Research and Communication Associate

United Nations University - Institute for Water Environment and Health (UNU‐INWEH)

Hamilton, ON, CA

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 Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

The United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health ( is a member of the UNU family of organisations. Its vision is a world free of water problems where sustainable human development and environmental health and security are assured for all. Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges that are of concern to the United Nations, its Member States, and their people. UNU-INWEH pursues its mission through critical analysis and synthesis of existing bodies of scientific discovery; targeted research that identifies emerging policy issues; application of on-the-ground scalable science-based solutions to water issues; and global outreach.

UNU-INWEH is the only entirely-water focused Institute within the UNU System, and the only entirely water-related UN entity in Canada. UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University.

UNU-INWEH works on four broadly defined, interconnected thematic areas: i) accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs; ii) activating a technology revolution for water security in the Global South; iii) advancing gender equality for effective water management; and iv) managing water- and climate- related risks for improved water security (UNU-INWEH-Strategic-Plan). The institute focuses primarily on global water issues and their implications for developing countries.


Under the overall supervision of UNU-INWEH Director or Assistant Director the Research and Communications (Digital) Associate will develop water information tools and resources for use by water professionals and policymakers and provide design support, manage UNU-INWEH’s website and social media including, but not limited to the following:

  • contribute to the third phase of the project “Accelerating the implementation of water-related SDGs” ( is a mature initiative that focuses on provision of tools to UN Member States to accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. The primary activity is to roll out the earlier developed SDG Policy Support System (SDG-PSS: in more countries, from the current 30 to a target of 50 by the end of 2022.
  • play a key role in the continuing revision and refinement of the SDG-PSS in multiple languages based on participating countries’ feedback
  • facilitate partner communications and information exchange within the above project; assist with logistical arrangements for project workshops, where needed, serving as the primary rapporteur at the project meetings and preparing minutes, reports and other documents
  • contribute to analyses and syntheses of the state of knowledge on the key global water issues undertaken by the Institute, and to the development of related numerical assessment / decision support tools, including African Water Security outlook, WAVES (WASH disease Vulnerability: Epidemiology & Surveillance), gender structure of the water sector, and others; support data extraction, harvesting, and processing for these tools and analyses
  • manage UNU-INWEH’s website, using the organisation’s content management system to raise awareness of the organisation’s activities
  • assist with UNU-INWEH communication campaigns and create art design for UNU-INWEH materials such as reports, policy briefs, quarterly newsletter, and related promotional material
  • create and update content for UNU-INWEH’s social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube to raise overall presence of UNU-INWEH and increase followership and engagement
  • coordinate printing and distribution of publications — liaising with vendors
  • communicate research outputs at various scientific and policy events; publish research results in peer- reviewed journals, UNU-INWEH reports, and other outlets
  • attract and supervise interns and contribute to other capacity building initiatives, including the development of new courses of the online Water Learning Center (

Qualifications and requirements

Qualifications and requirements of the position include:

  • a master’s degree in water resources management, water economics, environmental sciences, water or environmental engineering, or other closely related fields with a distinct water angle
  • at least three (3) three years of relevant working experience in research, project management, and digital communication, preferably in a higher education or scientific institutions at international environment Preference will be given to those with several years of post-degree work experience
  • ability to carry out analytical research utilising a variety of data and information sources to distill policy-relevant messages
  • strong quantitative background and good numerical skills; experience with databases, word processing, and spreadsheets is essential; advanced GIS skills, computer programming and modeling, and knowledge of remote sensing are added advantages
  • professional work experience with design software as Adobe Creative Suites, web content management tools and processes, and social media preferably within the context of advanced education and/or research
  • proven track record creating successful web and social media content and in-depth knowledge of graphic design principles and programs
  • knowledge of programs such as Mailchimp, WordPress, Drupal, HTML, CSS, Google Analytics, and Prepress are highly desirable
  • a demonstrated peer-reviewed publication record is an advantage
  • work experience in developing countries; lnowledge of Africa water issues, its research and policy communities, and work experience in Africa are added advantages
  • strong public outreach record and ability to present research outputs to a variety of national and international audiences; excellent networking skills
  • fluency in oral and written English; working knowledge of French or Spanish is essential; knowledge of other UN official languages is an added advantage
  • excellent problem-solving skills, critical thinking abilities, and willingness to learn new software, tools, and technologies
  • ability to prioritise work and multitask; focus on delivery and self-motivation
  • a 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.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The salary is exempt from Canadian income taxes. This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave), and private health insurance coverage.

The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a two (2) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract, with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of this appointment shall not exceed six (6) years, as per the UNU Personnel Policy.

Starting date

September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development