Associate Academic Officer

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Bonn, Germany 🇩🇪

United Nations University objectives

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)

UNU-ViE concentrates on relationships between advancing science and technology for human security. In addition to its scientific core mandate, it administers the central units providing service to five UNU entities in Bonn ( The central administration units include Finance, Human Resources, Information Communication Technology, Communication Services, and Procurement and General Administration. These units also assist with the administration of new UNU initiatives in Europe and Africa.

UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information please visit


Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services (EVES) section

The EVES section at UNU-EHS conducts original, policy-relevant research addressing the vulnerability and resilience of social-ecological systems. Specifically, EVES aims to understand how social ecological systems are affected by environmental hazards of diverse nature, such as water and land degradation, floods, droughts, and other hazards. EVES not only considers the impacts of single hazards, but also investigates multiple hazard situations, identifying cumulating or cascading impacts and feedbacks between hazards of contrasting nature such as floods and droughts. The concept of ecosystem services is of central importance in most of the research conducted by EVES researchers.

For detailed information please visit


UNU-EHS is looking for an experienced E-Learning expert to coordinate and manage eLearning contributions to the BMBF-funded GlobeDrought project (2017–2020) and other eLearning activities at the institutes, as well as to develop an overall e-learning strategy for UNU-EHS. The institute develops open educational resources for use and sharing with educators, students, and self-learners to use, reuse, and adapt them in teaching, learning, and research. Information Communications Technologies (ICT) play a key role in the activity of the institute with regard to eLearning/distance education, open source technologies and new media in context WEB 2.0 technologies to facilitate communication and knowledge sharing, to enhance project work, and to design and deliver learning materials.

With projects such as Higher Education Cooperation with PAUWES, WESA (Water  and  Energy  Security  in Africa) and RARSUS (Risk Assessment and Reduction strategies for Sustainable Urban  resource  Supply  in sub-Saharan  Africa) and other projects, the institute is supporting the institutional development of partners with regard E-Learning by enhancing their teaching and research activities, design  and development of ICT-based solutions to support teaching, research, social and professional networking.

GlobeDrought project

GlobeDrought aims at developing, testing, and implementing a drought information system to characterise drought events and their impact on water resources, crop productivity, food trade, food security, and the demand for international food aid. Within this scope, the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) will analyse vulnerabilities and risks with regard to meteorological, hydrological, and agronomic droughts at global and regional levels (incl. South Africa).


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS/Vice-Rector in Europe and the overall supervision of the Head of the Environmental Vulnerability and Ecosystem Services (EVES) section and the E-Learning Program manager, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

  • management of resources and scientific coordination of activities with regards to design and development of eLearning courses, and development and implementation of a communication and outreach strategy for the GlobeDrought project
  • conceptualisation, organisation and management of  eLearning strategy at UNU-EHS, notably design of eLearning modules related to the core competency of UNU-EHS
  • supervision of the design, development, and delivery of eLearning courses and programmes at UNU-EHS (online block courses, online summer school, MOOCs)
  • writing of applications for project grants to ensure financial sustainability of E-Learning activities at EHS; contributing to the acquisition of third-party funding at UNU-EHS in general. and particularly in the frame of eLearning
  • coordination of workshops, webinars, and online lectures in the frame of eLearning projects at UNU-EHS
  • contributing to research and teaching in the field of educational technologies in context of climate changes
  • design, evaluation, selection, and configuration of IT platforms for educational purposes and up-to-date knowledge management and dissemination systems
  • support for organising educational events: semester and block courses, seminars, workshops, and summer schools, in Germany and abroad
  • taking up related duties as required

Qualifications and experience requirements 

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • PhD in Engineering, Natural Sciences, Education, Social Sciences or other relevant field
  • minimum four (4) years of professional experience in research and academia, of which part should have been in a teaching position
  • excellent skills in writing applications for research grants
  • experience in fund-raising for research projects from German and international donors
  • proven experience in the design and development of eLearning systems and ICT-based learning materials and modules; strong knowledge in instructional design and educational technologies
  • good knowledge in multimedia and authoring software and tools for eLearning course development (Articulate, Adobe Creative Suite and Captivate, CourseLabs, Camtasia Studio, etc.)
  • proven experience in the design, development, and administration of Learning Content Management Systems
  • experience in management and administration of online Community of Practice
  • proven skills in organising conferences and educational events within the international context
  • good didactic skills and proven experience in teaching and supervising students, particularly within an international context
  • knowledge in area of Environmental Vulnerability & Ecosystem Services  will be considered as an asset
  • fluency in both oral and written English is required; French and German language capacity will be considered a strong asset
  • outstanding presentation, writing, and reporting skills; ability to communicate clearly and efficiently with high level stakeholders
  • proven interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work well in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Duration of contract

This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract, with possibility for renewal subject to satisfactory work performance and availability of funds. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

Starting date

As soon as possible.