Associate Program Specialist (Natural Sciences)

United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Paris, France 🇫🇷

Post Number : SC 354

Grade : P-1 / P-2

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 05-JAN-2023

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


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC), guidance from the Director of  Ecological and Earth Sciences (DIR/EES) and direct supervision from the Chief of Section Earth Sciences and Geoparks Section (EES/EG), the incumbent is responsible for providing professional and technical support, research and analysis to sectional and divisional work as well as cross-sectional, divisional and programmatic activities and initiatives specifically in relation to the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme and its statutory processes. The incumbent works within the frameworks of UNESCO’s Medium Term Strategy (C/4), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5) and Sustainable Development Goals, as well as any relevant global or regional development plans.

In particular the incumbent will:

  • Contribute to the implementation of projects and initiatives related to the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme (IGGP) through: Planning, and implementing the annual meetings of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) Council and the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council; identification of areas for development and improvement of the IGGP.
  • Assist in the preparation of statutory revalidation and evaluation missions and prepare reports of the council sessions.
  • Contribute to project drafting, planning and implementation and assist in  the preparation of technical support to Field Offices and diverse institutions as related to assignments and priorities. 
  • Maintain existing and establish new cooperative links with designated partners like the National Commissions and National Geoparks and Geoscience Committees, governmental departments or scientific institutions with a view to identifying trends and needs in research, policy formulation and capacity building. 
  • Contribute to the preparation of international, national and regional capacity building related activities in the field of earth sciences in cooperation with field offices and partners.
  • Conduct research, compile analysis, data and inputs for publications, documents, projects, assessments and policy proposals and ensure that knowledge management systems are current and content is coordinated and shared with Headquarters and Field Office science staff. 
  • Contribute to Public Information and awareness raising activities, organizing and participating in supporting outreach tasks, researching, writing, feeding social media, hosting information points. Assist in the development and maintenance of communication tools (e.g. Website, social media, e-publication, exhibitions).
  • Provide substantive, logistical and administrative support to projects, consultations, meetings, events and missions. 
  • Analyze and compile background data for potential partnerships and fundraising events and opportunities for Earth Sciences, assist in the preparation of project proposals.
  • Update and improve databases and other information systems.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)

Accountability (C)

Innovation (C)

Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)

Planning and organizing (C)

Results focus (C)

Teamwork (C)

Professionalism (C)

For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in Geological Sciences and/or a related field of Earth Sciences.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 2 years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in the field of geological sciences and or in the field of earth sciences, of which preferably one year in an international environment.
  • Participation in the development, implementation and management of scientific projects.

Skills and Competencies

  • Good analytical, organizational and project management skills.
  • Good  communication skills in the field of Geoscience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with proven ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and persuasively with various stakeholders at all levels, within and outside the organization and through various channels including the web and social media.
  • Excellent drafting skills with ability to produce high quality reports.
  • Capacity to build and maintain effective working relations with national/local authorities, relevant institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations
  • Good level of autonomy.
  • Ability to work and maintain effective working relations within a multicultural environment with sensitivity for diversity.
  • Solid IT skills including knowledge of office software.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and spoken) of English


Work Experience

  • Experience within a United Nations Agency or programme(s) or within an international organisation.
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing and maintaining professional networks.
  • Research and analysis in the field of Earth Science.

Skills and competencies

  • Ability to work effectively in a complex and changing environment.
  • Ability to work in close partnership with a wide range of national, regional and international scientific organizations, professional organization especially related to Earth Sciences processes.
  • Good knowledge of UNESCO – IGGP Programme and knowledge of UNESCO’s work and programmes in the area of Natural Sciences.


  • Good knowledge (written and spoken) of French.
  • Knowledge of another official UNESCO language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish).


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.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 56 667 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


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 recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as 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. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities 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.