The UN Environment-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) was officially launched in November 2011 as a joint venture between UN Environment and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It has since become a global centre on ecosystem management and a collaborative centre of UN Environment, hosted by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) of CAS in Beijing, China. UNEP-IEMP is the first UN Environment’s initiative in the South and for the South mobilizing science to support policy setting for sustainable ecosystem management in developing countries.
In November 2016, the UN Environment launched a decade-long (2016 to 2025) flagship programme on Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CEL), supported by China, to assist countries in the global south with effective delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The programme aims to seize the ‘power of integration’ of the SDGs and will be led by UNEP-IEMP. During the entire duration of the programme, UNEP-IEMP will be providing countries with assistance in monitoring and assessment, capacity building, technology demonstration and science for policy.
Two postdoctoral research fellow vacancies in UNEP-IEMP are open for application, with a view to enhancing interdisciplinary research within the CEL Programme. The primary research theme is the nexus of climate change, ecosystems and livelihoods, inter alia, how to promote synergies of ecosystem services and sustainable livelihoods in the context of climate change.
All successful applicants are requested to join the work of UNEP-IEMP full time for two years, including research related travels in other developing countries. The incumbents will be supported through the CAS President’s International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI), through which CAS offers a pre-tax stipend of about RMB 250,000 per year to selected postdoctoral researchers. Major working place will be in the IGSNRR of CAS, Beijing, China.
The incumbents will under the supervision by Prof. Linxiu Zhang, Co-Director of UNEP-IEMP, and Prof. Fadong Li, Programme Coordinator of UNEP-IEMP, respectively, depending on tasks and assignments. At the same time, she or he will be a member of the Research Unit of UNEP-IEMP and shall inform the Head of Research Unit on the research plan and progress.
Key duties and responsibilities
The incumbents will be responsible to conduct cross-cutting research that is based on, conductive to, or complementary to the implementation of various projects and initiatives within the CEL Programme. Specifically, she or he will be expected to:
1. Deliver research findings through both peer-reviewed international journal papers and policy briefs;
2. Provide technical support, e.g. data collection and analysis, to projects and initiatives within the CEL Programme, on the request from the Programme Office of UNEP-IEMP;
3. Assist in developing of a knowledge repository at UNEP-IEMP in close collaboration with the Office of Operations;
4. Attend communication, outreach, and capacity building activities inside UNEP-IEMP and between UNEP-IEMP and partners;
5. Any other tasks assigned by the Director and Co-Director of UNEP-IEMP.
Required qualification and competency
The applicants will minimum have a PhD degree or equivalent doctorate in relevant disciplines, fluency in English, good communication skill, and team work spirit. Candidates with following background will be preferred:
1. Demonstrated expertise about rural development and agricultural, ecological, environmental, and/or resources economics;
2. Research experiences in the fields of climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation, greenhouse gases emissions, agricultural ecosystem monitoring, ecosystem service evaluation, and/or sustainable livelihoods framework.
3. Experiences of working with governments in developing countries and/or in an international team.
4. Skills of other languages as an advantage.
As a special note, applications are only invited from citizens under the age of 40 from a state that has diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, in accordance with the eligibility criteria for PIFI candidates.
The application will be open until 15 September 2017 and follow the PIFI procedures, including:
• By 8 September 2017: Please send your CV, cover letter and the contact details of two referees to firstname.lastname@example.org. Quote ‘Postdoctoral Research Fellows’ as the email subject.
• By 15 September 2017: the applicants will be shortlisted and contacted for interview. All the shortlisted applicants will be interviewed over the phone or online videoconference by the UNEP-IEMP management team. Successful applicants will be informed to prepare relevant documents for PIFI application, mainly including an application form, two recommendation letters and a research proposal.
• By 20 September 2017: UNEP-IEMP takes responsibility to collect and submit all the documents to the CAS PIFI Program Office through the online application system.
• Approval and Start Date: Usually the application will be reviewed and approved by the CAS PIFI Programme Office in three months. Once approved, the fellowship shall commence no later than 30 April 2018.
More information on PIFI and its application procedures could be found on: http://english.cas.cn/cooperation/fellowships/201503/t20150313_145274.shtml.
1. The successful applicant shall not be a staff member of the United Nations or UN Environment but shall sign a contract with the IGSNRR of CAS, based in Beijing, China – the host institution of UNEP-IEMP.
2. The applicant shall abide by the rules and procedures of IGSNRR and must commit to abide by the laws of the People’s Republic of China.
3. United Nations or UN Environment shall neither be responsible nor liable for any claims which may arise from this employment and IGSNRR shall take full responsibility in this regard.