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Programme Specialist (Natural Sciences)


  • Organization: UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • Location: Havana
  • Grade: Mid level - P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Project and Programme Management
  • Closing Date: Closed


Post Number : 3CUSC0001RP

Grade : P-3

Parent Sector : Natural Sciences Sector (SC)

Duty Station: Havana

Job Family: Natural Sciences

Type of contract : Fixed Term

Duration of contract : 2 years, renewable

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 18-MAR-2024


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



Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences Sector (ADG/SC), and direct supervision from the Director of the UNESCO Office in Havana (DIR/FU/HAV), the incumbent will participate in the identification of needs, develop, plan, organize, implement, monitor, evaluate and provide technical support for UNESCO's programmes and activities in natural sciences with the particular focus on the Man and the Biosphere Programme, Hydrology, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and UNESCO's Small Island Developing States Strategy in the UNESCO Office in Havana.


S/He will support the Member States in implementing National Development Plans (NDP), the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks (UNSDCFs) 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 national contexts (i.e  Cuba, Dominican Republic and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)) to develop, implement and evaluate programme initiatives to promote learning and sustainable societies, and support Member States in advancing science, technology, innovation, research, and engineering to address contemporary environmental and societal challenges towards the implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science.


H/She shall work as part of the Interdisciplinary team at the UNESCO Office in Havana, collaborating with relevant stakeholders and with technical guidance from Natural Sciences Programme Divisions at UNESCO Headquarters and Natural Sciences Programme Specialists in other Latin American and Caribbean regional offices.

Long Description

In this context, the incumbent will: 

  • Participate in the conceptualization, design, development, coordination, monitoring and implementation of UNESCO’s Natural Sciences programmes, projects, and activities in countries under the auspices of the UNESCO Office in Havana with a special focus on Hydrology, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Reduction.
  • Contribute to preparing and evaluating reports on the implementation of programmes and projects and provide inputs to the work plans and budget documents (C/5).
  • Implement and coordinate events and other initiatives related to UNESCO’s programmes and activities.
  • Liaise with colleagues within the Natural Sciences Sector, other sectors and stakeholders to discuss the development and archive information on natural sciences to initiate baseline impact measurement.
  • Contribute for resource mobilisation, identify and develop internal and external collaborative project proposals in natural sciences based on needs, and define and revise project requirements and specifications.
  • Participate in joint programming and delivery as One exercise within the framework of the United Nations (UN) Reform such as Common Country Analysis (CCAs), UNDCFs, Regional Opportunity and Issues-Based Coalitions (OIBCs).
  • Advise DIR/FU/HAV Director on all matters related to natural sciences and make appropriate recommendations for the attention of governmental authorities and stakeholders.
  • Interact with Programme Specialists of UNESCO’s regional offices and Headquarters, research institutions, donors, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the seven National Commissions and five United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) in the region regularly for programme, project and joint administrative matters.



  • Advanced University Degree (master’s or equivalent) in one of the relevant fields of natural sciences (Environment, Ecology, Hydrology, Earth Sciences and Basic Sciences) and/or Engineering.


Work Experience 

  • Minimum of 4 (four) years of relevant professional experience in the field of natural sciences, of which preferably at least 2 (two) years at the international level.
  • Experience in formulating natural sciences related policies and implementing and monitoring natural sciences programmes and projects.


Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge and understanding of natural sciences and socio-economic systems in a development and Middle-Income Countries context, notably in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Excellent coordination, interpersonal and negotiation skills, as well as an ability to network with a range of partners, donors and other stakeholders.
  • Excellent presentation skills and ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in a multicultural environment.
  • Ability to draft high quality, clear, concise documents and reports.
  • Strong IT skills including proficiency in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning systems).



  • Excellent knowledge of English and good knowledge of Spanish. 



  • Advanced University Degree (PhD or equivalent) in one of the relevant fields of natural sciences including Environment, Water, Ecology.


Work Experience

  • Experience within government or private sector in the field of natural sciences.
  • Experience with specialized agencies of the UN system, professional NGOs, and/or organizations for international technical cooperation.
  • Experience in promoting cooperation among SIDS.


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 (Arabic, Chinese, French and Russian).
- For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework. 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) BENEFITS AND ENTITLEMENTS

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 109 134 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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