Deputy Director

United Nations University, Bonn, Germany

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
23rd September, 2020

Job Description


  • UNU-EHS is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and policy relevant research to act as Deputy-Director of the Institute primarily responsible for managing and expanding its research programme, while working closely with the Institute Director.
  • The ideal candidate is a mid- to late-career academic in the field of environmental studies, geography, agriculture, sustainability studies or related fields.


  • Reporting directly to the Institute Director, the Deputy-Director will be responsible for the management and further development of innovative programming areas for UNU-EHS. The Deputy-Director will play a central role in shaping the strategic direction of the Institute, deepening relations with donors, and positioning UNU-EHS amongst the broader UN community.

More specifically the Deputy-Director will:

  • Oversee the design and implementation of the current research programme of the institute, as well as identify innovative topics to further enhance the Institute’s research programmes; supervise the monitoring and budgetary control of programme activities; and lead efforts on reporting on programme performance;
  • Design, undertake, and coordinate research in one or more areas of the Institute’s research programme including publishing in international academic journals;
  • Provide guidance to Heads of Sections and Programmes on strategic programme development and project-based fundraising; ensure the quality of project outputs and adherence to internal policies and guidelines; and supervise Heads of Sections and Programmes on project implementation to achieve on-time and on-budget delivery;
  • Facilitate knowledge-sharing across the sections and programmes to build capacity and promote the adoption of best practices in the areas of research, fundraising and stakeholder engagement;
  • Promote diversity, inclusivity, gender equality and gender mainstreaming throughout the Institute’s work and research programmes;
  • Share with the Director responsibility for overall management of the institute including:-
  • a) formulating and implementing the Institute’s strategy;
  • b) budgeting, financial planning and implementation;
  • c) human resource management; and
  • d) management and development of academic sections and programmes;
  • Support the Director in donor relations including fund-raising activities for the Institute’s programmes; preparation of proposals; and engagement with donors and other stakeholders;
  • Work with the Director in the implementation of the Institute´s Master’s course including contributing to teaching and supervision. Supervise PhD candidates as required;
  • Contribute to dissemination of the Institute’s research results;
  • Act as officer-in-charge when appointed by the Director;
  • Assist the Institute Director and UNU Vice-Rector in Europe as needed; and
  • Perform any other tasks as may be assigned by the Director.

Required qualifications and Competencies:

  •  A doctoral qualification in a relevant scientific or social academic discipline, such as environmental studies, geography, agriculture, sociology or sustainability studies;
  •  At least ten (10) years of progressively relevant work experience, including the management of research and training programmes;
  •  A strong research background and a proven track record of high-quality academic and policy publications in areas related to addressing risks and societal change;
  •  Good knowledge of the international research and policy agenda in areas related to the Institute’s research programme;
  •  Considerable research supervision and teaching experience;
  •  Demonstrated experience of administration (including finance and human resources management);
  •  Successful influencing of policy forums, and strong contributions to knowledge sharing communities;
  •  Strong international fundraising skills and past success in securing support from multiple funders;
  •  Proven sensitivity to gender factors (in administration and in research);
  •  Demonstrated strong leadership skills allied to inclusive management;
  •  The ability to interact with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds in both industrialised and developing countries;
  •  Excellent drafting and communication skills, including with diverse stakeholders (such as donors, academics, students from a range of countries and cultures);
  •  Proven commitment to human development and the United Nations' 2030 Agenda supporting sustainable development; and,

Fluency in English (required); fluency in German and/or official languages of the United Nations is desirable.
UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination


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