Programme Coordinator

United Nations University

Caracas, Venezuela

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission 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.

For the past four decades, United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

Responsibilities :

The Programme Coordinator will work in close consultation with the Office of the Rector in Tokyo with the following responsibilities:

 Leadership and strategic management:

  • Serve as the Programme Coordinator of UNU-BIOLAC with overall responsibility for the direction, organisation, administration, and programming of UNU-BIOLAC, in accordance with the policies and criteria formulated by the UNU Council, the Rector, and the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC);
  • Develop, oversee, and implement a strategic plan for the Programme, in line with the UNU Strategic Plan and Institute-specific objectives;
  • Manage the Programme’s budget, including reporting requirements to donors and within the UNU system;
  • Hire and supervise personnel, promoting diversity, inclusion, and gender equality; and
  • Manage UNU-BIOLAC's programme, which supports project coordinators and research networks in the priority areas recommended for the programme.

Programme implementation and oversight:

  • Lead an impact-driven programme of capacity-building and knowledge translation in biotechnology;
  • Oversee the implementation and strengthening of capacity-building programmes; and
  • Ensure that outputs are high quality and relevant to the UN system, member states, and other stakeholders.

Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration:

  • Promote young scientists and technologists' training with an interdisciplinary approach to strengthen their scientific and technological capabilities by identifying appropriate training venues within the region in collaboration with project coordinators; and
  • Oversee the organisation of scientific conferences, seminars, and workshops.
  • Represent UNU and create and maintain strategic partnerships and networks
  • Promote, strengthen and develop scientific alliances with national, regional, and international research institutions, organisations, and networks related to biotechnology;
  • Represent UNU-BIOLAC in local, regional, and global fora to support the programme's visibility and outreach; and
  • Lead engagement and relations with the host country and other key stakeholders.
  • Manage donor relations and networks, including resource mobilisation activities for the Institute's programming.
  • Perform other duties in support of the Institute and UNU system, as requested by the Rector

Key performance indicators:

  • Implementation of a high-quality work programme for UNU-BIOLAC, including delivery of high-quality training and events.
  • UNU-BIOLAC is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner by governments, research partners, civil society, and the UN System.
  • Effective and productive engagement with the host country.
  • The programme is managed effectively and efficiently according to the policies and criteria formulated by the UNU Council, the Rector, and the UNU-BIOLAC Scientific Advisory Committee.


  • Advanced university degree, with strong preference for a Ph.D., in a scientific discipline related to biotechnology.
  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in biotechnology or related area is required;
  • An academic profile with evidence of high-quality research in a scientific discipline related to biotechnology;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the main areas of biotechnology and their corresponding applications;
  • Progressive and relevant work experience, including managing scientific groups in academia, research, or related institutions;
  • Recognized academic status in the international community is preferred;
  • Experience in managing budgets and resource mobilisation is advantageous;
  • Skilled networker as demonstrated by engagement in biotechnology networks;
  • Ability to engage cooperatively with individuals, governments, universities, and research institutions worldwide to promote capacity building actions in areas related to biotechnology;
  • Solution-oriented mindset through innovative and creative thinking; and
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required.  Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.