Expert for Data Sciences on the Resource Nexus

Applications procedure
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    Dresden, Germany
    UTC +2
    Open until position is filled

    About United Nations University

    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.

    United Nations University Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

    UNU-FLORES develops strategies to resolve pressing issues in the sustainable use and integrated management of environmental resources such as water, soil, waste, energy, and other geo-resources that are of concern to the United Nations and its Member States — particularly in developing and emerging economies. Based in Dresden, Germany, the Institute engages in research, capacity development, postgraduate teaching, advanced training, and knowledge dissemination to advance the Resource Nexus.

    Data Scientist Roster

    UNU-FLORES invites highly motivated and committed local and international experts with relevant experience in data science, who are available for short-term assignments/projects, and who wish to support the research and training development of the Institute, to apply to our Consultants Roster.

    Experts applying to the Consultants Roster are available for consideration whenever relevant opportunities arise. They can be available rapidly and go through an expedited contractual process. Experts joining the Consultants Roster are also invited to apply to other vacancy announcements posted on our website. The following indicates a generic description of tasks and responsibilities. UNU-FLORES may select candidates from the roster once there is a suitable opportunity in the future, and a more specific job description will then be shared.

    UNU-FLORES is seeking expert and experienced Data Scientists to collaborate with the Institute and contribute effectively to the development and implementation of a research programme with a particular focus on data science within the field of integrated resource management. The ideal candidate will work closely with the academic team to analyse complex data and develop insights using mathematical modelling, predictive modelling, data mining, and data visualisation techniques to create innovative approaches to answer pertinent research questions. The selected candidates will need to communicate regularly with the academic team of UNU-FLORES and critical stakeholders, prepare any required presentations and reports, and write research papers for publications in peer-reviewed journals and present at scientific conferences.

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a PhD related to the integrated management of environmental resources, data sciences, or a related field
    • a minimum of fifteen (15) years of progressive and relevant work experience, including managing research programmes in academia, research, or related institutions
    • excellent statistical reasoning and analytical skills
    • demonstrated programming skills
    • proficiency in English both in oral and written communications; knowledge of German would be highly beneficial
    • excellent writing skills with proven success publishing in peer-reviewed journals
    • highly self-motivated, innovative, and organised, yet detail-oriented, with a professional and conscientious attitude and the ability to independently prioritise
    • strong planning, organisation, and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently
    • must be flexible with the ability to establish priorities and work within prescribed timeframes
    • an 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

    Duration of contract

    The successful candidate(s) will be retained under a Consultant Contract (CTC). Consultants engaged by UNU may not provide services for more than twenty-four (24) months in a thirty-six (36) month period.

    Proposed payment schedule

    Payment will be made based on the completion of specified deliverables. Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualification and experience of the successful candidate.

    Employment on a CTC contract of former UNU staff members who receive a pension from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund is subject to restrictions pursuant to applicable administrative issuances of the United Nations.

    UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of the contractor.

    UNU-FLORES is not responsible for any health insurance arrangements. The contract carries no entitlement to annual leave nor sick leave.

    Travel considerations

    Should “mission travel” be required, UNU will pay for travel. However, this will be subject to the following prerequisites: Medical Clearance, Security Clearance through the Travel Request Information Process (TRIP) system, completion of the BSAFE online course, travel Visa, and liability waiver. Trip prerequisites will be met at the expense of the consultant.

    Travel cost will be calculated based on economy class travel, regardless of the length of travel. Costs for accommodation, meals and incidentals must not exceed applicable daily subsistence allowance (DSA) rates, as promulgated by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC at

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.


    Evaluation of qualified candidates may include a desk review and/or a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

    Selection Process

    Individual consultants will be evaluated according to the following:

    • all applicants shall be screened against the minimum requirements for inclusion on a long list
    • long-listed applicants shall be evaluated and shortlisted
    • shortlisted candidates will be included on the UNU-FLORES Expert roster for a period of two years
    • inclusion on the roster does not guarantee a contract with UNU-FLORES
    • when the need for services arises, the Human Resources Unit will contact the applicant(s) matching the role to discuss their availability and Terms of References; if agreed, the selected person shall receive a contract for the work assignment

    Special notice

    UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

    Consultants do not hold international civil servant status, nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    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. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged.

    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.

    Please note that due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 and the travel restrictions imposed by national authorities, the selected candidate may be required to start the appointment remotely until further notice.

    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.


  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using Impactpool and must upload the following:

    1. A cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position and your expected daily fee
    2. A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    3. A full CV with a list of publications
    4. Please include your author metrics (Papers, citations, h-index) from Scopus and Google Scholar
    5. Description of your expertise, focus areas, research questions, and your approach to UNU-FLORES’ research topics
    6. Digital copies of your degree certificate(s)/diploma(s)

    Candidates who do not return all required documents will not be considered.

    UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names, and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.