United Nations University (UNU)

UNU Caracas, Venezuela

Job description

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission 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.

For the past four decades, United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans 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.

About United Nations University Programme on Biotechnology for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU-BIOLAC)

UNU-BIOLAC promotes the use of biotechnology for the sustainable development of Latin American and Caribbean countries. UNU-BIOLAC accomplishes its goals by building capacities, creating knowledge, and achieving problem-oriented research on significant concern areas for the region. In addition, it acts as a go-to think tank for science-based information to solve the most pressing problems where biotechnology could play a prominent role.

UNU-BIOLAC materialises an academic community through a dynamic network of researchers and institutions participating as Programme members under several cooperative agreements. This network coordinates research and training projects, carries out training activities, and mentors short-stay research visits and training internships.

This part-time position requires international travel. Ideally, the candidate will be based in Caracas, Venezuela, with the possibility of working remotely depending on the circumstances.


The Programme Coordinator will work in close consultation with the Office of the Rector in Tokyo with the following responsibilities: Leadership and strategic management

  • Serve as the Programme Coordinator of UNU-BIOLAC with overall responsibility for the direction, organisation, administration, and programming of UNU-BIOLAC, in accordance with the policies and criteria formulated by the UNU Council, the Rector, and the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC);
  • Develop, oversee, and implement a strategic plan for the Programme, in line with the UNU Strategic Plan and Institute-specific objectives;
  • Manage the Programme’s budget, including reporting requirements to donors and within the UNU system;
  • Hire and supervise personnel, promoting diversity, inclusion, and gender equality; and
  • Manage UNU-BIOLAC’s programme, which supports project coordinators and research networks in the priority areas recommended for the programme.

Programme implementation and oversight

  • Lead an impact-driven programme of capacity-building and knowledge translation in biotechnology;
  • Oversee the implementation and strengthening of capacity-building programmes; and
  • · Ensure that outputs are high quality and relevant to the UN system, member states, and other stakeholders.

Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration

  • Promote young scientists and technologists’ training with an interdisciplinary approach to strengthen their scientific and technological capabilities by identifying appropriate training venues within the region in collaboration with project coordinators; and
  • Oversee the organisation of scientific conferences, seminars, and workshops.

Represent UNU and create and maintain strategic partnerships and networks

  • Promote, strengthen and develop scientific alliances with national, regional, and international research institutions, organisations, and networks related to biotechnology;
  • Represent UNU-BIOLAC in local, regional, and global fora to support the programme’s visibility and outreach; and
  • Lead engagement and relations with the host country and other key stakeholders.
  • Manage donor relations and networks, including resource mobilisation activities for the Institute’s programming.

Perform other duties in support of the Institute and UNU system, as requested by the Rector

Key performance indicators

  • Implementation of a high-quality work programme for UNU-BIOLAC, including delivery of high-quality training and events.
  • UNU-BIOLAC is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner by governments, research partners, civil society, and the UN System.
  • Effective and productive engagement with the host country.
  • The programme is managed effectively and efficiently according to the policies and criteria formulated by the UNU Council, the Rector, and the UNU-BIOLAC Scientific Advisory Committee.



  • Inclusion — take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity
  • Integrity — act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards
  • Humility — demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others

  • Humanity — act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet


  • Connect and collaborate — building positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan — seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver results with positive impact — hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and develop — pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate — demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


  • Advanced university degree, with strong preference for a Ph.D., in a scientific discipline related to biotechnology.
  • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in biotechnology or related area is required;
  • An academic profile with evidence of high-quality research in a scientific discipline related to biotechnology;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the main areas of biotechnology and their corresponding applications;
  • Progressive and relevant work experience, including managing scientific groups in academia, research, or related institutions;
  • Recognized academic status in the international community is preferred;
  • Experience in managing budgets and resource mobilisation is advantageous;
  • Skilled networker as demonstrated by engagement in biotechnology networks;
  • Ability to engage cooperatively with individuals, governments, universities, and research institutions worldwide to promote capacity building actions in areas related to biotechnology;
  • Solution-oriented mindset through innovative and creative thinking; and
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Fluency in English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under an international PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU will contribute to the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders. Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Expected start date: 1 January 2023

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline: *Extended

  • 30 June 2022


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

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 organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

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.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU.

Tags: biotechnology, donor relations, knowledge sharing, latin america, programme implementation, standards of conduct, sustainable development, translation