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Ocean Science Communications Officer


Parent Sector : Field Office

Duty Station: Bangkok

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : From 7 to 11 months

Recruitment open to : External candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 10-JUL-2020

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Assignment: to communicate ocean science to a wide range of ocean stakeholders and general public alike, to promote the engagement of ocean research communities with other ocean stakeholders, and the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in the region.

1. Background and Rationale

The United Nations has proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) to support efforts to reverse the cycle of decline in ocean health and gather ocean stakeholders worldwide behind a common framework that will ensure ocean science can fully support countries in creating improved conditions for sustainable development of the Ocean.

The UNESCO/IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) is the regional body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO/IOC) for the Western Pacific and its adjacent areas. Its mission is to advance ocean knowledge through ocean research, ocean observations and services, and capacity development, in order to assist Member States in the conservation and sustainable development of ocean, seas and marine resources.  The Sub-Commission focuses on four main thrust areas: ocean processes and climate change, marine biodiversity and seafood safety, ocean ecosystem health, and enhancing knowledge of emerging ocean science issues.

We are seeking a Science Communications Officer to play a key role in promoting the UN Ocean Science Decade in the region and ocean science as a whole.  He or she will help communicate ocean science to a wide range of ocean stakeholders and general public alike. By developing compelling contents and delivering them through the right channels, the Science Communications Officer will promote the sustainable development of ocean, and the engagement of ocean research communities with other ocean stakeholders, as inspired by the UN Ocean Science Decade.

The post is based at the WESTPAC Office, Bangkok, Thailand.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

2. Key Duties and Responsibilities

Under the overall authority of the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for the Asia and Pacific, and the direct supervision of the Head of the WESTPAC Office, the incumbent shall perform the following duties:

  • Keep abreast with ocean science development across the region, propose and research ideas for news and features.
  • Research, write and edit compelling and easily understandable content about ocean science and the work of the Sub-Commission for websites, print publications (brochures, leaflets, posters), newsletters, social media and campaign activities etc.
  • Write lively, engaging and scientifically accurate news articles and features about WESTPAC ocean scientists, programmes, ocean institutions and their research outputs/outcomes.
  • Develop the WESTPAC e-newsletter which include writing, editing and proofreading articles, sourcing and formatting images, and overall responsibility for content, appearance and distribution.
  • Copy-edit and proofread communication related materials from the Sub-Commission’s various networks, such as their reports and deliverables.
  • Assist in developing engaging digital content such as infographics and video shorts for use on websites and social media channels to educate and drive interest in the Sub-Commission’s work.
  • Organize the outreach and information events including hands-on, interactive science demonstrations.
  • Establish relationships with the media, as well as ocean researchers and experts who will contribute to stories.
  • Liaison with the UNESCO/IOC Communications Team and UNESCO Bangkok Public Information and Outreach Unit.
  • Perform other functions as requested by the Head of the WESTPAC Office.

In line with UNESCO’s overall gender mainstreaming strategy, the consultant is expected to integrate a gender perspective in all activities and apply gender mainstreaming concepts whenever feasible.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)
Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.
Qualifications and Skill Required
  • Advanced university degree in a scientific discipline or journalism. A degree in marine science, environmental science or science communications will be considered an advantage.
  • At least five years of experience in science communications or journalism. Experience with international development, ocean science and knowledge of the region a plus.
  • Excellent command of English with exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • Demonstrable interest in science/science communication, and ability to grasp new areas of scientific research in a short time frame.
  • Advanced knowledge of Word, PowerPoint, Excel. IT skills with experience in video making, website content management and social media networks will be considered an advantage.
  • Excellent attention to detail, proactive, diligent, willing to learn, dedicated and responsible.
  • Highly organized, be able to work on several tasks simultaneously, be able to prioritize and to utilize efficient time management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to collaborate and work in a team in a multicultural environment.

Interested individuals are invited to submit to UNESCO Bangkok office the specific requirements as below:

  • An expression of interest and a statement indicating how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the assignment;
  • An up-to-date CV stating details of educational qualifications, work experience, including prior experience of similar work;
  • A list of past similar work or report/publication written with hyperlinks to access such paper if they are available online or samples of such papers if they are only available offline.
  • A proposal (not more than 2 pages) discussing the approach/methodology that will be adopted in carrying out the tasks in the TOR with a proposed outline of the report. 
  • A financial proposal (a lump sum of consultancy fee or a daily rate and an estimate number of working days)


The complete application shall be submitted to n.saransuth@unesco.org before the deadline on 10 July 2020 by 17:30 hrs Bangkok Time


UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are met. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organization best value for money.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO applies a zero tolerance policy against all forms of harassment.

UNESCO is committed to achieve and sustain gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities, as well as nationals from non-and under-represented Member States (last update here) are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.