Academic Officer (Head of Office, Bonn)

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline





Organisational Unit: UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

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 furtherance of 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.

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training Institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit

Eurac Research is located in the hearts of the Alps in the multilingual region of South Tyrol, Italy. Eurac has been established as a private, non-profit, interdisciplinary research centrr in Bolzano in 1992. With 11 institutes, Eurac Research provides expertise and develops practical solutions in the fields of environment, migration, minority rights, medicine, energy, and innovative technologies. Eurac contributes to healthy societies, fosters the development particularly of mountain regions as well as the livelihood of their communities, and supports the management of social, cultural and ecological diversity.

UNU-EHS and Eurac Research have recently initiated a new joint research programme. The GLOBAL MOUNTAIN SAFEGUARD RESEARCH (GLOMOS) programme combines the scientific profiles and capacities of both institutions involved and envisions the enhancement of disaster risk reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation (CCA), emergency response preparedness (ERP), and sustainable development in global mountain regions. GLOMOS seeks to increase the resilience of mountain communities towards natural and man-made hazards and disaster risks, to protect the wealth of biological and cultural diversity, and to support the sustainable development of these highly sensitive social-ecological systems. The GLOMOS mission is to turn science into action by strengthening solution-oriented and innovative management of disaster risks in mountains through an integrative approach fostering transdisciplinary research and technology transfer. The GLOMOS programme bridges between science and global conventions: the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), the Paris Climate Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The incumbent will be the official representative of the GLOMOS programme in Bonn and will be responsible for liaising and networking with UNU-EHS, other UN agencies, and scientific facilities in Bonn and beyond. As head of the Bonn office, the incumbent oversees the broad portfolio of GLOMOS research activities and leads and develops strategic outreach activities, always ensuring consistency and effective performance. The position also requires regular attendance at Eurac Research in Bolzano according to predefined demand as well as international traveling. Together with the counterpart in Bolzano, the incumbent will be in charge to coordinate, manage, and supervise the provision of programme management, technical, and substantive support to the GLOMOS programme and work on ensuring its further funding.


Under the authority and supervision of the Director of UNU-EHS and the Director of Eurac Research, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

  • successfully build up and manage the GLOMOS programme in Bonn with respect to its scientific profile, human resources, and budget
  • develop a long-term strategy for the programme in cooperation with the counterpart in Bolzano, particularly with a focus on the interaction of environmental impacts with socio-economic, cultural, and other factors, especially in international collaboration with developing countries
  • advocate effective utilisation of scientific knowledge available at UNU-EHS and Eurac in addressing global and emergent issues relevant to the GLOMOS research agenda — for instance, concerning disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, emergency response preparedness, and sustainable development
  • plan and ensure implementation of an academic PhD programme related to the research agenda of the GLOMOS programme
  • fundraise with German as well as international donors for policy-relevant topics that also open up research possibilities for PhD students
  • publish research results together with other researchers at UNU-EHS, Eurac Research, and beyond, in international peer-reviewed journals and as book chapters
  • promote, strengthen, and develop networking to establish scientific partnerships with relevant institutions at all levels; maintain and further develop existing cooperation with UN agencies, international mountain research networks, the University of Bonn, and other external partners
  • liaise with international disaster risk reduction and disaster management authorities, national civil protection agencies, humanitarian relief organisations, and UN Country Teams
  • contribute to the joint master’s programme on “Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn; supervise MSc and PhD students
  • translate scientific findings into policy-relevant recommendations, advising on institute wide strategic programming as well as day-to-day management
  • represent UNU-EHS at the Mountain Partnership (FAO), the International Mountain Society (IMS), and comparable international scientific networks and major conferences

Qualifications and experience requirements

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • PhD in a relevant academic discipline, including environmental or social sciences, or engineering
  • at least five (5) years of progressively responsible professional experience in research and academia at international level
  • proven experience and achievement of networking activities with the United Nations system including excellent knowledge of UN processes/procedures and related global frameworks
  • good knowledge of German as well as international research institutions, donors, and research funding programmes
  • familiarity with mountain environments and expertise in related natural hazards as well as disaster risk assessments
  • familiarity with existing international mountain research networks and related scientific institutions
  • substantive knowledge of at least two of the relevant research areas of GLOMOS, for instance disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, emergency response preparedness or sustainable development
  • demonstrated experience of working with international disaster management authorities, humanitarian relief organisations, and UN Country Teams
  • excellent leadership and team spirit; excellent networking and interpersonal skills, including the ability to establish and maintain high-level contacts with representatives from government, international organisations, civil society organisations (CSOs), academia and other partners
  • proven ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • strong publication background in areas related to the GLOMOS Programme
  • successful track record in securing third-party funding
  • superior communication and didactic skills
  • demonstrated previous experience in developing research and higher education programmes; excellent previous teaching and lecturing experience with proven record in supervising MSc and PhD students
  • proven record in organising seminars, workshops, and international conferences
  • fluency in English (required); working knowledge in French and Spanish (required); fluency in German or any additional UN working languages is desirable
  • capability of travelling and working in mountainous, higher altitude regions

Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


We offer a competitive net salary (tax-exempted) at P3/P4 level commensurate to level of experience and allowances including post adjustment. Post adjustment is subject to change.

The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant, removal expenses and home leave. For more information please visit:

The UNU Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidate at a lower level than advertised.

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment and an internationally recruited post. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of fixed-term appointments shall not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years old.

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.

Starting date

November 2018

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Application Procedure:

Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (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;
  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2018/UNU/EHS/FTA/AO/GLOMOS/65352).