Academic Officer (Migration and Environment)

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 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

Programme on Migration and Environment

UNU-EHS has conducted a successful programme on environmentally induced migration, with a particular focus on climate change. The programme has been influential in bringing the theme to the scientific as well as the policy agenda. Thus far, the research has been conducted with the Programme EMSVA, as part of a larger portfolio. Following a reorganisation, the new programme Migration and Environment will continue and extend this research, with a particular focus on the interactions between environmental transformation, socio-economic, cultural, and other factors.


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS/Vice-Rector in Europe, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • successfully build up and manage the new Programme on Migration and Environment with respect to its scientific profile, human resources, and budget
  • develop a strategy for the programme, particularly with a focus on the interaction of environmental impacts with socio-economic, cultural, and other factors
  • fundraise with German as well as international donors for policy-relevant topics that also open up research possibilities for PhD students
  • publish research results, together with other researchers at UNU-EHS and beyond, in international peer-reviewed journals and as book chapters
  • maintain and further develop existing cooperation with UN agencies, the University of Bonn, and other external partners
  • contribute to the Joint Master’s Programme on “The Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security” with the University of Bonn
  • supervise MSc and PhD students
  • represent UNU-EHS at major conferences
  • advise the Director of UNU-EHS in institute wide strategic programming as well as day-to-day management
  • represent UNU-EHS at the UNU Migration Network and collaborate, as appropriate, with other researchers working on migration at UNU in terms of exploring research synergies, organising joint events, and seeking funding for externally funded projects
  • coordinate the UNU Migration Network in the period on a rotational basis with other UNU institutes

Qualifications and experience requirements

Required qualifications and experience include:

  • PhD in a relevant academic discipline, including geography, demography, environmental economics, or sociology
  • at least five years of professional experience in research and academia, some of which preferably in an international setting
  • ability to engage well with both qualitative and quantitative methodologies
  • excellent leadership and team spirit
  • familiarity with UN and/or other international institutions and mechanisms
  • strong publication background in the areas related to the Migration and Environment Programme
  • successful track record in securing third-party funding
  • superior communication and didactic skills
  • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • fluency in English; German or additional UN working languages are desirable
  • experience in supervising PhD and MSc students
  • experience in organising seminars, workshops, and conferences

Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


We offer competitive net salary (tax-exempted) at P-3 level commensurate with level of experience and allowances including post adjustment. Post adjustment is subject to change.

The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common System, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant, removal expenses, and home leave.

For more information about United Nations salary and entitlement/benefits, please visit

The UNU Rector reserves the right to appoint a suitable candidate at a lower level than advertised.

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment and an internationally recruited post. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of fixed-term appointments shall not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years old.

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.