Germany: Associate Academic Officer: ECA StudiesBerlin, Germany 271 views

United Nations University Closing Date : 2019-11-24
Duty Station : Berlin, Germany
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Organization: United Nations University
Country: Germany
Closing date: 24 Nov 2019

About the United Nations 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 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.

For more information, please visit


The United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of research and training institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit

About MCII

The Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII)is hosted at UNU-EHS. MCII was initiated as a charitable organisation by representatives of insurers, research institutes, and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realisation that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. As a leading think tank on climate change and insurance, MCII is focused on developing solutions for the risks posed by climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries.

Economics of Climate Adaptation Studies (ECAS):UNU-EHS and MCII intend to share their knowledge and expertise in supporting the development of developing countries adaptation strategies via the Economics of Climate Adaptation Studies (ECAS), planned to be funded by the InsuResilience Solution Fund (ISF). The ISF was established as one of the implementing programmes of the InsuResilience Global Partnership for Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance Solutions (IGP), which was officially launched at COP23 in November 2017. The ISF seeks to increase the capacity of developing countries to adapt to climate change through the introduction and use of climate risk insurance products by supporting comprehensive climate risk analysis, identifying possible concepts and supporting the introduction and offer of innovative climate risk insurance products. UNU-EHS has been tasked with the implementation of the ECA methodology in selected developing countries in order to highlight climate adaptation measures including risk transfer. The ECA Framework, originally developed by SwissRe and ETH Z rich, provides a unique and flexible approach to quantify costs for preventive measures and insurance products in order to assist decision-making for adaptation. ECA bridges a gap between traditional cost benefit analysis, vulnerability assessment, and impact assessment, as it fully integrates all three approaches. ECA is open-source and integrates a probabilistic tool that offers a comprehensive risk analysis of selected hazards, assets, and spatial scales.


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the guidance of the MCII Executive Director, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

Lead the scientific engagement relevant to the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) methodology for UNU-EHS and MCII;Coordinate the ECA Studies and other related project management tasks;Coordinate tasks for the ECA Studies team and research activities with ETH Z rich;Coordinate and organise communication streams with ISF, KfW and other stakeholders;Supervise tendering and contracts of experts in close collaboration with the UNU-EHS Administration and Finance department;Guide a group of researchers at UNU-EHS/MCII to successfully meet the milestones of the project;Ensure quality control of project deliverables as well as provide technical guidance;Ensure the timely preparation and submission of inputs to meet reporting requirements;Prepare and participate in field missions, including workshops in target countries;Establish a network of relevant stakeholders, including private sector actors, public sector decision makers, NGOs, community-based groups, research institutions as well as UN organisations in the regions of concern;

Supervise PhD and MSc theses on relevant topics; engage in MSc-level teaching as required;

and publish in scientific journals;

Represent the organisation at regional climate risk and insurance events, expert meetings and conferences;

Actively co-develop new project activities for UNU-EHS/MCII in the context of the ECA Studies.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

A PhD degree in topics relevant for climate adaptation and with a methodological background in climate risk modelling;Proven professional experience in risk modelling, in the context of climate change adaptation, climate insurance or similar;Proven experience of successful project management in the context of development cooperation/science-policy interface and in coordinating with a broad range of actors;Advanced knowledge in Matlab or Python, GIS, environmental statistics and other quantitative methods is necessary;

Previous working experience with ECA and climada or similar modelling frameworks is a requirement;

a good understanding and/or experience in technical and organisational disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation;

Ability to negotiate with partners and funding institutions;

Previous experience in managing expert teams;

Previous experience in teaching at MSc level, including the supervision of MSc and/or PhD theses;

Existing professional networks consisting of contacts to academic partners, private insurers, government officials (e.g. insurance supervisors, disaster risk management authorities, and related), relevant development actors and/or UN organisations would be preferred;

Fieldwork experience in different developing country contexts;

Excellent writing, presentation, and communication skills with a fluency in spoken and written English and German. Additional languages such as French, Spanish, or further UN languages are an asset;

Track record of representing your organisation at international fora with a specific focus on presenting research results to interdisciplinary audiences;

Initiative taker with the interest to professionally expand into new ways of applying decision support tools, also in the context of insurance-related solutions;

Strong team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;

This position entails a high degree of travel.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


We offer a competitive net salary (tax exempted) at P2 level. The post carries the standard set of UN entitlements/benefits, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant for eligible children, removal expenses and home leave. For more information please visit:

The Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidate at a lower category

Duration of Contract:

This is a full time fixed-term appointment and an internationally recruited post. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of fixed-term appointments shall not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for newly recruited United Nations staff is 65 years.

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.

Starting Date:

As soon as possible

How to apply:

Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must upload the following:

A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) formdownloadable from UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;An up-to-date CV;An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/EHS/FTA/AAO/30170)

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