PhD Researcher (Innovation in Environmental Resources)
About United Nations University
For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of 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 for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)
The mission of UNU-FLORES is to contribute, through research, capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge, to the resolution of pressing challenges in the area of sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources (water, soil and waste and energy), particularly in developing and transitional countries. It aims to serve within the UN as the think-tank on resources management and be internationally recognised as a major hub and intellectual focal point promoting integrated management strategies addressing, in particular, the needs of developing and emerging countries. The Institute is located in Dresden, Federal Republic of Germany. For more information, please visit http://flores.unu.edu.
Objectives of the PhD Researcher
With no shortage of new ideas and innovations related to environmental resources, adapting and implanting these is vital to solving the environmental issues faced in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). As technological solutions are available, socio-economic barriers are challenging a successful implementation. The Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) of UNIDO in Germany recognises these challenges and understands that the research landscape remains sparse, and is therefore calling for a better understanding of the barriers currently hindering technology transfer.
The main objective of this research project will be to analyse and understand the barriers to the adaption and innovations related to environmental resources in SSA. The central disciplinary perspective will be business and economics, with support from other disciplines present at UNU-FLORES, namely natural sciences, engineering sciences, and political sciences. The content will take the perspective of German companies and research their collaborative activities with enterprises in SSA to implement innovations related to water, soil, waste and energy. The results of this research will be to create a thesis relevant to private sector players, development cooperation institutions, and policymakers alike, and to contribute to capacity development and the advancement of teaching activities.
The successful PhD candidate will be given the opportunity to conduct barrier research under the guidance of the PhD supervisors at both UNU-FLORES and TU Dresden. Upon completion of the PhD, it is expected that the successful candidate will disseminate the research in a way that is beneficial for capacity development and the personal career of the graduate
Required qualifications and competencies
Required qualifications and competencies include:
- a Master’s degree in business management, economics, political science, or related fields
- extensive experience with barrier research
- experience in the context of SSA, and knowledge and experience with SSA-German research cooperation would be highly advantageous
- proficiency in English in both oral and written communications
- working knowledge of German in both oral and written communications
- excellent presentation skills and proven ability to disseminate information to a broad audience, especially to non-scientific audiences
- knowledge about the environmental, cultural, and socioeconomic conditions and challenges that Sub-Saharan Africa faces
- proven experience in inter/transdisciplinary research including interactions with relevant authorities and stakeholders
- must be highly motivated with strong planning, organisation, and time management skills
- proven skills of statistical analysis; survey data collection experience would be highly advantageous
- ability to build and maintain an excellent network with national and international project partners
- good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
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 organisation.
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.
Duration and remuneration
UNU-FLORES pays a monthly stipend of EUR 1566 for up to three years. Funding is provided by UNIDO ITPO Germany. This stipend is expected to cover relocation, living, travel, and all education expenses. Please note that while the PhD programme is tuition-free; semester fees of approximately EUR 250-300 will need to be paid directly to TU Dresden for enrollment at the beginning of each semester. For additional information on the programme and the admission procedure, please visit our website.
This position is being offered as a full-time position and on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-FLORES, with the possibility of renewal subject to availability of the fund from UNIDO ITPO Germany and the completion of specific milestones. The duration of the contract shall not exceed three years.
The successful candidate will be employed under a Personnel Service Agreement based in Dresden, Germany and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.
As soon as possible.