The United Nations Environment Programme 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), hosted by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research (IGSNRR) of CAS in Beijing, China. Since 2012, it has become a global centre on ecosystem management and a collaborative centre of UN Environment, 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. Through adecade-long (2016 to 2025) flagship programme on Climate, Ecosystems and Livelihoods (CEL), , UNEP-IEMP is providing developing countries with assistance in monitoring and assessment, capacity building, technology demonstration and science for policy to effectively deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement.


Position Description

Three postdoctoral research fellow vacancies in UNEP-IEMP are open for application, with a view to enhancing interdisciplinary research focused on 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. Priority regions for research include the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Central Asia, Africa and other vulnerable areas along the regions of Belt and Road Initiative by the Chinese government.

All successful applicants are requested to join the work of UNEP-IEMP full time for two years (2019-2020), including research related travels in other developing countries. The incumbents will be supportedthrough 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, Director of UNEP-IEMP, Prof Xiubo YU and Prof. Fadong Li, Programme Coordinators of UNEP-IEMP, 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

  1. Deliver research findings through both peer-reviewed international journal papers and policy briefs;
  2. Provide technical support to CEL Programme, e.g. project implementation and proposal development for the focus region of Africa, Greater Mekong Sub-region and Central Asia
  3. Assist in developing of a knowledge repository at UNEP-IEMP
  4. Attendcommunication, outreach, and capacity building activities inside UNEP-IEMP and between UNEP-IEMP and partners;
  5. Any other tasks assigned by the Director of UNEP-IEMP.


Required qualification and competency

The applicants will minimum have a PhD degree or equivalent doctoratein 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.


Application procedures

Please send your CV, cover letter and the contact details of two referees to, before 7 September 2018. Quote ‘Postdoctoral Research Fellows’ as the email subject.

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. These documents will be submitted to the CAS PIFI Program Office through UNEP-IEMP.

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 2019.

More information on PIFI and its application procedures could be found at



  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.