Researcher Consultant(s) (Roster) (2) are needed inPretoria,South Africa

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Researcher Consultant(s) (Roster) (2), Pretoria
Organization: United Nations University (UNU)
Country: South Africa
City: Pretoria
Office: UNU in Pretoria
About United Nations University

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, 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 the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, 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

The UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health ( -INWEH) is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-INWEH’s 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, environmental, and health 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 grand water, environmental and health challenges; and global outreach.

Researcher Consultant Roster UNU-INWEH invites highly motivated and committed local and international experts with relevant experience in research, project management, capacity and education development, fundraising and who are available for short-term or part-time assignments focusing on efficient office of operations.

Join us today to play a critical role in research for policy makers and be part of enhancing the institute’s visions and contributing to the development of new programs.

Experts applying to the Roster are available for consideration for immediate and whenever relevant opportunities arise and shall go through an expedited contractual process. The following descriptions are a generic list of tasks and responsibilities.

Under the authority of the Director of UNU-INWEH and the supervision of the Deputy Director at the Institute, depending on the nature of the assigned task and the expertise of the candidate, the scope of work may include the following: Contingent upon the level of appointment, the incumbent is expected to: 1. Research, Contributions and Collaborations

 Contribute to a range of UNU-INWEH’s programs and projects in terms of technical input, project reporting, preparation of outputs and products, and follow-up with external partners of assigned programs and projects.
 Participate in the development and implementation of UNU-INWEH’s future research and development areas.

 Assist in integrated, cross-thematic, and interdisciplinary approaches to addressing the grand global challenges while considering water, food, land, biodiversity, risks, and vulnerabilities amid climate change while considering research-policy bridging and advocacy dimensions.
 Contribute technical expertise to UNU-INWEH’s other strategic areas of programs and projects.
 Coordinate and organize logistical arrangements for project-related events and meetings, as required.

 Take part in developing contracts with partners, consultants, and contractors, and supporting the implementation of these contracts to ensure timely and effective completion of tasks and disbursement of funds.
 Provide administrative support, as required, across projects and programs of UNU-INWEH.
2. Capacity and Education Development

 Contribute to capacity building initiatives on the development of the future world leaders through, inter alia: (i) assist to expand UNU-INWEH’s online educational platforms by developing and launching new courses around expertise; (ii) accommodate contribution to curriculum development and teaching in the collaborative education programs of UNU-INWEH (e.g., Water Without Borders); and (iii) attracting and supervising interns and externs, students, and young researchers, as required.
3. Knowledge sharing and Fundraising

 Assist to fundraising activities of the institute, including the development of cross-thematic and interdisciplinary proposals in collaboration with other program leaders at UNU-INWEH as well as in partnership with other institutions and professionals.
 Support and contribute to the development of grant proposals, peer-reviewed publications, policy briefs, presentations, and related materials, as required.
Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor and UNU-INWEH’s Director.

Key Performance Indicators

 High-quality contribution and administration of assigned tasks and services against specific timelines.
 Timely and quality assistance to assigned research products, advocacy campaigns, capacity development materials.
 Active engagement with UNU-INWEH’s researchers, consultants, and partners as well as with external collaborators and stakeholders, where required.
 Assist and take part in the Institute’s strategic plan and vision.


 Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
 Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
 Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
 Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.

 Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
 Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
 Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
 Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
 Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways.

Education and certification

 PhD degree in water/environmental engineering or sciences, civil engineering, agricultural sciences/engineering, geography, ecology, economics, finance, political science, data sciences, public health, and other fields relevant to UNU-INWEH activity areas.



Three (3) years of post-master’s degree progressively responsible work experience.
 At least 2 years of work/research experience in one (preferably more) of these areas:
integrated water resources management

natural resource economics and/or policy/governance

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and water/environmental/climate/health/agriculture informatics

geospatial data analysis

climate change mitigation/adaptation

sustainability assessment and transmission

food-water-energy nexus


environmental/climate financial risk assessment

extreme events and compound risk analysis

green/sustainable/climate finance

energy systems

land use management

ecosystem service valuation

infrastructure resilience and security

conflict resolution and diplomacy (water, environment, climate, etc.)

environmental/climate/human security

coupled human-nature systems.

 Ability to conduct numerical analysis of complex datasets, and synthesis of findings from a wide body of literature in systematic/scoping reviews and policy briefs is a must.
 Result-oriented, self-motivated, and “hands-on” with the ability to prioritize work and do multi-tasking.
 Excellent writing, research, presentation, and networking skills.
 Experience of policy-oriented research and prior experience in project management (administration and financial aspects) are highly beneficial.
 Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in team-based research, incorporating interdisciplinary approaches.
 Experience with managing databases, word processing, and spreadsheet programs is essential.
 Demonstrated skills in developing and maintaining online tools will be an asset.
 Prior UN work experience or experience of interacting with intergovernmental/governmental/non-government agencies is an advantage.
 Teaching experience at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the subject areas relevant to the activities of UNU-INWEH is highly beneficial.
 Prior record of peer-reviewed publications in high-impact and interdisciplinary journals is required.
 Ability to take initiative, prioritize and deliver results in a fast-paced work environment.
 Must be flexible with the ability to handle a large volume of work possibly under time constraints;
 An excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
Language Requirements:

 Fluency in English is required.
 Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.
Selection process:

Individual consultants will be evaluated according to the following: Stage 1: Establishing a Roster:

 All applicants will be screened against the minimum requirements specified above for inclusion on a long list.
 Long-listed applicants will be evaluated through a desk review and/or interview against the following criteria based on evidence in the submitted application: o Academic qualifications o Relevant professional experience o Demonstrated competencies Successful candidates will be included in the UNU-INWEH Experts Roster for a period of 2 years.
Inclusion in the roster does not guarantee a contract with UNU-INWEH.

Stage 2: Contracting: When a request for services arises, the HR Coordinator shall contact relevant individual(s) with the Terms of Reference, location and dates of the assignment seeking confirmation of availability.


Remuneration will be commensurate with experience and based on an hourly / daily / monthly rate. This contract carries no entitlement to paid annual leave nor sick leave.

Duration of contract

General conditions of contracts for the service of consultants apply. Consultants will not hold international civil servant status nor be a ‘staff member’ as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Consultants engaged by UNU may not provide services for more than twenty-four months of accrued service within a period of thirty-six month calendar months.

Starting date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

 Apply via the apply link;
 Upload a completed and signed the UNU P11 form; kindly do not use similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations and do not submit your curriculum vitae;
 Must provide a motivational statement (in the P11 refer to number 23); setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position instead of a cover letter;
 Answer a few questions that are tailored to the position;
 Only upload documents as requested.
 Applications submitted with additional documents may be disqualified.
 Applications that do not include all the requested information will not be considered.
 You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline

Until filled


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special Notice

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 organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply. 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.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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