As part of the workplan of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme for 2024/2025, UNIDIR requires a consultant in order to implement the tasks detailed below.

Expected Duration

Overall duration of the contract: 10 months starting from 1 July 2024 and ending on 30 April 2025. This is an output-based contract.

Responsibilities of the consultant

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 vision of UNIDIR is a stable and more secure world in which States and people are protected from the threat of arms-related violence. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. UNIDIR is based in the Palais des Nations, Geneva.

UNIDIR’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Programme works to support progress in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, addressing all aspects of the nuclear dilemma, from delivery vehicles and security policies to the benefits and risks of nuclear technology. The programme also contributes to policymakers’ efforts to strengthen the norm against chemical and biological weapons, including through work on the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and related instruments designed to prohibit and prevent chemical and biological warfare.

Within UNIDIR’s WMD Programme, the Technical Advisor will perform the following duties under the supervision of the Head of Programme:

  1. Review BWC National Implementation Measures Database Country Profiles
  • Review BWC States Party country profiles prepared by researchers for publication in the BWC NIM Database. Including checking profiles for consistency with agreed templates, accuracy, and balance.
  • Provide feedback and advice to researchers on specific country profiles.
  • Contribute to project discussion around good practices related to research and development of NIM Database country profiles. 
  • Support the promotion and outreach activities of the BWC National Implementation Measures Database including through:
  • The presentation of the database or issues related to national implementation at least one public event.
  • The co-authorship of a UNIDIR report taking stock of BWC National Implementation at 50 to be published in Q2 2025.
  • Assist in other duties as assigned by the Institute’s management.

Tangible and measurable outputs of the consultancy, schedule of proposed work and payment terms of assignment

The non-resident consultant shall provide UNIDIR with the following outputs (deliverables):

  • A review of 80 BWC States Party country profiles over the course of the contract.
    • Completion of 30 profiles is due by the end of Q3 2024.
    • Completion of a further 30 profiles is due by the end of Q4 2024.
    • Completion of a further 20 profiles is due by the end of Q1 2025.
  • A final draft of a co-authored UNIDIR report of 5000 words in length providing an overview of the status of BWC national implementation, due by the end of Q1 2025.
  • A presentation of the database or issues related to national implementation in at least one public event, on a date to be determined.

The Consultant will have regular communication with the Head of Programme in order to set assignments within the workplan and monitor progress. The Technical Advisorwill inform the Head of Programme if there are any issues concerning meeting agreed deliverables and deadlines.

Payments are contingent on approval of the services rendered by the consultant by the WMD Head of Programme.

Performance Indicators

The consultant will be evaluated at the end of this contract. Performance indicators include:

  1. Outputs are delivered on time, their quality and impact are considered satisfactory by the WMD Programme Lead.
  2. Engagement is professional, team oriented and positive.
  3. The consultant demonstrates the core values of the UN (Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect for Diversity) in the discharge of their duties.
  • Qualifications and Experience

a. Education

Advanced university qualification (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international law, political science, public administration, disarmament and arms control, international security or a related field is required.

b. Work Experience

  • A minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience in international treaty law and treaty implementation in an international political affairs context is required. 
  • Extensive knowledge of current international debates and recent developments in biological disarmament and non-proliferation, the Biological Weapons Convention, and biosecurity is required.
  • A track record in project management and extensive experience in the process of reviewing and revising project outputs is required.
  • Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), is required.
  • Existing relationships with relevant stakeholders, including regional organizations, UN agencies and programmes working in the field of biological security is desirable.

c. Language (s)

For this assignment, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.

  • Travel

The consultant may be required to travel to Geneva during the course of this assignment.

  • Confidentiality

All internal discussions pertaining to UNIDIR’s work are confidential. The consultant will sign a separate confidentiality clause.

  • Affiliation

The consultant’s affiliation for all activities associated with this contract will be stated as “Senior Researcher at UNIDIR”.

How to apply

The applicant should submit:

  • A cover letter
  • UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira
  • Name and contact details of three references

Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: WMD Senior Researcher” to No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is 24 June 2024. Closing date is midnight Geneva time.

UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.

Subject line Application: WMD Senior Researcher

Please note

Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you move forward in the process, you may be contacted for further assessment.

For any queries regarding the above, please contact:

James Revill
Head of Programme, Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Ms. Maliha Khan
Executive Officer
1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
T +41 22 917 15 83