Laboratory Head (Isotope Hydrology)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Vienna, , AT

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 and operational oversight of IAEA global water isotope networks (GNIP, GNIR) and their online databases.
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.

Leads the IAEA global water isotope data networks and their online databases (GNIP, GNIR), including a network of non-IAEA laboratories.

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 bi-annual inter-laboratory proficiency testing for stable and radio-isotopes to monitor and improve data quality from member state isotope hydrology laboratories.

Supports the Program and Sub-Program managers 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.

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 $89837 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 46536*, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks’ annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance