Section Head (Food and Environmental Protection Section) (P5), Vienna, Austria 286 views

Section Head (Food and Environmental Protection Section)(P5)

( 2019/0576 (004491) )

Organization: NAFA-Food and Environmental Protection Section

Primary Location: Austria-Vienna-Vienna-IAEA Headquarters

Job Posting: 2019-10-31, 5:29:50 PM

Contract Type : Fixed Term


Probation Period : 1 Year

Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA’s Major Programme 2, ‘Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection’. This Major Programme comprises individual programmes on food and agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The Major Programme’s objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage the marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture assists Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA in using nuclear techniques and related technologies to improve food security, alleviate poverty and promote sustainable agriculture. The Joint Division consists of five Sections, each with an associated laboratory (located in Seibersdorf, 45 km south-east of Vienna), in the areas of: animal production and health; plant breeding and genetics; insect pest control; soil and water management and crop nutrition; and food and environmental protection.

The Food and Environmental Protection Section and Laboratory assist Member States in ensuring the safety and quality of food and agricultural commodities through the development of analytical techniques and application of food irradiation, focusing on the use of nuclear and related technologies in the management of food and environmental hazards and on strengthening capacities for nuclear emergency preparedness and response in agriculture.

Main Purpose

As member of a team reporting to the Director of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, the Section Head ensures that the activities of the Food and Environmental Protection Section and its laboratory contribute to the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme relating to the improvement of food safety and quality and increased international food trade through the use of nuclear and related techniques, as well as preparedness and response to nuclear emergencies and radiological events affecting food and agriculture.


The Section Head is: 1) a team leader, ensuring the efficient and effective management of assigned staff, physical and financial resources in line with quality management standards and a results-based approach; 2) a technical leader, leading a multidisciplinary team in the Section focused on ensuring the efficient and effective planning, development and implementation of programmatic activities, capacity building, technical support, policy advice for Member States, and information exchange as it relates to the Joint FAO/IAEA programme, and; 3) a technical officer, evaluating and providing technical management for technical cooperation (TC) projects, and providing technical support to coordinated research projects (CRPs) in the area of food safety & quality control.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Manage the Food and Environmental Protection Section, providing leadership and guidance to staff, and establishing and monitoring standards of excellence in performance.
  • Ensure full coordination and transparency in all activities and deliberations of the Food and Environmental Protection Section with internal and external stakeholders.
  • In consultation with the Head of the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory, contribute to the strategic direction of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme on the improvement of food safety & quality and international food trade, provide leadership and guidance to all assigned staff, develop and implement the subprogramme and its budget, including the establishment of goals, priorities and working plans, and monitor and report outputs.
  • Ensure the visibility and impact of the Food and Environmental Protection Subprogramme’s activities.
  • Within the general framework of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme, lead the development, adaptation and validation of nuclear and related techniques to improve food safety and quality and enhance international food trade.
  • Ensure the generation and provision of scientific and technical input to the policy and standards development of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme and other national and international bodies (e.g. WHO and CODEX).

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies


Planning and Organizing

Sets clearly defined objectives for himself/herself and the team or Section. Identifies and organizes deployment of resources based on assessed needs, taking into account possible changing circumstances. Monitors team’s performance in meeting the assigned deadlines and milestones.


Encourages open communication and builds consensus. Uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information, and keeps staff informed of decisions and directives as appropriate.

Achieving Results

Sets realistic targets for himself/herself and for the team; ensures availability of resources and supports staff members in achieving results. Monitors progress and performance; evaluates achievements and integrates lessons learned.


Encourages teamwork, builds effective teams and resolves problems by creating a supportive and collaborative team spirit, remaining mindful of the need to collaborate with people outside the immediate area of responsibility.

Functional Competencies


Judgement/decision making

Consults with and seeks advice at the appropriate managerial level when making complex decisions. Facilitates dialogue and development of best practice to support judgement/decision making, in full compliance with the Agency’s regulations and rules.

Partnership building

Identifies interests and goals common to the Agency’s partners and its stakeholders to foster partnership building. Promotes collaboration with partners, colleagues across teams and stakeholders.

Technical/scientific credibility

Provides guidance and advice in his/her area of expertise on the application of scientific/professional methods, procedures and approaches.

Required Expertise

FunctionNameExpertise Description

Food Science

Food Authenticity and Quality

In-depth knowledge of the principles and practice of food quality control and consumer protection, and awareness of the added-value role of nuclear and related analytic techniques in food traceability and authenticity.

Food Science

Food Irradiation

Awareness of advantages and disadvantages of the traditional food irradiation technologies and a good knowledge in the development of machine-generated irradiation techniques such as the application of EB in food irradiation.

Food Science

Food Safety

Proven ability to keep abreast of relevant technological developments and to seize opportunities to contribute to sustainable food safety and quality control systems in Member States through the use of nuclear and related techniques.

Food Science

Food Science and Technology

In-depth knowledge of applied R&D technologies and activities at both laboratory and field levels to improve food safety and quality, and to enhance international food trade.

Food Science

Food and Environmental Contaminant Detection

In-depth knowledge and proven ability in development and formulation of projects relevant to food safety and quality control through the monitoring and detection of multi-residues of mixed contaminants in food matrices and the environment.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

Doctorate Degree

PhD or equivalent in biochemistry, analytical chemistry, food science or related agricultural disciplines with proven background in the use of nuclear techniques in food safety and quality control.

Minimum of 10 years of research and development experience in food safety and quality control at both national and international (at least three years) settings.

Minimum of three years of experience in capacity building in food safety and quality at national or international level.

Minimum of three years of administrative leadership including broad experience in human and financial resource management, programme planning and budgeting.

Proven track record of excellent leadership and high quality R&D activities related to food safety and quality and related disciplines using nuclear techniques as one of the research tools.

Experience in contributing to policy development and priority setting in the implementation of food safety and quality control strategies.

Proven ability to write and edit texts, papers, manuscripts etc. to a high standard for publication.

Proven ability to develop and formulate a programme and projects related to food safety and quality control, and to mobilize extra-budgetary funding for the subprogramme.

Proven ability to keep abreast of relevant technological developments and to seize opportunities to contribute to sustainable food safety and quality control through the use of nuclear and related techniques at national or international level.

Awareness of relevant FAO and IAEA mechanisms and procedures, including coordinated research projects and technical cooperation projects a strong asset.

Knowledge of and skill in human and financial resource management with the ability to effectively lead a multidisciplinary team in a multicultural environment and to set clear goals, roles and responsibilities.

High standards of integrity, fairness and transparency to ensure and promote a work environment based on mutual respect and trust.

Ability to convey scientific information to both scientific and non-scientific audiences in a clear manner.

Strong interpersonal skills to deal effectively with internal and external stakeholders.

Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $87108 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 34146*, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks’ annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance

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Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards (or values): Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process

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