Project Associate: Modelling Expert

Job Category

Job Experience

Job Location

Expiration Date

28 Jul 2019

About UN University

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.For more information, please visit

United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) established in December 2003, is part of the UNU system, a worldwide network of Research and Training Institutes. Its mission is to advance human security through knowledge-based approaches to reducing vulnerability and environmental risks. For more information, please visit Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII): MCII was initiated as a charitable organisation by representatives of insurers, research institutes and NGOs in April 2005 in response to the growing realization that insurance solutions can play a role in adaptation to climate change, as suggested in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. This initiative is hosted at the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS). As a leading think tank on climate change and insurance, MCII is focused on developing solutions for the risks posed by climate change for the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries.

Economics of Climate Adaptation Facility (ECAF): UNU-EHS and MCII intend to share their knowledge and expertise in supporting the development of developing countries adaptation strategy via the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) Facility. MCII/UNU-EHS will be tasked with the implementation of ECA methodology in developing countries in order to highlight climate adaptation measures including risk transfer. The Economics of Climate Adaption (ECA) Framework, originally developed by SwissRe and ETH, provides a unique and flexible approach to quantify costs for preventive measures and insurance products in order to assist facilitated decision-making. ECA bridges a gap between traditional cost benefit analysis, vulnerability assessment and impact assessment, as it fully integrates all three of them. ECA is open-source and integrates a probabilistic tool that offers a comprehensive risk analysis of selected hazards, assets and spatial scales. In case of successful funding, the project is expected to start in July 2019.


Under the authority of the Director of UNU-EHS and the guidance of the MCII Executive Director, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

  • Coordinate with and effectively support the MCII Project Lead in the successful implementation of related project tasks;
  • Ensure the timely delivery of results for different country studies (with Matlab and/or Python);
  • Ensure data quality and organize data collection as well as storage as required for the different studies;
  • Development of climate scenarios and participation in the development of other scenarios in collaboration with other team members;
  • Bridge knowledge with other team members and partners and facilitate exchange between qualitative and quantitative project requirements;
  • Actively develop the ECA modelling tool in close collaboration with other partners;
  • Ensure the timely preparation and submission of inputs to meet reporting requirements;
  • Prepare and participate in field missions, including workshops in target countries;
  • Actively participate in international scientific conferences;
  • Prepare and submit publications to academic journals;
  • Establish a network of relevant stakeholders, including private sector actors, public sector decision makers, NGOs, community-based groups, research institutions as well as UN organisations in the region.
  • Represent the organisation at regional climate risk and insurance events, expert meetings and conferences.
  • Actively co-develop new project activities for MCII in the context of ECA studies.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • Master’s degree in Environmental engineering, economics, geography or similar with a background in insurance, climate adaptation or hazard modelling;
  • Three (3) years of proven professional experience in hazard modelling, in the context of climate change adaptation, climate insurance or similar;
  • Strong modelling skills with excellent command of Matlab and/or Python;
  • Good command of GIS tools and statistical methods;
  • Ability to explain complex process (modelling, data requirement, scenarios etc…) to non-experts audiences;
  • Experience with scenarios development is an asset;
  • Track record of scientific publications in academic journals;
  • Work experience in developing countries would be an asset;
  • Experience in project management in coordinating with a broad range of actors is an asset;
  • A good understanding and/or experience in technical and organizational disaster risk reduction and -management and climate change adaptation;
  • Initiative taker with the interest to professionally expand into new ways of applying insurance-related solutions;
  • Existing professional networks consisting of contacts to private insurers, government officials (e.g. insurance supervisors, disaster risk management authorities and related), relevant development actors and/or UN organisations is an asset;
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills with a fluency in spoken and written English; Additional languages such as Spanish, Portuguese and French are an asset;
  • Strong team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • This position entails a high degree of travel.

UNU is an inclusive employer and endeavors to create culture of inclusiveness. Applications from suitably qualified female candidates or underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged.


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Duration of Contract:

The successful candidate shall work under a Personal Service Agreement (PSA) for a fixed period of twelve (12) months with the perspective of renewal. The combined duration of appointments under a PSA shall not exceed six (6) years.

This is a locally recruited post and no relocation allowances apply. The duty station will be Bonn (Germany). The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Starting Date:

As soon as possible (preferably by 02 September 2019)

Application Procedure:

Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (to, and must include the following:

  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
  • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
  • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/EHS/PSA/PAME/56).

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