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Head - Science and Knowledge Unit

Vacancy #:   370
Unit:   Science and Knowledge Unit
Organization:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Global Director - Policy and Programme Group
Work percentage:   100%
Function group:   M1
Expected start date:   03 January 2013
Type of contract:   Max-term (24 months)
Closing date:   06 June 2012
IUCN is a science-based organization that relies heavily on expertise from across its Membership, Partners, Commissions and Secretariat to provide policy relevant advice for sound biodiversity conservation decision-making. Mobilising that knowledge from across IUCN’s constituencies and integrating it into IUCN’s Programme are fundamental aspects of the work of the Science and Knowledge Management Unit. A recent review of the science function in IUCN identified three primary roles for this unit including a radar function for emerging issues, quality assurance for IUCN science, and fulfilling the role of science champion/facilitator for IUCN.

The Head, Science and Knowledge Management, is a key member of IUCN’s Global Policy and Programme Group, reporting to its Director. In all of the undertakings of this position, close cooperation with the members of IUCN’s Secretariat, Commissions, and when appropriate, IUCN Members will be expected as will the inclusion of both the natural and social sciences as essential components to achieving IUCN’s mission.
The tasks listed below will be discussed with the incumbent in order to agree on prioritization and desired outcomes.

1. Promote and support the scientific underpinning of the IUCN programme and knowledge products by, inter alia, the following actions:

a. Contribute to supporting programme development and implementation including initial work to identify potential new programmes for IUCN engagement;
b. Provide synthesis and analysis of the science relevant to IUCN’s work and the implementation of the IUCN Programme;
c. Support the generation of knowledge products by ensuring that excellent science is an integral part of these:
d. Identify a means of leveraging the IUCN business model on knowledge products to generate revenues for their continued development, maintenance and updating;
e. Implement and support a radar function for emerging scientific issues of relevance to IUCN’s work especially as regards conservation and sustainable development;
f. Develop and promote a quality assurance mechanism for IUCN science and publications;
g. Coordinate integration of science in IUCN’s work through linking science networks with IUCN’s programme units and helping strengthen capacity in this regard working in close liaison with the Capacity Development Unit;
h. Support the interface between science and policy in IUCN’s work as appropriate.

2. Promote learning, sharing and knowledge dissemination:

a. Establish and promote relevant links with academia and scientific organizations and networks;
b. Support IUCN’s Science Advisory Board and leverage the institutional affiliations of its members to improve IUCN’s science relevance and the outreach of IUCN science;
c. Coordinate IUCN’s contribution to relevant scientific and science-policy initiatives, notably IPBES;
d. Assist with the provision and contribution of IUCN knowledge for assessment products and/or policy support tools such as Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO) and Global Environment Outlook (GEO); and ensure that the findings of such assessments are disseminated.

3. Serve as IUCN’s science champion and facilitator:

a. Provide support to other parts of the Secretariat by identifying and engaging with relevant science expertise;
b. Provide support and advice to IUCN’s Global Management Team and Council on issues relevant to conservation science;
c. Set up, maintain and update a registry of briefing materials on IUCN’s science.

4. Management and Administration:

a. Oversee the Science and Knowledge Management Unit including preparations of workplans and budgets, staffing supervision and reporting;
b. Set up and facilitate a mechanism to foster interaction with Global Directors, Regional Directors, as well as Regional Programme Coordinators and Heads of Programmes and Commissions Chairs to jointly assess and keep regular review of the quality of science in IUCN’s work.
  • A minimum of 15 years of professional experience in biodiversity conservation

• An advanced degree in a field relevant to biodiversity conservation

• A strong track record in scientific publications

• Familiarity with quality control procedures applicable to scientific publications

• Excellent managerial, interpersonal and team building skills

• Knowledge and experience of working with scientific networks, knowledge management and leveraging the conservation impact of biodiversity data collected through such networks

• Ability to work within and across highly diverse networks of professionals, to harness their strengths, and to effectively coordinate program delivery through such networks

• Demonstrated fundraising experience and success including development and management of projects, and ability to raise funds for programmes / projects / knowledge products

• A good understanding of IUCN

• Adequate knowledge and skills in the use of relevant computer programmes

• Fluency in written and spoken English and preferably one or more of IUCN’s other official languages (French and Spanish)

• Willingness to travel.
The gross annual salary for this position is in the range from CHF 132'000 to CHF 165'000, subject to deductions for social security contributions and second-pillar pension, and before tax.

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).

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About IUCN

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.

IUCN works on biodiversity, energy, human livelihoods and greening the world economy by supporting scientific research, managing field projects all over the world, and bringing governments, NGOs, the UN and companies together to develop policy, laws and best practice.

IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization, with more than 1,200 government and NGO members and almost 11,000 volunteer experts in some 160 countries. IUCN’s work is supported by over 1,000 staff in 45 offices and hundreds of partners in public, NGO and private sectors around the world.