Scientific Affairs Officer (Synthetic Drugs), P3

Posting Title:Scientific Affairs Officer (Synthetic Drugs), P3
Department/Office:United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station:VIENNA
Posting Period:05 September 2018 – 04 October 2018
Job Opening Number:18-Natural and Life Sciences-UNODC-102905-R-Vienna (E)
Staffing ExerciseN/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity

Org. Setting and Reporting

The position is located in the Laboratory and Scientific Section (LSS), Research and Trend Analysis Branch (RAB), Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Chief, Laboratory and Scientific Section (LSS).

For more information on UNODC, please visit our website:


Within limits of assigned authority, the Scientific Affairs Officer (Synthetic Drugs) will undertake activities in the context of the on-going Forensic and Scientific work programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), designed to maintain and strengthen capabilities of national drug testing and forensic laboratories, and to enhance the capacity of Member States to provide scientific support to drug control and crime prevention activities. The incumbent will be responsible for the following duties:

•Contribute to activities to strengthen the capacity of drug analysis laboratories in the identification and analysis of substances under international control, new psychoactive substances, and their metabolites and precursor chemicals.

•Provide substantive scientific guidance to the continuing development of the UNODC Early Warning Advisory on New Psychoactive Substances, including its toxicology module.

•Promote the use of forensic laboratory analytical data, including toxicology data in early warning systems in the review process for changing the scope of control of substances under the three international drug control conventions. Enrich trend analysis of drug markets.

•Support the operational supply reduction activities of UNODC Programmes and those of international partners. Provide scientific support to national law enforcement counternarcotic efforts aimed at detecting, identifying and controlling substances of abuse. 

•Promote the use of good laboratory practices. Assist with the establishment of quality assurance procedures, guidelines and policies. Contribute to the development of new approaches for improving laboratory performance. Coordinate and substantively backstop the development of training courses and materials.

•Draft substantive guidelines for procedures in line with findings and identified best practices. Disseminate reports to participating laboratories, relevant Government agencies and other interested partners.

•Prepare/draft a variety of written outputs, such as background papers, analyses, briefings, presentations, regular and ad-hoc reports, studies, responses to internal/external requests for scientific information particularly on synthetic drugs, including new psychoactive substances. Draft parts, or contribute to the preparation, of progress and assessment reports, appraisals, work plans. Liaise on relevant substantive issues with counterparts in UN and UNODC, both in Vienna and in the field, officials of other organizations and specialized agencies.

•Perform other work related duties, as required.


•Professionalism: Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to scientific areas of drug control. Has knowledge of policies and practices in international drug control, as well as the mandates of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Has knowledge of major aspects of the work of analytical/forensic laboratories and of UNODC’s activities in this. Has knowledge of various research methodologies and sources, including electronic sources on the internet, intranet and other databases. Is able to analyse data, conduct complex evaluations and propose meaningful actions to improve performance. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

•Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

•Client Orientation: Considers all those to whom services are provided to be “clients” and seeks to see things from clients’ point of view; establishes and maintains productive partnerships with clients by gaining their trust and respect; identifies clients’ needs and matches them to appropriate solutions; monitors ongoing developments inside and outside the clients’ environment to keep informed and anticipate problems; keeps clients informed of progress or setbacks in projects; meets timeline for delivery of products or services to client.


An advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in organic, analytical or pharmaceutical chemistry is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of progressively responsible professional experience in the field of drugs, technical/scientific areas of drug control with proven experience in scientific laboratory research is required. Specialized practical experience in and knowledge of drug analysis and quality assurance is required. Working experience in the development and implementation of quality assurance programmes is required. Working experience at the international level in areas related to drug analysis and quality assurance is an advantage. Working experience in programme and project development and monitoring is desirable. Familiarity and practical experience in education and training activities is an advantage. Experience in and knowledge of programme policies, guidelines and procedures in an international Organization and/or the United Nations system is an advantage.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this post, fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French or Spanish is desirable. Working knowledge of other UN official languages is an asset.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. Filling of this position is subject to funding availability and the initial appointment will be for a period of one year. Extension of the appointment is subject to extension of the mandate and/or the availability of the funds.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Vienna is classified an H and a family duty station.

United Nations Considerations

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. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

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 internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira 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.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


Above texts are copied from United Nations Official Web Page ( 
Copyright 2018 United Nations. All rights reserved

 Sign UNJobAid Newsletter

Stay up-to-date by joining our newsletter. We will email you whenever any Job Opening is available

Leave a Reply