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Post Number : SC 370

Grade : D-1

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 27-MAY-2022 (extended)


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



The Division for Science Policy and Capacity Building includes three sections covering:

  • Science, Technology and Innovation Policy. 
  • Basic Sciences, Research Innovation and Engineering. 
  • Local and Indigenous Knowledge. 

The Division aims to support Member States in harnessing science, technology, and innovation (STI) and other knowledge systems for sustainable development at a national, regional and global level towards the implementation of Agenda 2030. A special focus is given to UNESCO’s two global priorities, Africa and Gender, to youth and the increasing use of ICTs. 

The Division coordinates the implementation of the programmes for Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems (LINKS) and the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP). For capacity development in STI, engineering and science education, it ensures a close cooperation with The World Academy of Sciences (UNESCO-TWAS), the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP-UNESCO Category 1 Centre), other UNESCO-affiliated centres, UNESCO Chairs and institutions such as CERN and Sesame. The Division is responsible for the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science with multi-stakeholders and Member States.

The Division is responsible for, and manages, international days and awards pertinent to the Division, funded by both public and private sector, including the World Science Forum.

Under the authority and direct supervision of the Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences Sector, the incumbent will be responsible for the management of the Division’s human and financial resources, administration and operations, in line with the Organization’s policies and procedures. S/he will lead the Sector’s efforts in establishing and maintaining effective relations with partners in STI inside and outside of the United Nations System; building and entertaining fundraising strategies and productive partnerships with donors; s/he will be responsible for the planning and coordination of programmes and plans of action. S/he will provide immediate supervision to the Division’s three sections’ Chiefs and ensure intellectual, strategic and operational leadership in the development and execution of the programme activities of the Division towards the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals relevant to the Division’s main programmes. 

Long Description

In particular, the incumbent will:

  • Plan, coordinate and monitor UNESCO’s programmes by strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation and promoting participatory governance of STI systems at national, regional and global level.
  • Provide leadership in forging key strategic partnerships both within UNESCO (TWAS and ICTP) and with outside partners and ensure efficient communication with UNESCO field offices, UNESCO-affiliated centres and chairs. 
  • Provide strategic guidance and follow up on recent evaluations on the World Science Report, the International Basic Sciences Programme and TWAS.
  • Provide leadership in the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
  • Be responsible for developing partnerships, establishing relations and maintaining liaison with actual and potential donors in the framework of the UNESCO Resource Mobilization Strategy. S/he will mobilize funds for the Sector’s programme and projects.
  • Manage and guide a team of multicultural staff by creating a positive work environment and giving incentives for commitment and action to promote UNESCO ideals, goals and targets. Direct, allocate and provide accountability for the management of the staff of the Division and the budget allocated to the implementation of specific programmes and activities.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Driving and managing change (M)
Leading and empowering others (M)
Making quality decisions (M)
Managing performance (M)
Strategic thinking (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in one of the fields of natural sciences. 

Work Experience

  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible relevant professional experience at the appropriate management level of which at least 5 years within the United Nations system or other international institutions, covering a wide experience in development issues related to UNESCO’s areas of competence and multi stakeholder management. 
  • Experience in advocacy, resources and partnership mobilization.
  • Specialization and/or substantive experience in the area of science, technology, innovation and policy development, especially in areas related to the post.
  • Proven experience in designing and elaborating STEM education strategies.
  • Experience in the field of international relations and diplomacy, multilateral cooperation, development.

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, the Organization’s mandate, vision, strategic direction and priorities. 
  • Good knowledge of UNESCO’s programmes and policies and of international development policies and institutions. 
  • Demonstrated strategic planning and management abilities, including capacity to administer extensive programmes and financial resources. 
  • Leadership capacity, high sense of objectivity and professional integrity, diplomacy, tact and political astuteness. 
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively and to build relationships with diverse groups of organizations and individuals, relevant institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, including through networking; ability to participate effectively in high-level negotiations with internal and external partners. 
  • Analytical and organizational skills, including in establishing plans and priorities, and in implementing them effectively, as well as in devising implementation plans. 
  • Proven skills in administration and the management of financial and human resources. 
  • Capacity to provide intellectual leadership to guide staff, as well as ability to build trust, manage, lead and motivate a large and diversified body of staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity. 
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with strong representational abilities. 
  • Ability to communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing, in front of a broad range of constituents, as well as the news media.
  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to identify key strategic issues, objectives, opportunities, and risks.


  • Excellent knowledge of English (oral and written).



  • PhD or equivalent degree in the field of Natural Sciences.

Work Experience

  • Experience in elaborating and implementing Science programmes, and in conducting policy dialogue at government and non-government levels or public and private sectors.

Skills and Competencies

  • Good knowledge of the United Nations system.


  • Knowledge of other official UNESCO languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


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 recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as 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. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities 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.