Job Opening

Posting Title: Senior Adviser (Space Science and Education), D1
Department/Office: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 08 January 2021 - 21 February 2021
Job Opening Number: 21-Natural and Life Sciences-UNOOSA-144292-R-Vienna (G)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna, Austria. Under the supervision of the Director of the Office, and within delegated authority, the Senior Adviser (SSE) will provide expert advice, support research for the activities and programmes implemented by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) in the fields of space science and education, and manage the Office’s activities related to the United Nations-affiliated Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education.

For more information on UNOOSA, please visit:


Under the supervision of the Director of the Office, and within delegated authority, the Senior Adviser (SSE) will provide expert advice, support research for the activities and programmes implemented by the Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) in the fields of space science and education, and manage Office’s activities related to the United Nations-affiliated Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education, established in accordance with General Assembly resolution 50/27. The incumbent will be responsible for the following specific duties:

1. Provide expert advice and support research in space science and education for the programmes and projects implemented by the Space Applications Section (SAS), the secretariats of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its subsidiary bodies, the International Committee on Global Navigation and Satellite Systems (ICG) and Space Mission Planning Group (SMPAG), and the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). Ensure that staff of OOSA remain up to date on the latest research and developments in the field of space science and education and that the activities and documents prepared by the Office integrate those developments accurately and as appropriate. Liaise with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that the activities organized by the Office in the area of space science and education are of relevance to the development objectives of developing countries. Manage the dissemination of information to stakeholders on the status of space science and education. Maintain coordination of space science and education with specialized agencies, economic commissions, development projects and other entities of the UN system through UN-Space. Participate, and when necessary, represent the Director in space-related international conferences, symposia and meetings of governmental and non-governmental organizations relevant to the work of the Office.

2. Oversee, support and promote the activities undertaken by the Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education established under auspices of the Office. Take the lead in managing and fundraising for the enhancement of the programme of education opportunities offered by the Centres. Oversee the development and the implementation, in collaboration with other sections of the Office and the network of Regional Centres, of capacity building and institutional strengthening activities at the national, regional and global levels. Lead the development of education curricula, inter alia, on space science and education, taking into account the programme of work of the Office and its strategic objectives and priority areas, and coordinate and support the evaluation and revision of the existing curricula on satellite meteorology and global climate, space and atmospheric sciences, satellite communications, remote sensing and geographic information systems, global navigation satellite systems and space law.

3. Oversee the management of activities implemented under his/her authority and ensure efficient time management, co-ordinate with the Sections of the Office, as well as with other organizations of the United Nations System. Take the lead in negotiating terms of funding agreements with donors on topics of relevance. Lead the organization of expert meetings, workshops, symposia, international conferences and training courses in areas of space science and education. Take the lead in providing technical advisory services, on request, to Member States and their space related institutions. Propose and organize technical advisory missions. Manage fellowships offered by Member States and international organizations for the benefit of developing countries for education and training.

4. Review and contribute to the preparation of reports, briefing packages, studies, background documents and other submissions required by the Director and for presentation to COPUOS and its subsidiary bodies, the Fourth Committee, the General Assembly and budgetary bodies of the United Nations. Ensure that programme activities are prepared and coordinated in line with the mandate, the strategic objectives and priorities areas of the Office, secretariat wide initiatives and. Manage the development, establishment and maintenance of a set of procedures, standards and tools that are consistent with UN policies and practices in order to ensure that the developments in space science and education are integrated in the formulation and implementation Office's programme plans and projects.

5. Ensure that the preparation of legal documents, necessary for the implementation of activities and projects under his/her authority, are concluded in a timely manner. Oversee the preparation of budgets and reports to donors on the utilization of their contributions. Ensure that financial and progress reports are comprehensive, precise and timely and produced according to rules and procedures of the United Nations. Manage human and financial resources, as may be necessary, taking due account of geographical balance. Manage, guide, develop and train staff under her/his supervision. Foster teamwork and communication among staff. Perform other work-related duties, as required.


• Professionalism: Has knowledge of the mandates of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA). Has knowledge of national, regional, and international space science and applications programmes and specific knowledge of the use of space science and technology. Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to particular sector, functional area or other specialized field. Is able to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems. Has ability to conduct data collection using various methods. Has conceptual analytical and evaluative skills to conduct independent research and analysis, including familiarity with and experience in the use of various research sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Is able to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities. 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the Organization's strategy and the work unit's goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspiring others to pursue that same direction; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.

• Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; considers positive and negative impacts of decisions prior to making them; takes decisions with eye to the impact on others and on the Organization; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information, checks assumptions against facts; determines that the actions proposed will satisfy the expressed and underlying needs of the decision; makes tough decisions when necessary.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in a space science-related field of study is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of fifteen years of relevant experience at the senior supervisory level in the area of space science and education is required.
Experience in overseeing and managing space-related activities and projects in an international setting is required.
Experience in functioning as an advisor in the area of space science and education is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this position, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

At the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the recruitment and employment of staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence and integrity, with due regard to geographic diversity. All employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications and organizational needs. The United Nations is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment of mutual respect. The United Nations recruits and employs staff regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities. Reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities may be provided to support participation in the recruitment process when requested and indicated in the application.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance and geographical diversity in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 30 November 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

Staff members appointed to the current position are required to submit a financial disclosure statement upon assignment or appointment and annually thereafter.

Vienna is classified in the H category (family duty station).

United Nations Considerations

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, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, 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. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

The paramount consideration in the appointment, transfer, or promotion of staff shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. By accepting an offer of appointment, United Nations staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and assignment by him or her to any activities or offices of the United Nations in accordance with staff regulation 1.2 (c). In this context, all internationally recruited staff members shall be required to move periodically to discharge new functions within or across duty stations under conditions established by the Secretary-General.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira 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.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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