Vacancy announcement

Hydraulic-Hydrological modelling applications, Flood mapping (Research Associate) - Geneva, Switzerland

Vacancy type Training or Research Assistants, Associates
Deadline for submission of applications
Number of vacancies
Organizational Unit

Depending on the professional background and experience the range of remuneration is CHF 6,006 to CHF 7,645 per months. The benefit package includes six weeks of annual leave and a limited health insurance plan. It does not include a pension contribution. Please note that this vacancy is located in Geneva and is a locally recruited position with no international benefits. This is not a regular post but a type of contract specific to UNITAR.


UNOSAT is the operational satellite applications programme of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It is a technology-intensive programme active since 2001 in applied research and innovative applications relating to geospatial information technology and satellite analysis, and mapping.

Within the project named “Strengthening Women’s Disaster Management Capacities in Guyana and Dominica”, UNOSAT is the responsible party for the development of a national flood EWS in Guyana to improve decision-making as well as for the implementation of tailored capacity building activities targeting identified stakeholders from national agencies and ministries.

The incumbent, in close collaboration with project partners and national stakeholders, will be supporting the technical implementation and calibration of the Early Warning System (EWS) in Guyana including the preparation and delivery of training and capacity building activities.


Under the overall supervision of UNOSAT Specialist in charge of DRR and Climate Services, the incumbent will be:

  • Supporting the implementation of hydro-meteorological related applications and services including data quality assessment, flood hazard mapping, and the set-up of a flood early warning system in Guyana;
  • Conducting hydrological studies and assessments for the implementation of hydrological and hydraulic modelling covering selected study areas;
  • Ensuring proper level of technical coordination with project partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries by organizing meetings and calls;
  • Supporting project management related activities including drafting of workplans, communication material and undertake M&E activities;
  • Supporting the design, preparation and delivery of training and capacity development activities targeting selected national stakeholder in Guyana;
  • Supporting implementation of UNOSAT climate services;
  • Performing any other duties/tasks as assigned.

Measurable Outputs/Deliverables/Schedule of Deliverables:

  • Efficient day-to-day support to the implementation of a flood EWS and related training and capacity development activities in Guyana;
  • Timely contribution to training material, workplans, M&E reports, e-news and technical reports.
  • Technical meetings and calls with project partners and beneficiaries held on weekly basis.

Performance indicators for evaluation of results:

  • Outputs are delivered in a timely fashion;
  • High quality inputs to all tasks/activates outlined;
  • Ability to complete tasks independently;
  • Demonstrated competence to work within a team;


  • Professionalism: Ability to set-up climate/hydrological modelling and EWS applications, to perform GIS/RS analysis, to independently write reports and follow up on project tasks according to defined work-plans. Knowledge and understanding of UN system. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; ; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Planning & Organizing: Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Based on the supervision received, develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments with minimal supervision; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary in a coordinated manner; uses time efficiently.
  • Commitment to continuous learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in own occupation/profession; actively seeks to develop oneself professionally and personally; contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates; shows willingness to learn from others; seeks feedback to learn and improve.
  • 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; very good inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to deal with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds, and proven ability to function in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;.
  • Technology awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.
  • Communication: Excellent communication skills (spoken, written and presentation), including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written documents, such as technical and scientific papers, reports, studies, and other communication materials, articulating ideas in a clear and concise style; ability to prepare and deliver targeted and results-oriented presentations; 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; strong interpersonal and communication skills including facilitation skills in training related activities.


Minimum requirements

Education:  Advanced university degree (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) in civil/hydraulic engineering, hydrology, flood risk management or related fields.

Experience: Minimum of four years of professional experience in the management and implementation of similar projects with a strong component in the operational set up and development of hydro-meteorological forecasting chain, flood early warning systems and hydrological-hydraulic modelling applications.

Demonstrated experience in the delivery of trainings and capacity building activities is also required for this position. 

Other skills:  GIS/RS analysis, GIS web application, flood hazard mapping.

Languages:  Fluency in English is essential.

Desired requirements

Experience of working within the United Nations system or on international development projects is an asset.  Knowledge of another official UN language would be an advantage. 

Special Notice

UNITAR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Qualified women, individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

English and French are the two working languages of UNITAR. Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

UNITAR staff members are subject to the authority of the UNITAR Executive Director and their appointments are limited to service with the Institute.


According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. UNITAR is a non-smoking environment.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted based on the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules and UNITAR administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

No Fee


How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement. A letter of motivation as well as the P11 form are to be sent at:

UN staff members must submit copies of their latest Performance Appraisal System (PAS) report at the time of application.