Senior Research Associate: Transition in Mining

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Dresden, Germany
    UTC +1

    Organisational Unit: UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

    United Nations University Objectives

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of 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.

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

    The mission of UNU-FLORES is to contribute to the development of integrated and sustainable management strategies for the use of environmental resources. These resources include water, soil, waste, as well as energy and geo-resources. Research at UNU-FLORES combines scientific, technological, and institutional approaches and particularly focuses on developing and emerging countries. The Institute develops innovative concepts for audience- and region-specific knowledge transfer as well as appropriate methodologies and approaches for postgraduate and professional education. UNU FLORES closely cooperates with the Technical University of Dresden (TUD) and is located in Dresden, in the Federal Republic of Germany. For more information please visit

    Transition in mining regions

    Germany is looking back at a long history of coal mining. With the German Commission on Growth, Structural Change, and Employment, the country investigated ways to phase out this source of energy.

    UNU-FLORES aims to develop and implement a monitoring system for assessing the sustainability of transformation processes in mining regions along the Agenda 2030 towards a largely climate-neutral society. By applying the nexus approach, the institute can contribute to the transition of the Lusatian mining district by acting as a link between science and politics. Within an iterative process, best practices from other regions will be used to make recommendations for optimizing processes looking to transfer this knowledge to other mining areas in Europe and globally in the future.


    Under the overall authority and direct supervision of the Director of UNU-FLORES, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following tasks:

    • coordinate the development and submission of project proposals related to the transition in mining regions
    • design, implement, and contribute to research in the field of integrated resources management (e.g. energy innovation) with the focus on mining regions
    • closely collaborate with partners and local authorities in the Lusatian mining district
    • develop and publish research, and knowledge-sharing products for dissemination and capacity building, including scientific papers, media articles, policy briefs, reports, etc.
    • perform fundraising activities including project proposal development, contacting and maintaining dialogues with potential donors, and other work related to fundraising
    • supervision of graduate students and interns
    • perform other as duties assigned by the director

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a PhD from academic backgrounds related to integrated resources management
    • minimum three (3) years of professional work experience in research
    • experience in the area of project management covering issues of energy innovation, environmental resources, services, and/or risks is highly desirable
    • recent experience with drafting project proposals to donors and international funding agencies
    • ability to communicate clearly and efficiently with high level stakeholders
    • work experience in a Non-Governmental Organisation or the UN would be an asset
    • experience with academic tutoring in fields of relevance to nexus governance would be an asset
    • demonstrated ability of undertaking academic writing on the topic of data visualisation and transformation techniques in bridging the science-policy divide in environmental governance
    • proficiency in oral and written English and German is required; knowledge of another UN language would be an asset
    • ability to work within agreed timelines
    • highly self-motivated and organised
    • sensitivity to the challenges between urban and rural regions, distinct demographic situations, and specific Lusatian trends
    • a good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualification and experience of the successful candidate.

    Specifications of contract

    This position is being offered as full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-FLORES with the possibility for renewal subject to fund availability and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointment shall not exceed six (6) years.

    The successful candidate will be employed under a personnel service agreement based in Dresden and Weißwasser, Germany and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

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

    • a cover letter
    • a curriculum vitae
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • please insert the following reference number in the subject: 2019/UNU/FLORES/PSA/SRA/70

    Please note that only short-listed candidates will be notified.

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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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