Vacancy announcement
Geneva, Switzerland

Training Assistant

Vacancy type Training/Research Assistant/Associate
Duration of the contract
1 year (renewable)
Deadline for submission of applications
22 March 2023
Organizational Unit
Chemicals and Waste Management Programme Unit (CWMPU)
CHF 5000/month

UNITAR Chemicals and Waste Management (CWM) Programme Unit has a number of key project activities in a wide range of programme areas requiring assistance based in Geneva, including but not limited to: PRTR, GHS, mercury, e-waste, waste management, support the ratification of BRS and Minamata Conventions. Activities are carried out through partnerships with other UN organizations, bilateral development partners and project countries, as well as leading learning institutions and other, relevant organizations.


The Training Assistant will support the activities under the following programme areas: plastics management, waste management, PCBs management, support to the ratification of the Chemical-related MEAs, Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, chemical safety programmes, and online courses. The Training Assistant will assist with project monitoring and supervision as well as the development of training materials and tools. The Training Assistant will also assist with project development and resource mobilization activities for the overall CWM Programme.

Under the supervision of the Specialist of the Chemicals and Waste Management Programme Unit, the incumbent will:

  1. Support countries to develop information exchange mechanisms and reporting schemes for Chemicals and Waste Management by:

    • Undertaking consultations with countries interested on the development of Pollutant Providing Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) and prepare a preliminary implementation plan;
    • Participating at international meetings and workshops on PRTRs and information exchange mechanisms;
    • Supporting UNITAR’s lead role on PRTR and coordinating actions with key partners including OECD and UNECE;
    • Supporting the coordination of PCB related projects, including liaising with the PCB expert(s), national stakeholders, and GEF implementing agencies representatives.
  1. Assist to coordinate waste management (including e-waste and plastic) initiatives by:

    • Identifying potential areas of cooperation between the e-waste and waste management and other UNITAR CWM programme areas;
    • Organizing training events on e-waste and waste management;
    • Exploring possibilities to further work in partnership with relevant secretariats and UN organizations and GEF;
    • Assisting in the development of supporting documents, materials and e-learning modules to facilitate the work of national and international partners.
  1. Support countries in their efforts to ratify the Chemicals and Waste-related MEAs by:

    • Assisting the coordination of activities related to the ratification of Chemicals and Waste related MEAs in countries;
    • Identifying relevant experts and coordinating with them on actions and activities in support of national ratification;
    • Coordinating with relevant Secretariats (BRS and Minamata) the development of technical interventions.
  1. Support the development of a national chemical safety programme by:

    • Supporting the development of a project agreement and project plan for a national chemical safety programme;
    • Working with a senior expert in contributing to the plan and providing a finalised document to the target country.
  1. Support effective project planning, management and administration by:

    • Supporting the organization of national, global and regional meetings and workshops;
    • Identify potential areas of cooperation with key partners and develop proposals;
    • Providing support to internal and external Programme reporting and evaluation; and
    • Supporting the Programme with other tasks, as required by the Specialist of the Chemicals and Waste Programme.

Results Expected:

  • At least one agreement of cooperation on PRTRs with a country or UN organization;
  • At least one project on waste (including plastic) management completed;
  • One project completed on early implementation of the BRS+M conventions;
  • One national chemical safety programme started and activities completed as per established project plan
  • 2-3 other projects successfully managed, including timely delivery and reporting and positive feedback from clients;
  • Partnership with an instructional design team/company for the development of waste management modules;

Professionalism – Good understanding and knowledge in the field of Chemicals and Waste management, particularly sound management of waste, e-waste and information exchange mechanisms; understanding e-learning principles; training and facilitation skills, practical  experience in programme/project management and administration; good research, analytical and problem-solving skills, including ability to identify and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; familiarity with and experience in the use of various research methodologies and sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases; takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

Planning & organizing – Sound organizational skills and ability to prioritize own work programme, delivering results and quality work, including when working under pressure; efficient, reliable and conscientious.

Communications – Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to draft/edit a variety of written reports, reports, training materials, studies and other communications and to articulate ideas in a clear, concise style.

Technology – Proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications, e.g. word processing, graphics software, spreadsheets and other statistical applications, Internet, etc

Teamwork – Strong interpersonal skills; ability to deal effectively with multiple constituencies and to establish and maintain effective working relations in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Minimum requirements

Education: Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences, Public Administration, Political Science, Trade/Commerce or related field or relevant combination of qualifications and relevant work experience might be accepted in lieu of Master’s degree.

Experience: A minimum of 1 year of professional experience in project management, environmental science research, and/or communications and training / capacity building preferably in a multicultural setting; experience working within a partnership setting. Knowledge of the UN system an advantage, as well as understanding of developing country settings.

Other skills: experience in editing and writing reports and articles; ability to use data visualization and graphic design tools; ability to coordinate the development of online training materials; ability to develop and maintain website content. Good coordination and excellent negotiation skills to reach agreement with key partners is highly desirable. 

Language: Fluency in English (oral and written). Knowledge of another UN official language, particularly French and Spanish, is an advantage.


The benefit package includes six weeks of annual leave. It does not include pension and health insurance contribution. Please note that this vacancy is located in Geneva and is a locally recruited position with no international benefits. This is not a regular post but a type of contract specific to UNITAR.

Special Notice:

UNITAR is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Qualified women, individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups, and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidentiality.

English and French are the two working languages of UNITAR. Priority will be given to the applicants from the under-represented regions at UNITAR. There will be a probation period of 3 months.

UNITAR staff members are subject to the authority of the UNITAR Executive Director and their appointments are limited to service with the Institute.


According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation or sexual abuse, or crimes other than minor traffic offences, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. UNITAR is a non-smoking environment.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable Staff Regulations and Rules and UNITAR administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

No Fee:


How to apply

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the vacancy has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the vacancy announcement.

Due to high number of expected applications, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.