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Dec 21 / BARD CEP

Project Internship- Germany

Organization: United Nations University in Bonn

Position Title: UNU-EHS WASCAL Project Internship

Location: UN Campus, Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen, 53113, Germany

Hours and Compensation: unpaid 32 hours/week

Application Deadline: until filled


Organization Overview

Organizational Unit: United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

Reference Number: UNU-EHS/EVES/

United Nations University’s Mission: The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. For more information, please visit

UNU-EHS, established in December 2003, addresses the risk and vulnerability aspects of human security and the consequences of complex environmental hazards for sustainable development. The work of UNU‐EHS helps to improve the in‐depth understanding of the cause effect relationships to find ways to reduce risks and vulnerabilities. The Institute supports policymakers and decision makers with evidence‐based research and information.

EVES section explores environmental deterioration processes such as water and land degradation. Particularly, the section looks at remedial measures, resources availability and robustness of ecosystem services, all within the context of socio ecological systems affected by environmental hazards.


The WASCAL Project: “West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use”

WASCAL (West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is a large-scale research-focused program initiated to develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures to climate change. Its overall objective is to enhance the resilience of social-ecological systems to the impacts of climate change and increased climate variability. The geographical focus of WASCAL is on selected case study watersheds in West Africa.

WASCAL is based on three principle components: a Competence Center, a core Research Program and a Graduate Research Program. The Core Research Program relates to the scientific activities of the Competence Center, and is implemented by a network of German and West African research institutes. Within the core research program, UNU-EHS will analyze rural households’ vulnerabilities and risks to rapid onset and creeping hazards in the context of climate change and explore potential coping and adaptation strategies. Specifically, UNU-EHS deals with the identification, characterization and quantification of major climate change-related hazards to rural households/communities at different spatial and temporal scales, the assessment of the social-ecological system’s social, environmental and economic vulnerabilities as well as their resilience to multiple climate change-related hazards and consequent cascading effects.


Conduct background literature searches in the context of vulnerability and risk assessment,

  • Search for secondary data from various sources
  • Compile and edit data (field data, household surveys etc.),
  • Perform data entry task in a structured access database
  • Update various excel-based templates used to summarize quantitative and qualitative reports from secondary sources
  • Support the work of the team in spatial (GIS) data processing and analysis
  • Any other duties as may be assigned or required.


Field of Study: Geography, Social Science, Environmental sciences with social sciences minors, or a related field.

Essential Skills and attributes:

  • Very good command of oral and written English, French would be desirable,
  • Proven record of computer proficiency (particularly strong skills in excel),
  • Experience with data collection and management,
  • Experience with data entry, validation and processing,
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative data analysis tools would be desirable,
  • Knowledge of GIS would be an asset but not a must,
  • Research experience in West Africa would be an asset,
  • A willingness to learn new technology skills and methods is a must,
  • Background in vulnerability assessments and indicator development will be looked on favourably,
  • Ability to be flexible and multitask.

Teaching/learning objectives:

  • Work with the concepts of vulnerability and risk,
  • Improve ability to search, collect, large amounts of data,
  • Improve ability to enter, validate and potentially analyse primary and secondary data,
  • Acquire knowledge and gain hands-on experience related to international governmental organization processes;
  • Find insight into science-policy-practice and higher education development;
  • Understanding of the project work and related activities of UNU and the UN System;
  • Gain work experience within UN international working environment.


The successful candidate will be based at UNU-EHS in Bonn on a full-time basis (32 hours per week) for a contractual period ranging between 3-6 months. The internship is not remunerated.

Starting Date:

February/March 2014

How to Apply

By email to: [email protected]

By post to: UN Campus UNU-EHS Internship Coordinator Platz der Vereinten Nationen

Interested applicants should submit their application, preferably by e-mail, and must include the following:

For more information about the application procedure, please visit

Workforce diversity is essential to UNU. Suitably qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds including minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be handled with the strictest confidence.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Unsuccessful applications will not be acknowledged nor returned.

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected].

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