewed publication record is an advantage.

  • Work experience in developing countries. Knowledge of Africa water issues, its research and policy communities, and work experience in Africa are added advantages.

  • Strong public outreach record and ability to present research outputs to a variety of national and international audiences; excellent networking skills.

  • Fluency in oral and written English. Working knowledge of French or Spanish is essential. Knowledge of other UN official languages is an added advantage.

  • Excellent problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities and willingness to learn new software, tool and technologies.

  • Ability to prioritize work and multi-task: focus on delivery and self-motivation.

  • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. 

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 organization. 

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.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualification and experience of the successful candidate. The salary is exempt from Canadian income taxes. This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave), and private health insurance coverage.

The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Duration of Contract

This is a full-time employment on a two (2) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract, with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of this appointment shall not exceed six (6) years, as per the UNU Personnel Policy.

Starting Date

September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter 

Application Procedure 

Interested applicants should submit their applications, and all required documents listed below online through Impactpool. Applications must include the following:

  •  A separate cover letter setting out how the applicant’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;

  • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P11) form downloadable from the UNU website;

  • Do not use similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations and do not submit your curriculum vitae;

  • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2021/UNU/INWEH/PSA/RCA/39)

  • Only upload documents as requested.  Applications submitted with additional documents e.g. reference letters can be disqualified


Only short-listed candidates will be notified. Applications that do not include all the requested information will not be considered.


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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