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Associate Programme Officer/Research Scientist


Post Number : 1ITSCPA 104TP

Grade : P-2

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Trieste

Job Family: Programme Coordination

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 31-JAN-2022


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




Founded in 1964 by the late Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam and located in Trieste (Italy), the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) seeks to accomplish its mandate by providing scientists from developing countries with the continuing education and skills that they need to enjoy long and productive careers.


The Physics Without Frontiers (PWF) programme is a cross-cutting programme of the Programmes and Advancement Section (PRO) and the Research Division, aimed at consolidating and enhancing existing ICTP education and developmental programmes. The PWF programme sends postdoctoral researchers to developing countries for extended periods where they will train young scientists, teach advanced courses, collaborate with researchers on advanced scientific research to be integrated into ICTP programmes.


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Coordinator Programmes and Advancement Section the incumbent will contribute to the development and implementation of the PWF programme. The incumbent will be expected to actively participate in the other programmes in PRO given their area of scientific expertise. The responsibilities include:

Long Description

  • Contribute to management of the existing PWF projects and contribute to the development of new PWF courses and training activities in line with the expected growth of the PWF programme.

  • Review requests, in field of expertise, for activities made from universities and scientists in developing countries and further liaise with scientists and lecturers from the institutions where the projects take place.

  • Evaluate, in consultation with the Associate Programme Officer and ICTP faculty, which of the projects should continue and assess how they can be improved to maximise impact.

  • Liaise with ICTP scientists and proactively look for scientists from the worldwide physics and mathematics worldwide community, in order to find candidate scientists to deliver the teaching and outreach activities.

  • Suggest and collaborate in the implementation of virtual PWF activities.

  • Identify potential new funding sources and make recommendations to approach potential donors to the supervisor and to the Fundraising and Institute Advancement Officer.

  • Publicise the PWF activities through social media and the PWF website.

  • Teach and supervise Diploma and Ph.D. students in own area of expertise under the programmes of the Programmes and Advancement Section.

  • Act as local organiser of IAEA scientific meetings and oversee the IAEA Fellowships.

Long Description

Long Description

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 (PhD or equivalent) in Physics or a related area.



  • A minimum of two (2) years of relevant scientific research experience in a field of interest to ICTP of which preferably one (1) year acquired at international level.
  • Proven record in research and publications in any of the fields of the ICTP research directions.
  • Experience in teaching in developing countries and coordinating joint research and teaching projects with scientists based in developing countries.



  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.
  • Proven project management experience.
  • Demonstrated resource mobilization skills for scientific teaching or research projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively (both written and oral).



  • Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of English.




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

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 are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply (last update here). 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.