Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences)

Venice, Italy 🇮🇹

Domain : Natural Sciences
Post Number : 1ITSC 0003RP
Grade : P-4
Organizational Unit: FIELD OFFICES
Primary location: IT-Venice
Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates
Type of contract : Fixed Term
Salary : 98 765 USD (Annual Salary)  
Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : December 14, 2017



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, the direct supervision of the Director, UNESCO Regional  Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, and in close collaboration with Science Programme Specialists and relevant Programme Specialists at Headquarters, the incumbent will be responsible for developing, planning,and implementing activities in Europe with particular focus on South-East Europe (SEE) and the Mediterranean sub-region. S/he will prepare inputs for the UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), the Programme and Budget (C/5) and related work plans in the domain of Water (according to IHP strategy), ecological and Earth Programmes. S/he is also responsible for active contribution to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and participation in the joint UN initiative in the countries within the geographic purview of the Regional Bureau. Specifically, s/he will perform the following duties:

  • Coordinate and design programmes and projects in the areas of Natural Sciences including the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Ecological and Earth Sciences, notably for the Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB BRs), the International Geoscience and Geo-parks Programme (IGGP). Coordinate and plan work activities in the areas of the development of science systems, empowering learners and the Science 2030 agenda.  Provide technical support to national counterparts to design, plan, implement and coordinate decentralized programmes activities related to Natural Sciences specifically in the field of Water Sciences and Ecological and Earth Sciences.
  • Provide substantive contributions in the field of hydrological and environmental sciences and sustainable development to the development of national, regional and international strategies. Develop and implement capacity building activities and projects to improve water resources management in the framework of IHP-VIII- Water security (acting as focal point for Europe) and enhance Network of MAB BRs and World Heritage sites in the SEE and Mediterranean sub-regions. Assist Member States in supporting and coordinating activities of UNESCO Chairs and in developing affiliated research centers related to Natural Sciences.
  • Establish and promote strategic relationships with other UN agencies, UNESCO Centres and Institutes and field offices in the South-Eastern European countries, civil society and Multilateral and Bilateral Development partners such as the World Bank, the European Development Bank and the European Commission, NGOs and IGOs and donors in view of development and implementation of joint activities within the context of UN Reform, Common Country Assessments (CCAs), and UN development models, such as Delivering As One and the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
  • Actively collaborate with colleagues working in other fields of expertise (culture, education, ocean literacy) to identify synergies in activities and resources in support of an inter-sectorial approach to activities.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization by developing concepts notes and project proposals based on situational analyses and in accordance with UNESCO’s Programme and Budget. Liaise and partner with UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral partners, development banks and international institutions in order to formulate extra-budgetary national and regional projects related to Natural Sciences.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in the field of water sciences, environmental and earth sciences or in other related field.

Work experience

  • Minimum 7 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience in the field of Natural Sciences, of which at least 3 years acquired at the international level, preferably in a multilateral organization.
  • Professional work experience in water, environmental and earth sciences with knowledge of related networks.
  • Proven experience in fundraising and mobilization of resources.


  • Excellent programme and project management skills.
  • Conceptual, critical thinking demonstrated, among others, in the preparation of professional texts.
  • Proven ability to identify emerging trends and needs and ability to plan strategically and translate strategy into priorities and action.
  • Demonstrated ability to participate effectively in high-level negotiations and build/maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to lead, manage and motivate staff and teams and to maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of the functioning of the United Nations system.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (oral and written). 
  • Good IT skills, including knowledge of standard office software.


  • Excellent knowledge of English or French and good knowledge of the other language.




  • Advanced university degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in the field of water science, hydrology, ecological science and/or civil/environmental engineering.

Work Experience

  • Experience within government or the private sector in the field of Natural Sciences.
  • Experience with specialized agencies of the UN system and/or professional NGOs and/or organizations for international technical cooperation.
  • Experience in promoting South-East Europe cooperation.
  • Experience in teaching or training in the field of Natural Sciences.


  • Knowledge of the geopolitical context of the South-East European and Mediterranean Region.


  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Spanish).
  • Knowledge of one or more languages of the Region covered by the Office.