Programme Assistant (Natural Sciences)


Post Number : SC 141

Grade : G-5

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable 

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 05-AUG-2024


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


Only candidates who are entitled to work in France may apply to this position


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General of the Natural Science’s Sector (ADG/SC) and the Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences, and under the direct supervision of the Chief of Earth Sciences and Geoparks Section (EES/EG), the incumbent will support the EES/EG Section with administrative matters and office support functions. The incumbent will ensure the quality and consistency of the office workflows and information management. 


The incumbent shall in particular be required to perform the following tasks:

Budgetary Support:

  • Review and analyse budgetary data from current and past initiatives.
  • Respond to budgetary inquiries and draft regular and ad hoc budgetary /financial updates, reports, statistics, and projections for management, staff, and donors for regular programme and extra-budgetary funds.


Programme Administration:

  • Assist in organizing statutory meetings, outreach activities, partnership initiatives, and special events.
  • Retrieve, research, and verify information for relevance and accuracy.
  • Assemble documents, prepare agendas, reports, presentations, and speeches according to standards and formats.
  • Handle logistical arrangements such as venue selection, participant lists, invitation letters, and processing requests for translation, printing, and document dispatch for statutory meetings. 
  • Coordinate services for webcasting, recording, and transcription of debates.


Administrative Coordination:

  • Assess and coordinate administrative support for external expert missions, meetings, events, workshops, seminars, travel, document processing, and consultant engagements.
  • Inform management and team members about processes, procedures, and timeframes for securing administrative services needed for programme/ project execution.
  • Initiate contractual documents for consultants/temporary assistance, prepare purchase requisitions, verify payment requests, and provide information on payment status and obligations.


Project and Programme Reporting:

  • Guide and support project and programme reporting requirements.
  • Prepare human resources’ related requests (e.g., recruitment of temporary personnel, transfers).
  • Process visas and other documentation as needed.
  • Initiate travel authorisations and make travel arrangements for team staff.
  • Provide assistance to partners and stakeholders as required.

Documentation and Records Management:

  • Maintain and update programme and project documentation and records.
  • Research and track background information and documentation.
  • Maintain electronic and hard-copy files/records/data sources up to date on budgetary data, contracts, personnel, and other administrative matters.
  • Update staff and equipment listings.
  • Ensure the proper creation and closure of files and their safe retention.
  • Provide general office assistance, including receiving, registering, reviewing, and drafting correspondence and emails.
  • Type a variety of reports and tables to document and transmit administrative or budgetary information.
  • Verify outgoing correspondence for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with UNESCO format standards.
  • Maintain mailing lists and other contact lists.



For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Accountability (C)
Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Planning and organizing (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)



  • Completed secondary, technical or vocational education.


Work Experience

  • Minimum five (5) years of relevant work experience in secretarial, and administrative support tasks or related tasks, preferably in an international environment.


Skills and competencies

  • Good analytical and organizational skills;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, including good drafting skills in English and/or French.
  • Ability to draft correspondence and correct documents.
  • Good organizational and coordination skills.
  • Discretion and capacity to deal efficiently and tactfully with people of different cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to work effectively and maintain effective working relations within a multi-cultural environment.
  • Diplomacy and politeness in dealing with external and internal partners requesting information.
  • Flexibility to adjust work schedules and priorities and capacity to work effectively under pressure.
  • Ability to manage heavy workloads and to meet tight deadlines, paying close attention to detail.
  • Solid computer skills, proficiency in the use of MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.).



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



  • General administrative training and a background in the field of natural sciences or a related field.


Work Experience

  • Familiarity with UN system or administrative operation of UN agencies.
  • Experience in providing programme and administrative support services.
  • Relevant work experience in an international environment/organization/institution.
  • Experience in drafting communication materials.
  • Experience in administration in international organizations.


Skills and competencies

  • Excellent copy-editing and proofreading skills.
  • Knowledge of UNESCO rules, administrative procedures, systems and standard practices.
  • Ability to prepare documents, letters and reports in accordance with the appropriate format, style or content of documents ensuring compliance with UNESCO procedures.



  • Knowledge of another official UNESCO language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, 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.  

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 43 734 EUR.

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.