MLPP 2023_Programme Specialist (Global Ocean Observing System)


Post Number : MLPP 2023_IOC 376

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 18-NOV-2023


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


This position is part of the Mid-Level Professionals Programme (MLPP).
We strongly encourage applicants from non- and under-represented Member States to apply.




The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is a collaborative system implemented through observing networks, regional alliances and national activities, aimed at delivering data and information for climate, operational ocean services, and ocean health. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic , Commission (IOC) of UNESCO is the lead agency for GOOS, and we seek a scientific officer with expert and project management experience to contribute to GOOS.


As Programme Specialist, you will join the IOC/UNESCO secretariat operating under the guidance from its 150 Member States and from the ocean observing scientific community. You will manage, advise and report on programme design, guidelines, resources and progress. You will advocate for organizational involvement and participation in ocean observation and services activities and fundraise for projects, supporting GOOS under supervision of the Head of Ocean Observing and Services Section of the IOC.


This is a unique opportunity for a motivated and experienced individual who wishes to further develop their career in programme management related to ocean sciences and regional coordination.

Long Description

More specifically, you will be expected to perform the following duties:


  • Take responsibility for delivery of work plans for the GOOS Regional Alliances (GRAs); provide analytical input and develop and track activities and outputs; organize the annual GRA council meetings and bi-annual GRA forum; engage to further develop the GRAs particularly in the Pacific, Caribbean, Africa, and Arctic regions; fundraise, and manage and target budget, to have maximum and reportable impact.
  • Manage work plans, governance and activities of the Expert Team on Operational Ocean Forecasting Systems (ETOOFS); provide scientific expertise and input to the development of relevant documents and content updates.
  • Coordinate with and expand expert networks and stakeholder engagement, including with the World Meteorological Organisation and other intergovernmental organizations and relevant Ocean Decade initiatives.
  • Develop and coordinate activities with National Focal Points; initiate technical advice and assistance to support collaborative work and recommend programme and project approaches to strengthen engagement.
  • Deliver organizational, management and coordination support to the GOOS Office, including for the GOOS Steering Committee and the GOOS Executive meetings and other relevant activities and events.
  • Further resource mobilization and develop alternative funding mechanisms for GOOS projects and developing concepts and project proposals for targeted systems development.



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)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.




  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in the field of marine science.
  • A PhD in the field of marine science would be an asset.


Work Experience

  • At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in marine science or related field, of which preferably two (2) years acquired at international level.
  • Professional experience of project management, or other relevant management and coordination experience.


Technical Knowledge

  • Experience in oceanography, and specifically in the field of ocean observing , forecasting and services.
  • Relevant scientific publications related oceanography.


Skills and Competencies

  • Experience with project management, and in evolving flexible planning for complex and changing environments.
  • Demonstrated strategic and goal orientated approach, with knowledge of management by objectives.
  • Good conceptual, analytical, research and organizational skills and excellent drafting skills, with the ability to produce accessible reports and papers on scientific, technical, and strategic issues.
  • Good negotiating, communication and advocacy skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, ability to work in a multicultural environment and foster team cooperation.



  • Excellent knowledge of English.
  • Knowledge of French and/or the other UNESCO official languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) is an asset.


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.


The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 99 451 US $.


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.