Laboratory Head (Isotope Hydrology)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Vienna, Austria 🇦🇹

Organization: NAPC-Isotope Hydrology Laboratory

Primary Location: Austria-Vienna-Vienna-IAEA Headquarters

Job Posting: 2023-03-07, 8:17:11 PM

Closing Date: 2023-04-05, 12:59:00 AM

Duration in Months: 36

Contract Type: Fixed Term – Regular

Probation Period: 1 Year

Full Competitive Recruitment: Yes

Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA’s Major Programme 2, “Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection”. This Major Programme comprises individual programmes on food and agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The Major Programme’s objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage the marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences is responsible for assisting and advising Member States in research and development for the nuclear sciences, especially the physical and chemical sciences. Specifically, the Division provides support to Member States in the following fields: production of radioisotopes and radiolabelled products for applications in health care and industry; radiation source applications; research reactor utilization; applications of accelerators and nuclear instrumentation; nuclear and atomic data for applications; controlled nuclear fusion and isotope hydrology and geochemistry.

The Isotope Hydrology Section is responsible for planning and implementing the IAEA’s water resources programme. The programme assists Member States in the sustainable management of all aspects of their water resources, but with a particular focus on isotope hydrology. Major activities include internationally coordinated research, global isotope monitoring, capacity building, and technical assistance to Member States to help them with the assessment, development and use of water resources. The Section also operates a well-equipped laboratory for the analysis of stable and radioactive isotopes. The laboratory trains counterparts in using analytical techniques for high-quality measurements of isotopes in water samples.

Main Purpose

The Laboratory Head leads a results-oriented programmatic response to Member States’ priorities in the application of nuclear analytical techniques to meet sustainable development goals (SDG6) related to water security by providing reliable and safe freshwater resources for human development and ecosystem health.


The Laboratory Head is an established expert in isotopic and nuclear analytical techniques responsible for the operational, programme deliverables, and research activities of the isotope hydrology laboratory (IHL). She/he promotes established and emerging nuclear technologies in water resources assessment and management in the context of coordinated research programmes, technical cooperation projects and related technical/scientific activities. He/she is the supervisor of laboratory professional and technical laboratory staff and their activities, ensuring IHL facilities operate smoothly and that projects are implemented in a cost-effective manner in keeping with quality management standards and result based approaches. She/he is responsible for technical analyses to support the IAEA global water isotope networks (GNIP, GNIR) and contributes to the management of the online databases that hosts the data He/she participates in Water Resources Programme activities such as organizing symposia, advisory groups workshops and technical meetings; participating in technical cooperation missions; conducting coordinated research programmes; writing and editing scientific publications; selecting and briefing technical experts; and organizing training courses. She/he along with the Head of the Isotope Hydrology Section, prepares the scientific programme of the IHL.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Responsible for the operational and research and development activities of the Isotope Hydrology Laboratory for stable isotopes, radio-isotopes, and noble gas isotopes through efficient management of the human, physical, and financial resources of the Programme.
  • Supervises and guides professional and technical staff of the Isotope Hydrology Laboratory involved in isotope analysis and research activities to ensure high-quality analytical results are delivered in timely manner.
  • Develops innovative approaches and methods in the sub-programme on the application of nuclear instrumentation and applications in isotope hydrology, contributing to coordinated research projects, training courses, and related analytical and outreach activities at the IAEA’s Laboratories.
  • Leads training and capacity building activities for member state scientists.
  • Designs and implements inter-laboratory proficiency testing for stable and radio-isotopes to monitor and improve data quality from member state isotope hydrology laboratories.
  • Supports the Section Head in implementation of the Water Resources Programme and contributes to strategic development of future laboratory activities related to isotope hydrology applications and instrumentation, and to CRPs, trainings, and workshops.
  • Plans, organizes and participates in conferences, workshops, expert missions and training courses related to isotope hydrology.
  • Builds and maintains strong strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of stakeholders in Member States research laboratories.
  • Promotes visibility of the IAEA water Programme as internal and external representative of the Laboratory, at meetings, workshops, conferences and conducting laboratory tours.

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies

Planning and OrganizingSets clearly defined objectives for himself/herself and the team or Section. Identifies and organizes deployment of resources based on assessed needs, taking into account possible changing circumstances. Monitors team’s performance in meeting the assigned deadlines and milestones.
CommunicationEncourages open communication and builds consensus. Uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information, and keeps staff informed of decisions and directives as appropriate.
Achieving ResultsSets realistic targets for himself/herself and for the team; ensures availability of resources and supports staff members in achieving results. Monitors progress and performance; evaluates achievements and integrates lessons learned.
TeamworkEncourages teamwork, builds effective teams and resolves problems by creating a supportive and collaborative team spirit, remaining mindful of the need to collaborate with people outside the immediate area of responsibility.

Functional Competencies

Commitment to continuous process improvementAssesses the effectiveness of functions and systems as well as current practices; streamlines standards and processes and develops innovative approaches to programme development and implementation.
Partnership buildingIdentifies interests and goals common to the Agency’s partners and its stakeholders to foster partnership building. Promotes collaboration with partners, colleagues across teams and stakeholders.
Technical/scientific credibilityProvides guidance and advice in his/her area of expertise on the application of scientific/professional methods, procedures and approaches.

Required Expertise

FunctionNameExpertise Description
HydrologyIsotope HydrologyExperience in setting up and managing isotope hydrology facilities for stable and radioisotope assays is an asset.
Nuclear ScienceNuclear Sciences and ApplicationsComprehensive knowledge and experience in stable isotope geochemistry and mass spectrometry, radioisotope geochemistry, analytical chemistry.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

Doctorate Degree – Environmental isotope analytical geochemistry or a related field of physical science.

Minimum of ten years relevant professional experience in analytical isotope hydrology and geochemistry research and development activities, of which at least three years should be at the managerial level.
Substantive expertise in stable and radioisotope isotopic analytical methods and environmental applications in hydrology.
Demonstrated management experience in: implementing scientific research and development projects, including planning, implementation, monitoring and management of human and financial resources; supervising and leading co-workers.
Extensive publication record in international scientific journals in the field of specialization and invitations to lecture at international meetings/events.
Strong communication skills in English, including demonstrated ability in drafting and reviewing technical documents, scientific publications and making effective oral presentations.
Experience with electronic databases and software development would be an asset.

Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $92731 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 43491*, dependency benefits, rental subsidyeducation grantrelocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks’ annual vacation, home leavepension plan and health insurance

Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards (or values): IntegrityProfessionalism and Respect for diversity. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development