Associate Academic Officer: Implementation and Research (P-2)

  • Contract
  • Germany
  • Posted 2 months ago

United Nations University

United Nations University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering 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.

For the past four decades, 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’ full breadth, 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. For more information, please visit

The United Nations University Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE), established in 2007, is one of two Vice-Rectorates and the only one located outside Japan. UNU-ViE seeks to strengthen the presence of UNU in Europe and supports the worldwide institutional development of UNU by facilitating collaboration across UNU and the UN, and sharing knowledge and expertise through the development of joint activities and projects. In addition to its core mandate, it administers the central units providing service to both UNU-ViE and UNU-EHS. For more information, please visit:

United Nations University 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.ed

The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII) is hosted at UNU-EHS and is a research-to-policy and practice innovation lab. MCII aims to support and ultimately influence policy making processes that enhance resilience and protect livelihoods of vulnerable communities, through pioneering risk management and risk transfer solutions (e.g. insurance mechanisms) in combination with other approaches to manage climate related risks. For detailed information, please visit:


Under the authority of the Vice-Rector/Director of UNU-EHS and the direct supervision of the Chief Climate Risk Strategist/Deputy Head of Risk & Adaption Department, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

1. Lead Programmatic Implementation

  • Team management of “Insurance Solutions and Practice Partnerships” team, and representation of the team in internal meetings and towards UNU-EHS and MCII structures. Engage in relevant coordination with other teams at UNU-EHS.
  • Conceptualization of management/leadership for the “Insurance Solutions and Practice Partnerships” team, including the development of Terms of References for individual positions.
  • Elevate the critical importance of quality and impact for climate risk insurance solutions through engagement with the international community.
  • Support the team in the development of project proposals and contribute to funding acquisition with the aim to further activities in the implementation team projects’ current target regions and/or to drive innovation and upscaling at the global level.
  • Support the UNU Policy on Gender Equality and increased focus on gender in research through participation in the MCII gender mainstreaming task force.
  • Ensure the timely preparation and submission of inputs to meet reporting requirements.

2. Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and (Applied) Research

  • Lead the Climate Risk Insurance Research Collaboration (CRIRC) and coordinate work with project partners – including the development and implementation of research activities, and the management of collaboration and sub-granting relationships with CRIRC partners.
  • Author and contribute to UNU-EHS research and publications on disaster risk finance (DRF), including results notes or policy briefs based on field research conducted in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
  • Strategically engage with and advise international initiatives working on evidence creation, impact assessments and Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) within the context of climate disaster risk financing and insurance.
  • Actively co-develop new research activities for UNU-EHS/MCII, including in the context of increasing Small Islands’ resilience to climate change.

3. Manage Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme

  • Lead project management activities from the MCII/UNU-EHS side and lead the programme’s research component. Ensure quality control of PICAP project deliverables and support the coordination and supervision of deliverables by partners and sub-contractors.
  • Ensure regular exchanges and close coordination with the head of program and team in Fiji. Liaise with the donor and project partners in order to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
  • Prepare and participate in field missions, including workshops and conferences in target countries. Work to actively strengthen relationships with strategic partners and donors.
  • Represent the organization and program at academic and policy-oriented, regional and international climate and disaster risk financing and insurance events, expert meetings, and conferences.
  • Ensure quality control of project deliverables as well as provide technical guidance.

4. Teaching and Advising

  • Teach a portion of the joint UNU-EHS MSc programme on the Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security, advise master’s students and supervise MSc theses on relevant topics as required.

5. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor

Key Performance Indicators

  • Timely and quality development of project activities in relation to Insurance Solutions and Practice Partnerships.
  • Timely and quality leadership/management in the context of the Insurance Solutions and Practice Partnerships team.
  • High quality and level of engagement with project implementation partners, donors and other key stakeholders.
  • Timely and quality advisory to students of the UNU-EHS – Uni Bonn Joint Master course.
  • UNU-EHS/MCII are seen as a reliable and trustworthy partners by research partners, governments, donors, and civil society.



  • Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

Education and certification

Master’s degree or equivalent in economics, business, public administration, management, or other relevant social sciences



  • A minimum of two (2) years’ experience in successful project management in the context of the research-policy interface and in coordinating with a broad range of actors.
  • Track record in climate risk insurance, micro-insurance, micro-finance or relevant fields of inclusive finance in developing countries.
  • Experience working at the intersection of research, implementation, and policy-making.
  • Experience managing research projects and collaborations.
  • Ability to negotiate with partners and funding institutions.
  • Record of publications aimed at non-academic audiences, including institutional reports, policy briefs, blog posts, etc., that communicate rigorous concepts and evidence to non-technical implementation and policy actors and decision-maker audiences.
  • Previous experience teaching at the MSc-level.
  • Fieldwork experience in different developing country contexts.
  • Excellent writing, presentation, and communication skills.
  • Track-record of professional representation at international fora with a specific focus on presenting research results to inter-disciplinary audiences.
  • Strong team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Experience in gender mainstreaming or the implementation of gender policies and practices.
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of Stata, and other quantitative analysis and survey software.
  • This position entails a high degree of travel.


  • Existing professional networks consisting of contacts to academic partners, private insurers, government officials (e.g. insurance supervisors, disaster risk management authorities and related), relevant development actors and/or UN organizations would be preferred.
  • Knowledge of the Pacific Islands context is preferred.
  • Experience leading teams or managing staff is preferred.

Language Requirements

  • Fluency in English is required
  • Fluency in German is an asset
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy.

For more information please see:

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.

For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

Expected start date: As soon as possible

How to apply

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form);
  • provide a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position; and
  • apply via the apply link.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline: 7 March 2023


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks, and references.

Special notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector’s authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

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 organisation. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

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.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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