Organization: United Nations University
Organisational Unit: UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
United Nations University (UNU)
The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.
UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)
UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit www.ehs.unu.edu.
Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management and Adaptive Planning (VARMAP)
The institute’s VARMAP section develops and applies conceptual frameworks and scientific methods to assess socio-economic vulnerability and risk in the context of natural hazards, environmental change, and societal transformation. The section explores opportunities to reduce risks and to evaluate competing adaptation options. The section has a strong focus on urban areas and rural–urban linkages, and is particularly interested in the trends in vulnerability and adaptive capacity as societies undergo wider cultural, economic, demographic, and political transformation. VARMAP convenes an interdisciplinary team and has a wide network of scientific and practical partners. It draws on a mixed-methods approach, integrating qualitative and quantitative tools for the analysis. The section combines a global focus with clusters of specific regional expertise, notably in Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia, West Africa, and Europe.
TRANSCEND project: Transformation Decisions for the Adaptation and Sustainability of Cities in the Face of Environmental and Socio-economic Change
Urban climate risk is a growing problem as it is driven by the confluence of two megatrends within global change: urbanisation and climate change. The viability of the prevailing physical and institutional modes of organising urban human–environment relations will therefore be increasingly challenged, calling for adaptation and fundamental transformation in the ways urban risk is governed. However, it remains poorly understood how urban vulnerability and risk trajectories will develop at the city and sub-city scale, how different adaptation options can be evaluated, and whether fundamental transformations are necessary to secure cities’ successful adaptation and long-term sustainability in the face of global change.
TRANSCEND aims to find scientific and practical answers to these questions. Applying a transdisciplinary approach, the project is composed of three interlocking work streams:
- An integrated model will be developed which combines the assessment of future hazard trends with scenarios of future urban development and vulnerability at sub-city scale.
- The range of adaptation options will be identified and evaluated in close cooperation with practical partners, against a novel multi-criteria framework developed within the project.
- Decision-support tools for the analysis and guidance of risk governance, balancing the interests in multi-stakeholder urban contexts, will be developed.
While Mumbai and Jakarta, two of the most rapidly growing and hazard exposed cities globally, will form the two pilot cities for the method development and analysis, the project aims to develop transferable tools whose application in other high-risk cities will be facilitated through multiplier activities in South and Southeast Asia and beyond.
Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the supervision of the Head of the Vulnerability Assessment, Risk Management & Adaptive Planning (VARMAP) section, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:
- conduct research within the TRANSCEND project, particularly within the second and third work stream
- support the planning and organisation of the TRANSCEND kick-off workshop in Mumbai
- beyond TRANSCEND, contribute to VARMAP’s ongoing research on the evolving international architecture for adaptation finance, particularly climate change-related funds
- support the Head of Section in the drafting and design of outreach and communication material for the science–polity interface (e.g., policy briefs)
- take up other duties related to the section as required
Required qualifications and experience
Required qualifications and experience include:
- proven and strong track-record in academic work on disaster risk, environmental change, vulnerability, and climate adaptation finance
- MSc degree in Geography, Economics, Sociology, Demography, Statistics, Spatial Planning or other relevant discipline
- solid statistical skills to analyse secondary and primary data in the social sciences
- proven ability to write academically
- proven track-record of work experience within an international organisation
- excellent communication skills with fluency in oral and written English
- professional language skills in Hindi (oral and written)
- strong ability to carry out work independently
- good team player with ability to work in international and intercultural environment
- excellent time management skills
- willingness and qualification to conduct research for pursuing a PhD degree
- German-language skills are an additional asset
Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.
Contract and remuneration
This is full-time employment on a twelve (12) month Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with possibility for renewal subject to satisfactory work performance and availability of funds. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years. Remuneration will be within the range of the PSA pay scheme applied by UNU in Bonn, at PSA 1 or PSA 2 level, commensurate with qualifications and experience.
This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.
As soon as possible.
Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to email@example.com), and must include the following:
- a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
- a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
- an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2018/UNU/EHS/PSA/RA/71)
- a sample of academic writing of at least 10 pages
- full contact information of two potential references