Communications Officer

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
    UTC +2

    Organizational Unit: UNU Maastricht Social and Economic Research and Training Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

    About UN University

    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 SDGs, 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 Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

    UNU-MERIT is a research and training institute of the United Nations University (UNU) and Maastricht University (UM), based in southeast Netherlands. The institute, which collaborates closely with Maastricht University, carries out research and training on a range of social, political and economic factors that drive economic development in a global perspective. Special emphasis is given to the process of technological change and innovation, including the governance of science and technology and factors limiting the access to knowledge; to (public) policy analysis and evaluation; to the social aspects of growth and development, in particular the policy challenges posed by low levels of development including the limitations and possibilities for social security and other social policies; and to the relationship between global development and migration.

    The Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) of Maastricht University is integrated within UNU-MERIT; MGSoG is the centre for UNU-MERIT’s double degree Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development, which aims to train public policy professionals for the global community. UNU-MERIT, including MGSoG, has been closely involved in research for a variety of UN agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the World Bank.

    Overall the institute functions as a unique research centre and graduate school for around 100 PhD fellows and 140 Master’s students. It is also a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, innovation and democratic governance. For complete information about the Institute, please visit the UNU-MERIT website (


    Under the authority of the Director and the supervision of the Head of Communications at UNU-MERIT, the successful candidate will carry out the following tasks:

    • Support the planning and organisation of communications-related work at UNU-MERIT, including the MGSoG: i.e. media relations, online communications, social media, publications, multimedia productions, and targeted communications for stakeholders such as funders, scholars and journalists
    • Act as junior editor for all major publications and the Institute’s website to communicate the results of academic research to the academic community, policymakers, the media and general public
    • Work as part of a team to prepare documentation required by the UNU Council, contribute to strategies for outreach activities, write press releases and manage the production and graphic processes involved in the preparation of documents for publication, both in electronic and hard copy format
    • Act as junior public relations officer for the Institute, including at both local and international events

    Required Qualifications and Competencies

    The successful candidate will:

    • have fluency in English and at least one other official language of the United Nations
    • have a Master’s degree in communications, international relations or other field relevant to the overall work of the United Nations University
    • have worked for at least five (5) years in journalism and/or communications at international level
    • have worked for at least three (3) years on media campaigns for international organisations, with direct experience of media monitoring, evaluation and promotion
    • have previously worked in a communications capacity for a major international organisation
    • have previously worked on core United Nations themes such as climate change, sustainable development and human rights
    • have demonstrated experience in producing and promoting multimedia including podcasts, webcasts, video clips, etc.
    • have a proven track record of growing the social media profiles of international organisations
    • have experience of public speaking in international fora
    • have strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • be a confident, pro-active and innovative team player

    Desirable Experience and Competencies

    The successful candidate will ideally:

    • have English as his/her first language
    • have previously worked as a journalist
    • have prior experience of editing academic journals
    • have a proven track record in conference management at international level
    • have previous experience in the field of science, technology and innovation


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications, experience and level of responsibilities. 

    Duration of Contract

    This is a full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance, and the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

    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 UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Starting Date

    01 January 2019


  • Interested applicants should submit their applications, by email to, and must include the following:

    • A cover letter setting out how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
    • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement: 2018/UNU/MERIT/PSA/CO/76.

    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).

    Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

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