Starting Date: 1 March 2021 (Negotiable)
Duration: One year, with the possibility of extension
Occupational Rate: 100%
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Remuneration: ICA II (100%)
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations, and policy and research communities in identifying and promoting practical measures that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. It carries out that role through four core services: promoting knowledge, generating ideas, facilitating dialogue and providing advice.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons (WMDOSW) programme works to support progress in nuclear disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation. The programme also contributes to policymakers’ efforts to keep the world free of biological and chemical weapons, and consider the implications of new strategic technologies—from missiles to counterspace capabilities and missile defence systems.
Within UNIDIR’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and Other Strategic Weapons Programme (WMDOSW), the Researcher will perform the following duties under the supervision of the Programme Lead:
Conduct research, analysis, and associated outreach on space security.
Publish two research papers for the Space Dossier series on topics in line with the Programme strategic plan description and developed in consultation with the Programme Lead.
Assist senior staff in raising the profile of the Institute’s activities in the realm of space security with relevant stakeholders and mobilize resources for the portfolio.
Publish at least two external pieces (for instance, two opinion editorials, or one op-ed and one scholarly article on aspects of space security).
Organize at least two external events (virtual or face-to-face) to promote the findings and ongoing research of the Institute on space security.
Develop other promotional materials for communication of research findings.
Collaborate with visiting fellows to the Institute working in the field of space security.
Carry out other research activities around space security, as required, including a possible regional workshop on space security issues in late 2021.
Coordinate preparations for UNIDIR’s 2021 Space Security Conference (OS21) and implement them. Tasks include:
Develop and draft relevant documentation including the conference agenda, for approval by UNIDIR and its partners (Secure World Foundation, FRS, and potentially others).
Identify potential governmental and non-governmental expert speakers for the Conference, based upon criteria determined by UNIDIR and its partners.
Undertake logistical and other arrangements to ensure the successful convening of the Conference.
Moderate conference panels and facilitate proceedings to ensure a positive and collaborative dynamic.
Draft the conference report and project reporting to funders based on UNIDIR’s defined guidelines and in consultation with the Programme Lead.
Undertake research and analysis on issues related to missiles and anti-missile defences with a view to how these relate to the strategic balance, affect prospects for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and how they connect with issues in space security. Tasks include:
Act as a focal point within the WMDOSW Programme, under the supervision of the Programme Head, on missile issues and contributing to the development of the Programme’s strategic approach toward them.
Manage the commissioning and development of a UNIDIR research paper on the state of missile controls at the multilateral level and future, feasible options.
Publish at least one opinion or research piece on missile or missile defence-related issues.
Assist UNIDIR senior staff with regard to missile-related events in which UNIDIR is involved and wider outreach.
Perform other duties as assigned.
A workplan for the duration of the contract will be agreed between the successful candidate and management within the first two weeks of the contract. The Researcher will have regular meetings with the WMDOSW Programme Lead in order to set assignments within the workplan and monitor progress. The Researcher will inform the WMDOSW Programme Lead if there are any issues concerning meeting agreed deadlines.
The consultant will be evaluated at the end of his/her contract. Performance indicators include:
Assignments are completed on time and to the satisfaction of the Deputy to the Director or his/her designate.
Engagement is professional, team oriented and positive.
The consultant demonstrates the core values of the UN and the core competencies described below in the discharge of their duties.
The Researcher is to demonstrate at all times the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect for Diversity.
In addition, in this role, the Researcher will demonstrate the following competences:
Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Advanced university (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international affairs, political science, international law or a related scientific or technical field is required. Post-doctorate degree in international affairs, political science, international law or a related scientific or technical field is desired.
A minimum of 5 years experience in the field of disarmament and arms control, international security or a related field is required.
Experience working on issues related to space security and missiles is required.
Experience working in a disarmament context within an international setting is desirable.
A proven record of drafting written outputs and producing publications is required (Please include publications in PHP).
A successful record of project management is required, including in the following areas: designing project activities; monitoring timelines and milestones; implementing activities within budget and on time; conducting follow ups on project activities.
For this consultancy, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.
The consultant may be required to travel during the course of his/her assignment. Dates and locations, should travel be required, will be determined during implementation of the project. The consultant must complete the UN the UN course BSAFE (online) and provide UNIDIR with a certificate of completion.
UNIDIR retains copyright of all documents and the ownership of the intellectual property resulting from all work carried out under this contract. The consultant warrants that the paper will be original works or that where S/he incorporates copyright material from another source, copyright permission for its use will be obtained. Written output(s) may be attributed to the consultant.
Budget for the contract
The consultant will receive payment in monthly instalments contingent on satisfactory approval of the services rendered by the consultant to UNIDIR.
The applicant should submit:
A cover letter;
a PDF of a UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira; and
Name and contact details of three references.
Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: Space Researcher” to email@example.com. Any inquiries may be sent to James Revill (firstname.lastname@example.org). No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is 18 December 2020. Closing date is midnight Geneva time. Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.