Science Manager (Operationalization of National Water Research and Studies Center)

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Riyadh, , SA


During the last years, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA) initiated an ambitious program for the investigations of its major surface and groundwater resources, for the monitoring of these resources, for the study of hydrological resources (research side), and for the management of the resources (management side). While most of these tasks have been completed or are about to come to an end, the implementation of most of the necessary measures is in its very early stages and hampered by the increasing workload in the ministry. The still rapidly increasing population mainly counteracts the successes the Saudi government and MEWA have achieved in sustainable resources water management through its reforms.

To make a transition from the current patterns of water administration to sound water management mode, two things must happen. First, there is strong need to strengthen the technical and organizational capacities of the MEWA to deal with the triple challenge of water exploitation and distribution (operational side), research for additional resources and cutting-edge technologies to satisfy the increasing demand (research side), and rigid control and administration of all water-related aspects (control side). Second, a sound information base covering data on groundwater availability, quality, withdrawal, and usage is about to be put in place.

Duties and Responsibilities


Objective within the Framework of the UNDP Project

MEWA has recently established the National Center for Water Research and Studies (NCWRS), which will take care of initiating and planning of water-related projects and their implementation under supervision of MEWA. Ultimately, it shall be the national governing institution for all water-related applied and purely scientific research and studies.  It will also host the National Water Database. Together with the World Bank, a short-term action plan and a long-term implementation plan for the Center have been developed, together with a proposal for the governance structure.

Hence, the MEWA has asked UNDP for assistance in selection of a qualified and competent international expert as Science Manager with strong academic background for the implementation of the plans and the development of a long term strategy with implementation

Scope of Work of the UNDP Expert within the Framework of this Project

The tasks and responsibilities of the UNDP Expert are to:

  • The International Expert shall implement the proposals of the World Bank for the physical establishment and functionalization of the Center.
  • Based on the World Bank proposals, elaborate a business plan and a business model for the physical and scientific establishment of the Center over the next 5 years including Human Resources and Budget needed.
  • Together with the financial advisor, raise funds from various sources (governmental or others) to establish the Center.
  • Implement the logistic part of the plan in cooperation with other MEWA directorates and outside stakeholders.
  • Advice in the selection of human resources for the NWRSC.


  • Business Plan for

Expected Output 1st year

  • Business Plan establishment and operationalization of the Center
  • Terms of Reference for Core Personnel of the Center

Reporting requirements, frequency, format and deadlines

  • The Consultant will report directly to the CTA. Together, they will develop a mutually agreed upon quarterly work plan with key milestones and KPIs. The Consultant will submit a quarterly progress report against these milestones.


Core Competencies:

  • Strategic planning
  • Innovation
  • Organizational Awareness
  • Developing and Empowering People / Coaching and Mentoring
  • Works effectively in Teams
  • Clear and concise communication
  • Ethics and Values
  • People Management

Functional Competencies:

Technical/ Functional:

  • Strong knowledge and expertise in civilian policing aspects
  • Builds support and good judgment
  • Strong analytical capacities and ability to synthesize complex inputs into coherent documents
  • Change agent including the ability to convince, convey and advocate.


  • Focuses on impact and result for the client
  • Coordinates/collaborates with all key stakeholders and build strong networks/ partnerships
  • Effective team leadership with strong conflict resolution skills
  • Establishes priorities for self and other members of the team; schedules activities to ensure optimum use of time and resources
  • Demonstrates excellent oral and written communication skills


  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability
  • Treats people fairly without favoritism
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive, constructive attitude

Required Skills and Experience



  • MSc or PhD degree in any geo-related career – a relevant multi-disciplinary background is considered useful;
  • MBA in Higher Education and Science is a powerful advantage;


  • At least (10) years of working experience in Scientific Management, preferably in a geo-related environment;
  • Exceptional leadership skills;
  • Experience in evaluating and conducting public awareness assessments (behavioral change and trends).
  • Ability of dealing and managing communication channels (mass-communication, social media).
  • Strong teamwork skills and ability to work effectively independently as a consultant and gap analyzer
  • Strong quantitative and statistical skills
  • Demonstrated ability to proficiently and effectively guide and manage interdisciplinary teams comprised of staff with diverse backgrounds and varied skill sets


  • English, excellent communication and writing skills in English; as the position implies frequent contact with local authorities, also excellent communication and writing skills in Arabic are required.