Researcher/Senior Researcher: Water and Gender


Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
    Hamilton, Canada
    UTC -5

    Organisational Unit: UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU‐INWEH)

    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 Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH)

    The UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) is a member of the UNU family of organisations. Its vision is a world free of water problems, where sustainable human development and environmental health and security are assured for all. Its mission is to help resolve pressing water challenges that are of concern to the United Nations, its Member States, and their people. UNU-INWEH pursues its mission through critical analysis and synthesis of existing bodies of scientific discovery; targeted research that identifies emerging policy issues; application of on-the-ground, scalable science-based solutions to water issues; and global outreach. UNU-INWEH is the only entirely water-focused institute within the UNU system, and the only entirely water-related UN entity in Canada. UNU-INWEH is supported by the Government of Canada and hosted by McMaster University.

    UNU-INWEH works on several broadly defined, interconnected thematic areas (projects): Water-related Sustainable Development Goals; Unconventional Water Resources; Water Security and Nexus; Managing Water-related Health Risks; and Managing Water Resources Variability and Risks for Increased Resilience. Climate change, gender, and capacity development are cross-cutting themes. The Institute focuses primarily on global water issues and their implications for developing countries.  


    We are looking for a dynamic individual committed to policy-relevant research in the broad area of water and its socio-economic trade-offs, gender, and water. The incumbent will:

    • Lead the UNU-INWEH cross-cutting effort to mainstream gender-related aspects into all current projects and initiatives (
    • Propose innovative ideas and policy-relevant outputs in gender and water research domains. Help shape and enhance gender-related water research agenda in the new UNU-INWEH Strategic Plan of 2020–2024 – to be developed in 2019.
    • Contribute to the new IDRC-funded project on Water, Gender and Migration in the Congo River Basin
    • Contribute to fundraising efforts of the Institute, including the development of cross-thematic proposals.
    • Attract and supervise interns; contribute to other capacity building initiatives at the Institute including development of new targeted online courses offered through the Water Learning Center (, and contribution to Water Without Borders graduate programme (
    • Communicate research outputs at various scientific and policy events; co-ordinate and co-organize such events as required.
    • Publish research results in peer-reviewed journals, UNU-INWEH reports, and other outlets.
    • Perform other tasks as assigned

    The incumbent will report to the UNU-INWEH Director.

    Qualifications and requirements

    • A PhD in the field of gender aspects of water management, sociology and humanities. water policy, water institutions and governance, international development, or closely related discipline.
    • At least three (3) years post-PhD work experience in water-related research in the above fields for Researcher level, and at least six (6) years for Senior Researcher level. Candidates without a PhD in a relevant discipline, or without the minimum years of post-PhD experience, will not be considered.
    • On top of the key specialisation –  knowledge of one or more of the following areas is a strong advantage: water financing, water rights, environmental governance, transparency, groundwater management, freshwater ecosystem services.
    • Ability to carry out analytical research utilizing a variety of data and information sources to distill policy-relevant messages.
    • Ability to perform gender-differentiated data analysis; knowledge of gender-related tools and their applications in water management context. Good numerical skills
    • Knowledge of Results Based Management, Theory of Change, and ability to focus on policy impact
    • Demonstrated peer-reviewed publication record (Stronger record required for Senior Researcher)
    • Strong public outreach record and ability to present research outputs to a variety of national and international audiences; excellent networking skills.
    • Ability to prioritize work and multitask; focus on delivery; self-motivation.
    • Strong team player with proven interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • Knowledge of the UN system and previous engagement with UN-Water are an added advantages.
    • Work experience in developing countries, in Africa in particular. Experience in community-based water-related research is an advantages.
    • Ability to develop research proposals for international projects; good understanding of various donor priorities and operation (for Senior Researcher).
    • Project management experience (for Senior Researcher).
    • Fluency in oral and written English; knowledge of any other UN official languages is an advantage

    Remuneration and other conditions of service

    Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The salary is exempt from Canadian income taxes. UNU has its own medical insurance for employees contracted under a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA).

    This is a full-time employment on a two (2) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract, with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of this appointment shall not exceed six (6) years, as per the UNU Personnel Policy.

    The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Starting date

    May/June 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter

  • Interested applicants should submit their application by e-mail in the form of an Adobe Acrobat PDF file (to Applications must include the following:

    • separate cover letter setting out how the applicant’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P11) form downloadable from the UNU Website.
    • Do not use similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations, and do not submit your curriculum vitae);
    • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/INWEH/PSA/SR/04)

    Applications that do not include all the requested information will not be considered.

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    The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8).

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