Job Opening

Posting Title: Lead Expert, India Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain in Telangana
Department/Office: United Nations Environment Programme
Duty Station: PARIS
Posting Period: 14 June 2023 - 10 July 2023
Job Opening Number: 23-United Nations Environment Programme-211273-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/vaccine products is conducted.
• India CoE campus facilities are built out and developed as both an innovation and business hub and technology testing/demonstration centre.
• 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, India

Expected duration

12 months

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, UK and wider 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 Indian nationals to support the development and delivery of the programme in-country.

A Lead Expert is needed in India to provide strategic coordination and lead development, delivery including some of training for a CoE to be established in Telangana, India. The Lead Expert will be responsible for leading the day-to-day in-country strategic coordination of the project development and delivery in Telangana to ensure the execution and close-out of activities with a range of responsibilities.

Core details

A. Programme design and delivery
• Engage cross-discipline with partner universities, U4E and delivery partners, as well as with industry and governments, in defining needs, opportunities, solutions and barriers.
• Provide managerial leadership, manage, and support the day-to-day activities and resources of the centre, ensure the delivery of project outputs within the timeframe and budget with special emphasis on coordination and networking, management, and mobilisation of resources.
• Communicate successes and new developments to government stakeholders, key donor partners and actively brief them on opportunities for cooperation.
• Provide oversight to related in-country aspects of academic and industrial research and development.
• Help set deadlines and delegate tasks to in-country team.
• Provide oversight to the development of new curricula including teaching and learning materials, based on new learning and knowledge in sustainable and resilient refrigeration and cold chain for food and pharma products.
• Manage and undertake out-reach knowledge transfer activities to cold-chain actors across the whole cold-chain spectrum.
• Support associated academic activities in-country, such as conferences, writing and managing publications in high quality scientific journals and in magazines accessed by industry.
B. Secure funding and in-kind support
• Help mobilize additional funding and resources to deliver the project.
• Identify and help secure in-kind support for priority areas identified by the India CoE team (equipment, facilities, expertise, data, land, etc.) from interested collaborators.
• Contribute the in-country written and verbal inputs to grants, funding proposals, reports, and liaison, as agreed with the team, including information gathering, conducting briefings to build interest and gather commitments, securing letters of endorsement and formal agreements, facilitating paperwork and processes to be navigated, and providing regular updates to ensure parties remain well apprised of developments.
C. Operationalize facilities, staffing and business models
• Foster and help maintain buy-in and support at the senior leadership level of key collaborators on priority activities and deliverables, enabling timely and quality execution across organizations.
• Provide information and participate when requested for governance meetings (e.g., Steering Committee, Advisory Committee), and other ad hoc meetings.
• Alert the project team and provide in-depth written and verbal advice on potential upcoming hurdles (e.g., fees, permitting, schedule considerations, bureaucratic processes, cultural norms) and recommend solutions for complex matters that are critical to keeping the initiative on track.
• Address ad hoc urgent needs prioritised by the project team, as directed, to resolve critical delays, misunderstandings, cost overruns, and other such adverse impacts for major deliverables.
• Liaise with current and secure new collaboration across the continent, serving as an interlocutor with potential in-country partners, other centres of excellence, industry, UN agencies, other technical assistance programmes, and donors who offer the greatest strategic opportunity to advance the Centres.
• Work with the wider team in the coordination and planning for major activities, sharing insights on progress and perspectives gleaned from outreach efforts and advising on areas of highest opportunity and major potential pitfalls.
• Promote a knowledge sharing and learning culture.
• Actively work towards continuing personal learning and development, acts on learning plan and applies newly acquired skills.
• Facilitate the project planning, results-based management, and reporting.
• Provide written and verbal inputs for reporting to donors using assigned templates.
D. Communications and Outreach
• Work with the project partners’ communications teams, conduct communication and outreach to convey the programmes’ progress at assigned events and via media including inputs where requested for the website and communication materials (e.g., press release, social media content, flyer, banners) and media requests to increase the visibility of the programmes and raise awareness.
• Assist with planning visits for the university staff and VIPs.

Qualifications/special skills

An advanced university degree (Masters or equivalent additional experience) in a relevant discipline (such as, economics, engineering, refrigeration) or general supply-chain or logistics that are relevant for these arenas (e.g.: Masters in Agribusiness Management).
At least 7 years of both extensive theoretical and practical knowledge of cold chains for food and/or pharma including for export markets. Preference will be given to candidates who have previous experience of developing or delivering academic or industry cold-chain or refrigeration training courses. Exceptional candidates with less than 7 years will be considered.
Demonstrable experience working on project development and implementation, including financial/budget management, procurement, contracting and reporting.
Knowledge and management experience with project management methodologies including results-based management.
Ability to assist/lead implementation, monitoring and evaluation of project activities mobilize resources, create networks, etc.
Experience of working in conservation or international development and working with international bilateral agencies is an asset.
Extensive experience of developing research projects and securing research grants as Principal Investigator or co-investigator is an asset.
Experience in developing funding proposals and building coalitions of support for new initiatives is an asset.
Experience in working as part of a multi-team coalition.
Familiarity with refrigeration and cooling markets and technologies is essential.
Availability to work in Hyderabad.

• Experience in implementing cold-chain and understanding business models.

• Fluency in spoken and written English is required, and fluency in spoken and written Telugu or Hindi are an asset.
• Self-starter and working independently whilst thriving in an international research team.
• Ability to provide high quality, relevant and timely outputs.
• Strong planning and organizational skills; ability to handle planning and budgeting of multiple concurrent projects/activities.
• Proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications.
• Proven problem solving and management/leadership skills.
• Excellent networking, engagement with industry stakeholders and communication skills (oral, written and presentation).
• Excellent written and oral communications skills on technical and policy aspects of energy and climate policies and programmes.
• 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 within India and internationally.


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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