Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences)


Post Number : SC 335

Grade : P-4

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) : 02-AUG-2024


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences (ADG/SC), with guidance from the Director of the Division of Science Policy and Basic Sciences (PBS), and direct supervision from the Chief of the Section of Basic Sciences, Research, Innovation and Engineering, the incumbent is responsible for overseeing the STEM education programme to leveraging scientific resource to provide contents, capacity, expectation, and for leading the development and implementation of programmes in engineering for transformation. The incumbent will leverage STEM education and engineering innovation, developing and maintaining collaborative projects within unesco, showcasing the strong link between basic sciences and engineering leading to innovation,  and will be responsible for promoting global innovation work at the different levels.


The incumbent will lead the STEM education programme, ensuring alignment with organizational goals, initiating capacity building, advocacy, and mobilization activities, and fostering partnerships. S/he will lead the development and implementation of engineering programmes, promoting collaboration and encouraging youth and women engagement. Additionally, s/he will nurture innovation through promoting creation and operation of innovation (industrial) park,   networks and advocate for STEM and engineering initiatives, exploring funding mechanisms and providing policy advice.


In particular, the incumbent shall:

Long Description

  • Lead and manage the development, rollout, and monitoring of the STEM Learning programme.
  • Initiate and implement hands-on training activities in sustainable engineering, environmental projects, and technological innovation, focusing on Global Priority Africa, gender equality, and SIDS.
  • Develop and lead programmes linking basic sciences to engineering through innovative projects and create innovation networks and hubs.
  • Monitor and integrate innovative practices and tools to enhance remote access to STEM and engineering education.
  • Coordinate the publication of reports on STEM and engineering advancements and their impact on sustainable development.
  • Advocate for inter-sectoral collaboration on STEM and engineering initiatives, providing specialized advice on best practices.
  • Establish and maintain collaborations with corporations, startups, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Member States, and donors to promote STEM among youth, secure funding, enhance programme scope, leverage resources, and ensure alignment with priorities.
  • Recommend and develop programme approaches and thematic inclusions for strategic documents, managing programme designs, guidelines, resources, and progress.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Accountability (C)
Innovation (C)
Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C)
Results focus (C)
Teamwork (C)
Professionalism (C)
Building partnerships (M)
Managing performance (M)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced University Degree (master's or equivalent) in Basic Sciences, Applied Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, or Environmental Engineering, or related field.



  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible and relevant professional experience in the field of basic sciences, engineering and technology-related fields,
  • A minimum of three years of experience acquired at the international level.
  • Proven experience in planning, developing, implementing, managing, coordinating, and evaluating science programmes,
  • Experience in resource mobilization,
  • Experience in leading and managing teams of professionals/experts in a multicultural work environment.


  • Demonstrated ability to translate strategy into priorities and actions, develop and implement strategic projects and initiatives within science programmes,
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills; ability to identify critical strategic issues, objectives, opportunities, and risks,
  • Demonstrated ability to build, develop, and maintain partnerships and to coordinate, negotiate and deal with partners and networks for UNESCO science programmes,
  • Proven capacity to produce high-quality analytical reports. Knowledge of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; ability to communicate effectively and persuasively. Ability to maintain effective working relationships within a team and to build trust, manage, lead, and motivate staff in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity,
  • Ability to take initiative and to manage priorities effectively; to work under pressure, with capacity for accuracy, paying close attention to detail and quality of work.


  • Excellent knowledge of English and working knowledge of French



  • Advanced University degree (Ph.D.) related to Applied Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, or Environmental Engineering, or related field.



  • Work experience in capacity building in sciences, engineering, innovations, and new technologies.



  • Familiarity with the work and general functioning of international organizations and/or the United Nations system.
  • Knowledge of the UNESCO Science Programmes and policies.



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


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

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 157 073 US $.

For more information on benefits and entitlements, please consult the ICSC website 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 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.