Senior Research Assistant: Resource Nexus Analytics, Informatics and Data (AID) (Part-time 50%)

United Nations University (UNU)

Dresden, Germany 🇩🇪

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission 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, United Nations University (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, 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.

United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

UNU-FLORES is one of 13 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing issues in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, waste, energy, and other geo-resources that are of concern to the United Nations and its Member States – particularly in developing and emerging economies. Based in Dresden, Germany, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, postgraduate teaching, advanced training, and knowledge dissemination to advance the Resource Nexus. For more information, please visit

The Resource Nexus Analytics, Informatics and Data (AID) Research Programme at UNU-FLORES is focused on identifying, developing, and promoting data, information, computational techniques, and analytical tools that enable the Nexus Approach to sustainable environmental resources management. The Programme aids academics, businesses, policymakers, societies as well as the United Nations and intergovernmental agencies to navigate through complexity and examine the interrelatedness and interdependencies of the components of coupled human-environment systems.

The Resource Nexus AID Research Programme at UNU-FLORES benefits from collaboration with a global network of scientists and professionals that work at the interface of science-policy-society who aim to tackle the triple planetary crisis of climate, nature, and pollution and facilitate the fulfilment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus areas of the Resource Nexus AID Programme include (but are not limited to) water, energy, waste, climate change, agriculture/food, ecosystems, and biodiversity.


Under the overall authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Head of Nexus Research (AID) Programme, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

1. Technical Support: Perform research and technical activities to support the AID Programme

  • Assist with UNU-FLORES’ research activities through researching, extracting, and compiling information and data related to the Resource Nexus AID Research Programme;
  • Perform literature reviews and assist in the evaluation and examination of research;
  • Prepare abstracts/bibliographic descriptions for inclusion in publications;
  • Assist with proofreading of written materials for accuracy before publication; 

2. Knowledge Management: Provide support for knowledge documentation, building and dissemination

  • Prepare a variety of reports and presentations, infographics, tables, and diagrams for Senior Researchers;
  • Support with the development of knowledge projects
  • Synthesise and document lessons learned and best practices;
  • Assist with preparing outputs to be shared on the UNU-FLORES website and other relevant platforms

3. Programme Support: Provide administrative and logistics support for the Programme

  • Sort, consolidate, and process data and enter it into relevant databases;
  • Assist in the maintenance of relevant research tools and platforms;
  • Handle communication with external stakeholders;

4. Capacity and Educational Development

  • Assist with the Institute’s teaching activities, especially e-learning and capacity development;
  • Support with organising activities such as workshops related to the Research Programme;

5. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor or the Director

Key performance indicators

  • Contribution to the positive reputation of UNU-FLORES as a reliable and trustworthy partner among research partners, governments, donors, and civil society
  • Timely and quality development and implementation of the assigned performance goals
  • Quality and proactive level of engagement with UNU-FLORES partners (research partners, government, donors)



  • Inclusion â€” 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 â€” 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 â€” act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet


  • Connect and collaborate â€” build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan â€” 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 â€” 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 â€” pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate â€” demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


Required Qualifications and Experience

  • A Master ‘s degree or equivalent in Environmental Sciences or Engineering, Climate Change, Water Resources, Regional Planning, Sustainable Development, Data Sciences, Systems Analysis, or other relevant field is required;
  • Two years of research experience in Sustainability and/or Environmental Systems Planning, and Policy on a topic relevant to the Resource Nexus AID programme;
  • Experience with quantitative analysis and/or modelling;
  • Experience in drafting reports, communications, and presentations;
  • Experience and extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office and ArcGIS;
  • Strong planning, organisation, and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently;
  • Must be flexible with the ability to establish priorities and work within prescribed timeframes;
  • 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.


  • Experience with grant writing and fundraising;
  • Experience of environmental issues of the global south, regional experience and familiarity of the world’s complexities is beneficial;
  • Experience with stakeholder engagement, outreach, and event organisation;
  • Experience in publications, and social media outreach;
  • Experience and knowledge of human-environment systems modelling software, programming languages, and/or statistical analysis software;


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract, and no relocation allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including a competitive (tax-exempt in Germany) net monthly salary of EUR 1,329, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 15 days of annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

This is a part-time (50%) employment for an initial duration of 1 year. This is a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Expected start 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;
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline: 03 July 2022


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

Special notice

PSA holders do not hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

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. 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.

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IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development