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Scientific Associate

Vacancy #:   6212
Unit:   Science
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, San José, Costa Rica
Reporting to:   Senior Scientist & Programme Manager
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P1
Expected start date:   02 January 2023
Type of contract:   Fixed-term (24 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   09 December 2022
IUCN’s Science Team, within the Science & Data Centre, represents IUCN’s expertise on conservation science with an emphasis on standards and metrics to assess the status of and risk to biodiversity, and reduce and responses to reverse this risk. It generates new and insightful analysis that advances conservation perspectives and raises IUCN’s credibility and profile, while at the same time, provides the necessary support to other teams for the consistent integration of scientifically robust baselines and analysis across the IUCN programme portfolio. In collaboration with the IUCN Biodiversity Assessment and Knowledge Team, the Science Team is implementing a new GEF project, “Knowledge-4-Nature: Provisioning the biodiversity data behind global goals for nature”. The project will strengthen delivery and improve the sustainability of global biodiversity species data provided through the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, as well as products and processes based on this such as the Species Threat Abatement & Restoration (STAR) metric, the IUCN Nature-Positive Approach, and the IUCN Contributions for Nature Platform. This will be achieved through developing state-of-the-art data services, addressing urgent knowledge needs, and taking advantage of new technologies and innovative applications. It will also leverage IUCN’s globally decentralised Secretariat to strengthen national-global dataflows and uptake of biodiversity data based on IUCN standards into national policies and planning. The Science Team is globally decentralised with staff and consultants in San Jose (Costa Rica), Antananarivo (Madagascar), Gland (Switzerland), and Washington DC (USA), and the Biodiversity Assessment and Knowledge Team similarly decentralised across Brussels (Belgium), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Gland (Switzerland), Cambridge (UK), and Washington DC (USA).
The Scientific Associate will support all aspects of programme coordination, logistics, and organization, and reporting related to the Knowledge-4-Nature Project. This will include: a) administrating project budgets in collaboration with the IUCN Global Programme Operations Unit; b) supporting contracting and consultancy arrangements; c) organizing and supporting meetings; d) tracking project progress across all its components; e) project reporting; f) other related activities as required, including the possibility for engagement in Mesoamerica regional-specific activities in addition to the Knowledge-4-Nature Project. All duties will be conducted in close consultation with the Senior Scientist & Programme Manager (Washington DC-based), Conservation Scientist (San Jose-based), and the Senior Programme Officer Biodiversity Data Impact and Influence (Cambridge- based). As the Scientific Associate will be based in San Jose at IUCN’s ORMACC office, and in line with the above-mentioned related responsibilities, it is anticipated that the Scientific Associate will also support the San Jose-based Conservation Scientist and ORMACC and SUR colleagues with regional data and information mobilization, written outputs for publication, and data analysis for the preparation of presentations in fora and conferences. The Scientific Associate will therefore also coordinate with the specialized staff from ORMACC and SUR as appropriate, and up to 30% of their time will be available for allocation to other regional or global initiatives, within the broad scope of responsibilities above, as and when such projects become available.
• Administrating project budgets in collaboration with the Global Programme Operations Unit. This will involve, among other things, budget development, tracking income and expenditure, and financial reporting. Anticipated time: 20%
• Support contracting and consultancy arrangements, including drafting agreements, supporting adherence to procurement procedures, and facilitating payments: 20%.
• Organizing and supporting coordination of meetings, such as the project inception workshop. Anticipated time: 10%.
• Tracking progress across all project components and liaising with individual component teams as needed, and supporting project reporting. Anticipated time: 20%.
• Other activities as required, emerging from discussion with the Senior Scientist & Programme Manager. Anticipated time: 30%
Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However in an ever evolving organisation such as IUCN staff members are expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TORs. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • Bachelor’s degree in conservation, biology, ecology, sustainability or other relevant field

• Master’s degree in relevant field will be considered an advantage

• 3 years of experience in project administration, data processing related to conservation

• Project administration such as: issuing sub-contracts, procurement, progress monitoring, financial and technical reporting

• Experience tracking, administering and supporting project budgets and targets

• Technical writing ability: English

• Communication skills: Fluency in English and Spanish required; fluency in French useful

• Willingness to undertake some international travel

• Passion for conservation essential

• Project management and fundraising (Desirable)

• Application of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Desirable)
The minimum gross annual salary for this position is CRC 14'273'760. While this is an indicative amount effective as of the current date, changes may occur as per IUCN's compensation practices without prior notice. The same applies to other organisations hosted by IUCN.

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.