Project Associate (Climate Change Policy & Insurance)

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Bonn, Germany
    UTC -7

    Organizational Unit: UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

    About the United Nations University (UNU)

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of 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.

    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

    Environmental Migration, Social Vulnerability & Adaptation section (EMSVA)

    EMSVA undertakes empirical research on social vulnerability and resilience as well as human mobility. The section also addresses climate change adaptation including a range of activities such as disaster risk reduction and insurance-related approaches to help vulnerable countries and communities.

    Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)

    The MCII was initiated as a charitable organisation by insurers, research institutes, and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). It is focused to bring solutions for the risks posed by climate change for the most poor and vulnerable people in developing countries. MCII provides a forum and gathering place for insurance-related expertise applied to climate change issues.

    At the 2015 Summit in Elmau, the G7 announced a Climate Risk Insurance Initiative (”InsuResilience”) to help improve the resilience of poor people to climate stressors. Under the overall guidance of the German Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and in cooperation with the German Development Bank (KfW) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), MCII contributes to the G7 CRII by facilitating dialogue among stakeholder groups, exploring barriers, and assessing the needs of different country groupings and stakeholders vis-a-vis the G7 CRII. MCII activities include private sector engagement as well as capacity building on resilience, insurance and risk reduction. MCII will draw on its wide network of experts to help complement the design of the G7 CRII with regards to providing technical advice and expert insight. For more information visit


    Under the guidance of the Executive Director of MCII, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks related to the work of MCII, including but not limited to the G7 InsuResilience project:

    • under the guidance of the MCII Executive Director and the Project Manager, coordinate relevant work-packages of the MCII InsuResilience project including publication packages (e.g., policy reports, factsheets, submissions, etc.), workshops, meetings with partners, project reporting etc.
    • prepare advisory materials for the G7 InsuResilience initiative
    • organise stakeholder workshops and prepare workshop reports
    • develop appropriate UNU/MCII policy documents and workshops related to climate risk management, risk transfer and adaptation, and loss and damage as well as UNU/MCII inputs, as requested, to climate policy-related processes (including UNFCCC, G7, G20, etc.) and bodies including the Executive Committee if the Warsaw International Mechanism, the Adaptation Committee, and others
    • contribute to strategic analysis, reporting, and outreach on relevant climate policy fora
    • prepare submissions, and organise side events and exhibits before and during international conferences including the UNFCCC climate negotiations and others
    • participate in and prepare input for relevant climate policy and insurance networks
    • contribute in all aspects of the research implementation, up to and including literature review and desk study, expert interviews, supporting preparation of fieldwork and data collection, and elaboration of the conceptual framework of the project for an impact evaluation of climate risk insurance products
    • prepare research reports, policy briefs, and factsheets
    • contribute to project proposals, develop research programmes, and write scientific articles as needed
    • perform further tasks as agreed to reduce the work-load of the MCII Executive Director and the MCII Initiative Coordinator

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • completed master’s degree with high academic standing in Political Science, Social Sciences, Geography, Economics, or other relevant field, with an emphasis on climate policy, adaptation to climate change, resilience, or related area
    • good understanding of climate risk insurance, community solidarity schemes, and disaster risk management
    • a minimum of two years of specific experience of working on climate change with a focus on climate risk management, risk transfer and adaptation, and loss and damage in an international organisation is required
    • demonstrated skills in use of social science and other relevant scientific methods to research questions related to adaptation, risk transfer, and loss and damage (in particular mapping, surveys, interviews)
    • excellent communication and writing skills with fluency in spoken and written English; an additional UN language is desired; German language skills are an asset
    • demonstrated ability to synthesise complex information, regulations, and policies and translate into impactful communications
    • strong ability to carry out work independently and in an international team
    • proven background and strong skills in participating in projects in multicultural settings, preferably related to climate change impacts, resilience, and climate policy
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

    Duration of contract

    The position is offered as part of a maternity leave replacement. The successful candidate shall work under a Personal Service Agreement (PSA) for a fixed period of twelve (12) months.

    This is a locally recruited post and 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.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible (15th of March)



  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the 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/PA/14)
  • By Email: