Senior Research Assistant (Resource Nexus)

UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

Dresden, Germany 🇩🇪

About UN 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)

UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing issues in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, waste, energy, and other geo-resources that are of concern to the United Nations and its Member States – particularly in developing and emerging economies. Based in Dresden, Germany, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, postgraduate teaching, advanced training, and knowledge dissemination to advance the Resource Nexus. Visit our website


Under the overall authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Head of Research Programme, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • assist with UNU-FLORES research activities through researching, extracting, and compiling of information and data related to the programme “Resource Nexus for Regions in Transformation” and other ongoing and future projects
  • sort, consolidate, and process data and enter it into relevant databases
  • perform literature reviews and assist in the evaluation and examination of research
  • assist in the maintenance of relevant research tools and platforms
  • support the preparation and submission of progress reports, donor reports, project reviews, financial reports, audit reports and any other required project reports
  • support the preparation of project proposals related to the Resource Nexus and its linkages to sustainable development
  • prepare short reports and presentations, infographics, tables, and diagrams
  • handle communication with external stakeholders
  • prepare abstracts/bibliographic descriptions for inclusion in publications
  • assist with proofreading of written materials for accuracy before publication
  • assist with the Institute’s teaching activities, especially e-learning and capacity development
  • perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor and the director

Required qualifications and experience

Required qualifications and experience:

  • a master’s degree in environmental sciences (including geo-, bio- and other sustainability sciences), environmental management, environmental policy, environmental economics, environmental engineering, environmental health, environmental sociology, environmental psychology, sustainable development or a related field; a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field plus an additional three years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of a master’s degree
  • a minimum of one year of experience in environment-related research; experience with the Resource Nexus would be advantageous
  • documented background knowledge and first-hand work experience related to at least one of the following: (1) integrated resources management, (2) global change and it’s regional/local manifestations (e.g. climate change, soil degradation, biodiversity losses), (3) environmental challenges of the Global South and adapted solution strategies, or (4) development cooperation in an environmental context
  • experience with the scientific analysis of regional transformation related to either the environment, society, or both (e.g. climate change, land cover change, socio-economic or political change, urbanisation/demographic shrinkage); experience with the coal transition or the energy transition, in general, would be highly advantageous
  • ability to work independently and report outcomes in a timely and proactive manner
  • proficiency in both oral and written communication in English is mandatory (at least C1 level according to CEFR); proficiency in German and/or an additional official UN language is desirable
  • proficiency with MS Office software is mandatory: knowledge and experience of statistics, geodata management and visualisation (e.g. GIS) would be advantageous
  • ability to cooperate and communicate effectively with a wide range of external partners (including science, industry, civil administration, politics, NGOs, funding agencies and donor organisations)
  • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills as 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 of contract

This position is being offered as full-time employment for a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-FLORES, with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointment shall not exceed six (6) years. This is an entry-level position with scope for growth and additional responsibility.

Please note that this is a full-time position for one year only and may convert to a 50% (20 hours/week) part-time position after the first year which would reduce the remuneration and annual leave entitlement. However, it is envisioned that this position could remain full-time, provided successful third-party fundraising activities in that thematic area.

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.


We offer a competitive (tax-exempt) net salary at the PSA 2 level with a monthly remuneration of EUR 2,658.

This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave), and a private health insurance coverage.

Starting date

As soon as possible.