Associate Academic Officer - Energy in Context of Water Energy and Food Nexus in Africa / Project Manager (PSA)

United Nations University (UNU)

Bonn, Germany 🇩🇪

Job description

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 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 United Nations University Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE), established in 2007, is one of two Vice-Rectorates and the only one located outside Japan. UNU-ViE seeks to strengthen the presence of UNU in Europe and supports the worldwide institutional development of UNU by facilitating collaboration across UNU and the UN, and sharing knowledge and expertise through the development of joint activities and projects. In addition to its core mandate, it administers the central units providing service to both UNU-ViE and UNU-EHS. For more information, please visit:

The Pan African Cooperation and Educational Technologies (PACET) Programme at UNU-ViE aims to strengthen research, educational, and institutional capacities of UNU-EHS in global South with a focus on Africa. PACET fosters cooperation between UNU and African institutions in higher education, research, policy, and practice to develop innovative methods and appropriated solutions to address challenges particularly within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Pairs Agreement, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

Water-Energy-Food (WEF) in context of Climate Change addresses from a nexus standpoint represents a main research pillar at PACET. Activities and projects on the topic aim at generating new scientific and policy-relevant knowledge to support sustainable socio-economic, environmentally-friendly transformation and increase resilience against climate change in Global South with a focus on Africa. Digitalization respectively frontier technologies, green innovations and entrepreneurship in the context of the WEF nexus, and technology-enhanced learning extend the core research activities of the program. Educational technologies technology-enhanced learning or the aim being to strengthen the educational and research capacities of UNU-EHS and its partner institutions with innovative and engaging educational and collaborative working experiences. PACET activities on green innovations and entrepreneurship aims to interaction and processes between stakeholders of green entrepreneurship ecosystem, contribute to the development framework and appropriated policies that brings together actors and stakeholders to identify and ideates solutions, strengthen capacities and skills of innovators, organize and support innovations, innovators and entrepreneurs with a focus on women and youths.


Under the overall authority of the Vice-Rector in Europe and Director of UNU-EHS and the direct supervision of the Head of the PACET Programme the appointee will principally be responsible for the following tasks:

1Coordinate activities and projects at PACET with regard to renewable energy in the frame of Water, Energy and Food Nexus and Green Hydrogen in Africa

  • Lead to the development of PACET programme’s research and strategic approach to Energy in context of WEF and sustainable green Hydrogen in Africa
  • Strengthening and further developing PACET research profile and scientific outputs of the program.
  • Work with the other sections at UNU-EHS to exploit synergies with VIE/PACET.
  • (Co-) author scientific articles in peer reviewed journal, chapters in edited volumes and policy reports and briefs and present results at scientific conferences.

2. Acquisition of third-party funding and fundraising

  •  Acquisition of third-party funding (individual and in consortia) on the themes of Energy in context of WEF nexus and green Hydrogen in Africa
  • Build relationships with potential partners to create consortia to seek funding.
  • Take on consultancies and commissioned reports, if and when the work is of strategic use to the Section.

3. Project implementation

  • Coordination of the project RETODOSSO. This includes content generation and delivery, supervision, and management of resources (financial and personnel) for the implementation activities and all required administrative tasks such as implementation, communication with partners and donors, monitoring and reporting (achievement, progress and accounting)
  • Use Pelikan and other project management software to accurately report on the progress of the projects internally and externally.

4. Contribute to capacity building

  • Supervise MSc theses on relevant topics; engage in MSc-level teaching as required
  • Support to the organization of educational activities and events: semester and block courses, seminars, workshops, summer schools in Germany and abroad.

5. Communication, media and outreach

  • Liaise with African, German and international actors and institutions of higher education, research and development cooperation in/with Africa
  • Contribute to different dialogue formats and organizing programme-related events and planning processes

6. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor

The TOR above is primarily for Associate Academic Officer. In case the position was offered as Project
Manager, the TOR will be slightly revised.

Key performance indicators

  • Timely and quality development of relevant research activities and outputs on Energy in context of WEF and green hydrogen in Africa, publications in journals, policy reports and presentation to scientific audience
  • Successful resource mobilization for PACET research activities
  • Quality and level of engagement with research partners, related networks and collaboration partners worldwide.
  • Successful and timely management and reporting of ongoing projects (RETODOSSO) as well as to annual reports for PACET and UNU-ViE.
  • Successful and timely management of capacity building activities



  • 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

  • Completed PhD or Master’s degree in environmental sciences, natural sciences, energy engineering or policy, geography, or another relevant field. PhD is required for consideration to Associate Academic Officer (PSA6 level).



  • Minimum 1 year of post-doctoral experience is required for Associate Academic Officer (PSA6 level), and for Project Manager (PSA5 level) at least three years of progressively responsible professional experience in research and academia related to Energy in context of WEF
  • Experience of successful fund-raising activities and Excellent skills in writing applications for research grants;
  • Strong research and publication profile in renewable energy in context of WEF is required;
  • Experience in scientific project management preferably in an international and multi-cultural environment is desirable


  • Ability to negotiate with partners and funding institutions;
  • Experience working with a wide array of software packages (e.g., HOMER, RETScreen, ArcGIS, SPSS, etc.) is essential;
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods including standard data collection tools (e.g., surveys, FDGs and stakeholder workshops), and analytical and modelling techniques;
  • Previous experience in teaching at MSc-level, including the supervision of MSc-theses;
  • Existing professional networks on Energy in Africa, Germany, international actors and institutions of higher education, research and development cooperation in/with Africa
  • Track-record of representing your organization at international fora with a specific focus on presenting research results to inter-disciplinary audiences
  • Strong team player with strong interpersonal skills committed to working in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

Language Requirements

  •  Excellent writing, presentation and communication skills with a fluency in spoken and written English.
  • Additional languages such as French, German and Spanish or further UN languages are an asset;


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days 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 full-time employment on a twelve (12) months Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

This post is open to applicants from all countries and UNU will aid the successful applicant in securing a work visa for Germany, as necessary. It is, however, a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The duty station will be Bonn, Germany.

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:

  • 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);
  • provide a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position; 
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position; and
  • apply via the apply link.

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

Application Deadline: 22 January 2023


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.

Scam warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development