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Programme Specialist (Ocean Decade Science Officer)


Post Number : IOC TA 002

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)

Duty Station: Paris

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Temporary Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 05-DEC-2022 (Extended)


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



The implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (‘the Ocean Decade’) commenced on 1 January 2021. The Ocean Decade provides a common framework to ensure that ocean science can fully support actions to sustainably manage the ocean and contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), as the agency tasked with coordinating the implementation of the Ocean Decade, is now recruiting a ‘Science Officer’ to support a variety of tasks related to the implementation of the Ocean Decade.


The incumbent will be responsible for the following tasks:

Long Description

  • Contribute substantively to the design and implementation of a process of strategic ambition setting for Ocean Decade Challenges including liaison with Decade Actions, decentralised coordination structures, and other external and internal partners. This process will require the facilitation of expert working groups to set indicators and targets for Ocean Decade Challenges and integrate the results into the Ocean Decade Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and other Ocean Decade structures and processes.
  • Coordinate scientific aspects of the scoping and the analyses of results of Calls for Decade Actions including contribution to documentation for the Decade Advisory Board, and recommendations for the IOC Executive Secretary.
  • Support the development of training and capacity development materials related to the scientific aspects of Ocean Decade implementation.
  • Engage in the development of selected policy briefs, discussion papers, and publications related to the Ocean Decade.
  • Support the organization and development of Ocean Decade side events at international and regional conferences and meetings.
  • Act as focal point for selected Decade Collaborative Centres, regional taskforces and Decade programmes as agreed with the supervisor and support their engagement in the Ocean Decade.
  • Carry out other tasks related to implementation of the Ocean Decade as requested by the supervisor.

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 (Masters degree or equivalent) in an ocean science or related discipline.


Work Experience

  • Minimum four (4) years of professional experience in project and programme development and management, scientific coordination and review processes, development of indicators and targets, and/or facilitation of expert working groups, of which preferably two (2) years are acquired at international level.


Skills and Competencies

  • Agility and flexibility; ability to meet tight deadlines and manage changing priorities.
  • Ability to work within a small, multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team.



  • Excellent working knowledge (spoken and written) in English or French, and good working knowledge of the other language.




  • A PhD in a relevant Ocean Science discipline.


Work Experience

  • Experience in fundraising, partnership development and resource mobilization.



  • Knowledge of another/other official UNESCO language(s) (Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian).


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 87,455.34 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.