Job Opening

Posting Title: Researcher for Telangana Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: PARIS
Posting Period: 08 June 2023 - 10 July 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-211270-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

• State-of-the-art applied research across key pillars of sustainable, equitable and resilient cold chain for food and pharma products is conducted.
• India CoE campus facilities are built out and developed, including the innovation and business hub and the technology testing/demonstration center.
• Priority partners are recruited to join and remain well informed and bought-in to the CoE with meaningful contributions of cash and/or in-kind support for its continued growth.

Work Location

Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Expected duration

12 months (part-time)

Duties and Responsibilities

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is accelerating the global transition to energy efficiency and climate-friendly cooling. Getting the right solutions in place for refrigeration and space conditioning (cooling) is essential for improving the quality of life and health of people without undue impacts on the planet. United for Efficiency (U4E) is a global initiative launched in 2015 to help developing and emerging markets quickly and comprehensively transition to energy-efficient and climate-friendly lighting, space conditioning (cooling), refrigeration (equipment and comprehensive cold chains), electric motors and transformers (see

The first Centre of Excellence, the Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES), was established in 2020 by the Governments of Rwanda (GoR) and the United Kingdom (UK), U4E, the Centre for Sustainable Cooling (CSC), and a range of academic institutions. The University of Rwanda (UR) is the host of the Centre headquarters and has designated team and facilities, infrastructure, and land at its Rubirizi Campus in Kigali. The design and establishment of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Telangana will replicate the model of ACES and is aimed at the innovation for sustainable cold chain for food and pharma security and economic growth, including modal shifts, use of data, demonstration, delivery (including knowledge transfer) and skills capacity.

The purpose of the in-state CoE in India is to:
• Conduct state-of-the-art applied research across key pillars of sustainable, equitable and resilient cold chain for food and pharma products.
• Provide capacity building, upskilling, and training for farmer producer organizations (see and mobilisers and other supply chain stakeholders including, among others, agri-startups and entrepreneurs, equipment technicians and researchers.
• Develop both an innovation and business hub and technology testing/demonstration centre.
• Connect indigenous and the UK (and wider industrial) experts, investors, agri-food businesses, farmer cooperatives, and energy or logistics providers, to support the delivery of affordable, resilient, low emission cold-chain systems in India in line with socio-economic and climate targets/national objectives.

The programme has been developed by the University of Birmingham (UoB), leading a consortium of UK universities (London South Bank, Heriot-Watt, and Cranfield), and UNEP-U4E working with the UK and State Governments and industry.

The CSC will continue to provide the academic and technical research base, expertise, and framework to establish the Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Cooling and Cold chain. Along with the team in the UK at the partner Universities, the project team is looking to recruit experts to support the development and delivery of the programme in-country.

A Researcher is needed to conduct research on food/pharma cold chain and their economics to support the CoE in Telangana, India.

Key research areas include:
• Understanding cold chain needs for food and pharma products out to 2050, and the associated social, health, economic and environmental impacts.
• Understanding the economics of supply chain logistics, subsistence farmers.
• Exploring system approaches on how to use (and mitigate the need for), make, store, move, manage, finance, and regulate “cold” to meet cold chain needs equitably and sustainably.
• Identifying available fit-for-purpose cold-chain technologies and solutions in market.
• Identifying relevant policies and strategies in-market.
• Identifying barriers for uptake and implementation (e.g., supporting infrastructure (energy), skills and capacity).
• Understanding and preparing for future shocks and disruptions, and auditing cold-chain resilience.
• Developing fit-for-market business models and finance mechanisms.
• Facilitating uptake of innovative systemic solutions at scale.
• Increasing¿awareness among policy makers about the importance of a sustainable, equitable and resilient cold-chain system globally.

Core details

A. Research and knowledge transfer
• Collect research data, both quantitative and qualitative; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as literature reviews, research interviews and workshops¿following ethical guidelines for data collection and analysis.
• Conduct high-quality and robust data analysis.
• Develop high quality research outputs, and write-up of reports and academic publications.
• Organise and deliver impact and dissemination activities with a wide range of stakeholders including policymakers, inter-Governmental Development Agencies and NGOs¿and at high-quality conferences, workshops, and meetings.
• Develop and make substantial contributions to knowledge transfer, enterprise, business engagement, public engagement activities.
• Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines.
• From analyses, assist into the development of new curricula including teaching and learning materials, based on the new knowledge created in sustainable, equitable and resilient cold chain for food and pharma products.
• Contribute to monitoring and tracking project impacts to inform stakeholders.
• Contribute to writing grants and generating funding.
B. Training delivery and programme support
• Lead/contribute to the development of cold-chain research activities and training programmes.
• Supervise and verify data collection and analyses that have been accomplished by the regional researchers, enumerator and/other team members.
• Offer necessary trainings and capacity building to junior researchers, regional researchers, enumerator and/or data analyst as necessary.
• Help set deadlines and delegate tasks to in-country research team, ensuring quality and timely delivery.
• Contribute to monitoring and tracking project impacts to inform stakeholders.
• Support Train the Trainer related duties.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent additional experience) in a relevant discipline (such as, economics, engineering, refrigeration, and other related disciplines) and deep understanding of sustainable temperature-controlled supply chain (food and/or vaccines) and their economics. Doctoral degree is an asset.
Proven experience in research (e.g., doctoral level qualifications, research work or in-field activities).
Extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of refrigeration and cold chains.
Experience in public engagement and workshop organisation with high level policymakers and stakeholders.
Publication record in high quality scientific journals, at conferences and in industry accessible journals/magazines.
High level analytical capability, experienced in quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.
Proven ability to work both under guidance as part of a team, but also independently.
Ability to communicate complex information clearly.
An understanding of a range of influences from business drivers to cultural context and appreciation of whole systems models, techniques, or methods.
Experience in public engagement and workshop organisation with high level policymakers and stakeholders.
Interdisciplinary research experience linked to understanding complex social, economic, environmental, and technical challenges.
Experience in design and implementation of cold-chain solutions.
Availability to work in India (Hyderabad/Telangana).

• Fluency in spoken and written English is required, and fluency in spoken and written Telugu or Hindi are an asset.
• Excellent networking, engagement with stakeholders and communication skills (oral, written and presentation).
• Excellent project and time management skills.
• A ‘can do’ attitude with ability to take on new tasks and drive them to a successful conclusion.
• Ability and desire to travel both national and international.
• Proven commitment to deliver his/her duties accurately against deadlines.
• Ability to work with an international research team and interact with industry to provide high quality, relevant and timely outputs.
• Appropriate software skills including modelling.


Fluency in spoken and written English is required, and fluency in spoken and written Telugu or Hindi are an asset.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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