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National Professional Officer (Natural Sciences)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Baghdad
  • Grade: Junior level - NO-B, National Professional Officer - Locally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : 5IQSC0001PA

Grade : NO-B

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Baghdad

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Project Appointment

Duration of contract : 1 year

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 21-MAR-2024 (EXTENDED)


UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism


Only nationals of Iraq may apply to this position

Duration of contract: 1 year with possibility of extension subject to availability of funds and satisfactory performance




Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC) and the direct supervision of the Director of UNESCO Office in Baghdad (DIR/FU/BAG), the incumbent will contribute to the design, coordination and implementation of activities carried out under UNESCO´s Natural Sciences Major Programme II in Iraq in view of supporting the Member State of Iraq in its effort to implement its National Development Plan (NDP) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), as well as contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In particular, the incumbent will be responsible for providing professional and technical support, research and analysis, with an emphasis on the national context to develop, implement and evaluate programme initiatives to promote learning and sustainable societies and support the Member State in advancing science, technology, innovation, research and engineering to address contemporary environmental and societal challenges, and build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic towards the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.


The incumbent shall work as part of the Interdisciplinary team in the UNESCO Office in Baghdad, collaborating with relevant stakeholders and with technical guidance from Natural Sciences Programme Divisions at UNESCO Headquarters and the Natural Sciences Programme Specialists at the UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Beirut.

Long Description

In this context, the incumbent will:

  • Provide professional and technical support in the identification, design, planning, coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and activities in the field of natural sciences in Iraq in the framework of Major Programme II and in line with the Natural Sciences Sector's strategies and priorities to promote learning and sustainable societies, and support the Member State in advancing science, technology, innovation, research and engineering to address contemporary environmental and societal challenges.
  • Participate in Regular Programme (C/5) work plans, policy formulation discussions, and other sector-related strategy formulation activities.
  • Coordinate and monitor the development, implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects in Natural Sciences, including the Ecological and Earth Sciences (EES), Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) and Science Policy and Basics Sciences (PBS).
  • Lead the UNESCO Baghdad Office's interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary efforts, including the formulation of concept notes and project development for extra-budgetary funding through participation in intersectoral programmes and activities in the areas of environment, biodiversity, climate change, disaster risk reduction, science education, education for sustainable development, world natural heritage and world heritage biodiversity programmes and local and indigenous knowledge.
  • Participate and provide technical support to UNESCO's involvement in joint programming exercises with the framework of the United Nations (UN) Reform, such as Common Country Assessments (CCAs) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Coordination Frameworks (UNSDCFs) in Baghdad.
  • Provide technical advice and support to national institutions and other stakeholders in charge of sciences, technology and innovation for policy and research action-oriented activities on new emerging national and global trends in sciences as well as contribute to the development of pertinent strategy papers, technical notes, frameworks and scientific documents, articles that contribute to the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.
Long Description
  • Maintain strategic partnerships with other UN Agencies, in particular with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and Multilateral and Bilateral Development partners in collaboration with colleagues from UNESCO Headquarters and Field Offices, Category I and Category II Centres and Institutes in Natural Sciences to foster opportunities for joint programming activities related to Natural Sciences, within the implementation of the common UN Country Programmes in support of UNSDCFs.
  • Identify and contribute to the formulation of the Office resource mobilisation strategy and its biennial implementation plans in particular, to develop in collaboration with other Programme Officers interdisciplinary concepts and project proposals, aimed at consolidating and complementing the regular budget-funded programme activities in Natural Sciences and formulate the required resource mobilisation and alternative funding mechanisms, partnerships strategies and plans to that end.
  • Prepare and submit quarterly/yearly work plans of regular budget programmes and extrabudgetary projects as per approved project documents, establish corresponding budgets, monitor the budgetary and financial status of the projects and decentralised budgets and ensure financial accountability. 
  • Ensure the appropriate implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Natural Sciences Programme is decentralised to the Office and provide timely quarterly/yearly reports.
COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial) Communication (C) Accountability (C) Innovation (C) Knowledge sharing and continuous improvement (C) Planning and organizing (C) Results focus (C) Teamwork (C) Professionalism (C) - For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS



  • Advanced university degree (Master's or equivalent) in the relevant field of natural sciences related disciplines (Water Resources Management, Environment, Earth Sciences, Hydrology, Basic Sciences and Science Policy) and/or Engineering.


Work Experience

  • Minimum of 2 (two) years of relevant professional experience in the field of natural sciences such as Environment, Water Resources Management and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
  • Experience in science coordination and programme management, design and implementation of  programmes/projects, particularly in water resources Management projects, including expertise in science policy. 


Skills and Competencies

  • Good programme and project management skills.
  • Ability to identify emerging trends and needs and ability to plan strategically and translate strategy into priorities and action.
  • Ability to build and maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to maintain effective working relations in a multicultural environment with tact and sensitivity to diversity.
  • Ability to communicate and negotiate effectively and persuasively with various stakeholders, within and outside the Organization and through various channels including the web and social media.
  • Good IT skills, including knowledge of standard office software.



  • Excellent knowledge of English and very good knowledge of Arabic.



  • Advanced university degree (Ph.D. or equivalent) in the relevant field of natural sciences including Environment, Water, and Ecological Science.


Work Experience

  • Experience within government or private sector in the field of natural sciences.
  • Experience with specialized agencies of the UN system, professional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and/or organizations for international technical cooperation.
  • Experience in promoting regional cooperation among the East and North Africa (MENA) Region.
  • Knowledge of the geopolitical context of the MENA Region.

Skills and competencies 

  • Ability to work effectively in a complex and changing environment.
  • Ability to work in close partnership with a wide range of national, regional and international scientific organizations.
  • Good knowledge of UNESCO's work and programmes in the area of natural sciences.



  • Knowledge of another official UNESCO language (Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish).

UNESCO’s salaries consist of a basic salary and other benefits which may include if applicable: 30 days annual leave, family allowance, medical insurance, pension plan etc.

The approximate annual starting salary for this post is 50 730 US $.

For full information on benefits and entitlements, please consult our Guide to Staff Benefits.


Please note that all candidates must complete an on-line application and provide complete and accurate information. To apply, please visit the UNESCO careers website. No modifications can be made to the application submitted.

The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. 

UNESCO uses communication technologies such as video or teleconference, e-mail correspondence, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

Please note that only selected candidates will be further contacted and candidates in the final selection step will be subject to reference checks based on the information provided.


UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This vacancy is now closed.
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