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.
Job Title: Research Fellow (Land and Water Resources)
The United Nations University Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) is one of 15 research and training centres and programmes (RTC/Ps) established by UNU worldwide. The mission of UNU-INRA is to strengthen the capacity of Africa’s universities and research institutions to conduct research and produce well-trained, well-equipped, and motivated individuals capable of developing, adapting, and disseminating technologies that advance food security and promote conservation and efficient use of the continent’s natural resources for sustainable development. For more information please visit www.inra.unu.edu.
We are currently looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and the potential to bring a significant contribution to the activities of UNU-INRA.
Under the supervision of the Director of UNU-INRA, the Research Fellow on Land and Water Resources will:
- lead in the review and coordination of research activities of the institute in the thematic area of land and water resources
- provide relevant empirical-based research that will enable the understanding of climate- and non– climate-related stressors that are resulting in land degradation, loss of ecosystem and biodiversity, and key threats to land restoration, sustainable land management and good environmental stewardship for Africa’s natural resource management
- analyse current mega-trends (climate change, population growth, rapid urbanisation) that can impact on land and sustainable land management in Africa
- produce and conduct relevant research on land and water that will support African governments in harnessing their resource endowments, unlock bottlenecks in market-oriented production systems, and enable better management of water and soil resources to diversify land-based livelihood activities
- produce relevant research on land-based mitigation strategies that will address problems related to unsustainable management of croplands, land degradation, deforestation, and inefficient use of water
- conduct research on land and water resources problems and analyse related policies to enable the adoption of climate-smart agricultural policies, effective food security strategies, and transition towards land-based mitigation activities in agriculture, bioenergy, water, and forestry
- coordinate and support development of methodologies for the management of land and water resources
- create awareness, train national collaborators, and provide guidelines for effective implementation of land and water resources with a view to ensuring sustainable management of natural resources, biodiversity conservation, and maintenance of environmental quality
- supervise graduate students in their research work
- develop research and training proposals for funding
- plan, organise, and participate in national and sub-regional conferences/meetings/workshops
- prepare and publish research outputs in high quality publications, including peer-reviewed journals, extension, and policy briefs
- perform any other professional duties as may be required by the Director of UNU-INRA
Required qualifications include:
- PhD degree in Agricultural Sciences (Agronomy, Crop Sciences, Soil Sciences or a related discipline)
- at least six years of relevant work experience in the bio-physical aspects of natural resource management and conservation problems, preferably in an international environment
- demonstrated competence in and knowledge of geographical information systems and remote sensing methods
- good computer application skills and use of statistical packages
- good writing, presentation, and communication skills; demonstrated experience in organising training workshops, conferences, and fundraising activities, as well as forging partnerships with international agencies, national institutions, and NGOs
- good working knowledge of English is essential; knowledge of French would be an advantage
- ability to work independently with little supervision and under tight deadlines
- proven interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
The remuneration will be commensurate with academic qualifications and experience
Duration of contract
This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-INRA, with the possibility for contract renewal subject to satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.
This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.