Vice-Rector in Europe

Applications procedure
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    Bonn, Germany
    UTC +2

    Organizational Unit: UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE)

    About the United Nations University

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. It serves as a think tank for the United Nations system, contributes to capacity building particularly in developing countries, and provides a platform for new and creative ideas and dialogue. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The University also maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions.

    UNU Vice-Rector in Europe

    The UNU Vice-Rector in Europe represents the Rector on special initiatives outside Japan and facilitates collaboration across the system of UNU research institutes as well as with stakeholders in and outside of the United Nations. The Vice-Rector promotes and facilitates the development of policy-relevant research within UNU, and contributes to policy discussions/development in UN entities and with Member States and other key stakeholders. The Vice-Rector is also responsible for outreach efforts in Europe — specifically with Geneva-based research and United Nations entities and the European Commission — as well as fundraising for research activities in the Vice-Rectorate and, more broadly, for the University. The Vice-Rector may also be assigned advisory or supervisory responsibilities for colleagues or units of UNU.

    The position is located in Bonn, Germany, and may be structured as either a full-time or part-time position depending on the candidate profile.


    The Vice-Rector shall focus on identifying and incubating innovative research on emerging global issues on the UN’s agenda, primarily in the areas of UN reform, economic and social development, peace and security, and global sustainability. The Vice-Rector will contribute to strengthening UNU’s efforts to bridge academic research and policymaking by providing evidence and discussion opportunities to policymakers in the host country (Germany), to United Nations Member States, and to selected United Nations entities.

    The Vice-Rector will maintain and further develop donor relationships and fundraising for UNU’s global research programmes. S/he also supports the Rector in liaising with existing partners, as well as supporting the Rector’s efforts to build new coalitions of supporters for UNU in and beyond Europe. The Vice-Rector is a member of the UNU Management Group and will support institutional development efforts as well as advise on strategic initiatives.

    The Vice-Rector in Europe may also design/lead a research programme, if such opportunities arise.

    Required qualifications

    Required qualifications include:

    • an advanced degree in a relevant academic discipline, such as law, political science, international relations, sustainability, environment, economics or development
    • at least 15 years of work experience, including several years working in a senior role at a think tank or other policy-oriented research institution, and work experience with at least one United Nations entity or international organisation active in the area of either development, peace and security, or sustainability
    • a strong publication record in one of the following areas: economic and/or social development, peace and security, or environmental change/sustainability
    • a track record designing and leading effective research programmes, along with experience of administration, including financial and human resources management
    • experience in shaping research for uptake in policymaking communities
    • strong fundraising skills and a track record of success in securing support from multiple funders
    • track record of inclusive management, innovation, and leadership and a proven commitment to gender equality
    • excellent written/spoken English and the ability to speak succinctly and convincingly about research and its impact; fluency in French and German are highly desirable; knowledge of other official United Nations’ languages is beneficial

    Applications from female candidates are particularly encouraged.


    Approximate net annual salary of US$129,131 (for the full-time position) including post adjustment, which is subject to change. The post carries the standard set of United Nations entitlements/benefits, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grants for eligible children, removal expenses and home leave.

    For more specific information please visit

    The Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidates at a lower category and on either a part-time or full-time basis.

    Selection process

    Shortlisted candidates will be required to complete a written assignment as part of the recruitment process. Interviews will be held by videoconference.

    The Vice-Rector shall be appointed by the Rector after consultation with the Chair of the UNU Council.

    Duration of contract

    The period of initial contract is for a four-year term with the possibility of renewal, subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The mandatory retirement age in the United Nations is 65.

    Starting date

    It is expected that the appointee will take up the position by 15 September 2018.

  • Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by email and should submit:

    • a cover letter setting out: (1) the motivations for applying for the post and (2) how the candidate’s qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position.
    • full curriculum vitae (with publications list)
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form
  • By Post:

    c/o Office of the Rector, United Nations University Headquarters
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925

    By Email: