NEXtra, or "Resource Nexus for Sustainability Transformations" offers opportunities to conduct doctoral studies under joint supervision by experts from TU Dresden, UNU-FLORES and IOER. Under the EPOS- Development- Oriented Postgraduate Courses funding programme, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) will support doctoral candidates (scholarships for 42 months, plus entitlement for a two-months German language course; for details of the scholarship, please refer to EPOS page of DAAD). From 2023 until 2030, we expect an annual intake of 7 to 8 scholarship-funded candidates.
The successful candidates will have the opportunity to conduct research work to advance the Resource Nexus and support the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals. Selected students will be jointly supervised by experts from Technische Universitaet Dresden, UNU-FLORES and the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), and enrolled in one of the Joint Doctoral Programmes of TU Dresden with UNU-FLORES, and/or the Dresden Leibniz Graduate school of IOER. Additionally, students will collaborate with and support the work of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) in their geographic area(s) of research focus, and engage with one or more entities of the UNDS via the Resident Coordinator System, which includes the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UN-DCO), its regional teams and the resident coordinator offices at the national level. As a facet of the NEXtra project, the selected students must design their research to consider its impact on communities and strive to translate their findings into policy advice and real-world application and solutions, which may be taken up by the UNDS in its efforts to support SDG achievement. In addition to the academic recruitment criteria, applications will be assessed on responsiveness to regional/sub-regional contexts and evidence-based needs. The NEXtra Doctoral Research offers the opportunity to study under one of the following topics. You may apply to a maximum of 2 subject-related topics. Separate proposals will need to be submitted in the same application.
A list of topics, topic-related qualifications and descriptions can be found in the following document: NEXtra Topics 2024 https://go.unu.edu/evP8m
Selected candidates will collaborate with fellow doctoral students and senior scientists within and beyond NEXtra. Beyond conducting research, they will publish their results in scientific articles and discuss and disseminate their findings at scientific and implementation-oriented conferences and workshops. They will contribute to the work of the United Nations, particularly concerning the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals through UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks.
1. Perform research work related to one of the topics listed above
Develop and implement a suitable and robust research methodology to advance the scientific knowledge within the specific topic; and
Contribute to the advancement of the Resource Nexus approach and strategies for sustainability transformations in the context of the specific topic.
2. Collaborate within NEXtra and with the UN system
Actively participate in workshops and other events organized within NEXtra.
Actively engage in information exchange, discussions and strategic collaboration with UN entities related to your topic and region, via the Resident Coordinator System as the entry- point; and
Collaborate with other students in NEXtra to exchange knowledge and identify and achieve synergies.
3. Contribute to knowledge dissemination
Develop strategies for advocacy and the transfer of knowledge to other regions that face similar challenges;
Research, write and publish papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals;
Present research findings at scientific implementation-related conferences and similar events; and
Communicate research findings beyond academia, e.g., by outreach to local communities or by publishing at least one transfer-oriented product such as a policy brief.
4. Support capacity development and educational development
Contribute to the education/supervision of Master students at the NEXtra partner institutions and/or in the target region/country of the research; and
Contribute to capacity development activities, such as organizing workshops
5. Perform other duties as assigned by the supervision team
Key Performance Indicators
Timely and quality development and implementation of the project plan;
Timely submission and successful completion of the final Doctoral Thesis;
Presentation of papers/ posters/briefing notes at conferences, seminars, workshops or similar events;
Contribute to the positive reputation of the NEXtra consortium as reliable and trustworthy partners among the research community, governments, donors, and civil society;
Inclusion — take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity
Integrity — act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards
Humility — demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others
Humanity — act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet
Connect and collaborate — build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
Analyse and plan — seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
Deliver results with positive impact — hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
Learn and develop — pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
Adapt and innovate — demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways
To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:
Apply via the apply line;
answer a few questions that are tailored to the position; and
Submit the following documents as one combined PDF file (upload location: "P11 Form file upload" on the Application page):https://careers.unu.edu/o/nextra-doctoral-researchers-2024/c/new
Completed and signed EPOS Checklist: epos_checklist.pdf (daad.de) (including all documents listed)
In addition to all the documents detailed in the EPOS checklist, please provide the following:
Research proposal (max 13,000 characters including spaces, plus references) with the following sections: a) Background and motivation; b) State of the art and current scientific discussion; c) Research approach and methodology; d) Work plan; e) References.
Abstract of your Master thesis (max 1 page)
Reference letter from your academic supervisor, on official letterhead and signature.
Copy of high school/ secondary school certificate
Proof of internships (if any)
Candidates who do not provide all required documents will not be considered. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.
Application Deadline: 18 June 2023
Evaluation of qualified candidates will include a competency-based interview, background checks and references.
UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply and become part of the organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.
UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.
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