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National Professional Officer (Science)


Post Number : 3ECSC1000RP

Grade : NO-C

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Quito

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term Field

Duration of contract : 2 years

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-OCT-2021 (Deadline extended)


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

Only citizens of Ecuador are eligible to apply.


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General, Natural Sciences (ADG/SC), the close direct supervision and guidance of the Director of UNESCO Quito Office, the incumbent works in close collaboration with and under the guidance from Natural Sciences Programme Specialists at HQ and the SC specialists in the Regional Bureau for Natural Sciences in Montevideo. The incumbent is responsible for providing professional, scientific and technical support, research and analysis, with an emphasis on the national perspective of the country (Ecuador), to the field offices and Natural Sciences Sector work, as well as to multisectoral and cross country programmatic activities and initiatives conducted from Quito office.


Programme and Project Support

  • Participate in the conceptualization, design, planning, development, coordination, monitoring and implementation of the Field Office's Natural Sciences Strategy and its corresponding programmes, projects, assessments and activities. Identify focus areas within national priorities, and when requested by national authorities, propose alignment of these priorities with United Nations action (agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals and other international objectives) within the framework of UNESCO Medium-Term strategy (C/4), the approved Programme and Budget (C/5), plan and develop methods, models and procedures for implementing programmes.  
  • Contribute to inter-disciplinary work in the Field Office in the region, particularly with regards to the review of the UNESCO National Support Strategy (UNESS) in coordination with other UNESCO offices in the region and the SC Sector.
  • Provide technical and scientific support and professional expertise in view of policy development in different assigned areas of Natural Sciences.  
  • Contribute to UNESCO's involvement in the Field based United Nations project management systems, identify areas for improved alignment of projects and activities at country and region levels, including the preparation of Common Country Assessments (CCAs), United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) in alignment with regional UNESCO goals, national and United Nations Agencies goals. 


Advice and Knowledge Management

  • Contribute to the provision of policy advice, technical and scientific assistance to Ministry of Natural Sciences, Environment and other closely related government entities; to prepare and implement country level co-operation programmes (RP and XB), and implement research and analytical work. Provide advice and technical support and backstopping to other UNESCO Field offices, peers and colleagues. Advise on applicable tools, models, policies and resources in area of own expertise. 
  • Analyze, evaluate and contribute to the development of Natural Sciences Sector wide approaches and strategies, in consultation with relevant stakeholders and members of the United Nations Country teams (UNCT) with a view to proposing enhanced concepts, content and design. Research, recommend and contribute to the development and expansion of a knowledge base. Carry out trend analysis and research, recommend particular courses of action based on findings.

Long Description

Networking and Partnershlps

  • Liaise with colleagues within the Sector and in other Sectors, in own and other Field Offices, Headquarters, Category I and Category II Centres and Institutes in natural sciences and stakeholders to discuss developments and implementation of the science programme.
  • Contribute to the mobilization and coordination of national, reglonal and international partners worklng on Natural Sciences sector/strategy issues for the country.
  • Work with stakeholders, public and private partners to support the development and implementation of national Natural Sciences policies, strategies and plans, monitoring and evaluation. Initiate reflection and debate on policies and strategies.


Continous Learning

  • Invest in persona!, scientific and professional learning in respect of new trends, and maintenance of personal knowledge and expertise. Acquire notions of other Natural Sciences specialities and UNESCO Sectors represented in the UNESCO Quito Office and of relevance to the country served. 

Long Description

Resource mobilization

  • In an increasingly competitive International and multilateral environment, contrlbute to resource mobilization for the country by developing concept notes and project proposais on the basis of situational analysls and needs assessments and in accordance wlth the C/5.
  • As assigned, mobilize extra budgetary resources to support sector-wide planning, Natural Sciences policy analysls, Natural Sciences sector assessment and management in line with country policy priorities, the regional Sciences Support Strategy and UNESCO's overall resource mobilization strategies.

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)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent) in one of the field of Natural sciences.

Work Experience

  • Minimum 4 years of relevant professional experience performing a similar technical and coordination functions in the area of natural sciences or other related fields, at the national and/or sub-regional level.
  • Experience in working in the implementation of national and/or sub-regional projects in the area of natural sciences.
  • Teaching experience.
  • Proven experience in the negotiation, implementation and monitoring of extra budgetary projects and designing funding proposals.
  • Proven experience in leading and managing teams.
  • Peer-reviewed papers.


  • Proven ability to plan, implement and report on programme actions and projects.
  • Ability to participate effectively in negotiations with internal and external partners.
  • Skills in communicating effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing.
  • Excellent IT, knowledge management and social networking skills, good understanding of emerging communication and information technologies and their potential uses.


  • Excellent knowledge (written and oral)  of English.
  • Very good knowledge (written and oral) of Spanish.


Work Experience

  • Experience in an international environment.


  • Familiarity with key mechanisms such as the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), UN Country Team (UNCT) mechanisms, Delivering as One (DAO) and UN Joint Programming and UN inter-agency initiatives.


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


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


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.