The Future Earth Secretariat is seeking a Science Officer on Urban Projects  for the Montreal Global Hub



Future Earth Global Hub – Montreal, Suite 1020, 1250 Guy Street, H3H 2T4 Montreal, Quebec, Canada; employer: Future Earth International


Closing date and start of contract

Deadline for application: 11th August 2017 (11h59pm EST) – Start immediately


The Future Earth initiative

Future Earth is the international research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate our transformations to a sustainable world. Bringing together and in partnership with existing programmes on global environmental change, Future Earth coordinates new, inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to research on three themes: Dynamic Planet, Global Sustainable Development and Transformations towards Sustainability. It is also a platform for international engagement to ensure that knowledge is generated in partnership with society and users of research. This international initiative was developed under the auspices of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability including the following international organisations: UNESCO, UNEP, UNU, WMO, ICSU, ISSC, WMO and the Belmont Forum.


Future Earth is served by a globally distributed Secretariat that uniquely encompasses five Global Hubs (Boulder in Colorado, Montreal, Paris, Stockholm, Tokyo) connected through a dynamic, networked structure. This also includes Regional Centres and partners. The distributed model unites a diversity of perspectives, stakeholders and geographical locations. The Secretariat works through virtual teams that ensure that this diversity of perspectives and global reach are a daily reality.


The Montreal hub was established under the auspices of a consortium including the following members: Fonds de Recherche du Québec, Montréal International, Concordia University, École de Technologie Supérieure, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Laval University, McGill University, OURANOS, Polytechnique Montréal, Réseau des Universités du Québec, Université de Montréal, Université du Québec à Montréal. The office of the Montreal hub is hosted at Concordia University and also hosts the Executive Office of Future Earth. This hub is responsible of two main functions of the Future Earth Global Secretariat: overall Coordination and Synthesis & Foresight.


The Montreal Global Hub is seeking a Science Officer to contribute to the development of the Urban Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) and its related urban projects, under the Research Enabling function of Future Earth.


Research Enabling function connects existing and new projects within the Future Earth community to other research communities and supports the establishment of Knowledge Action Networks (KANs), with a focus on 8 societal challenges.



Position Description

We seek an individual with good scientific background in humanities, natural or social science disciplines relevant to the urban and sustainability challenges to support the coordination of the Future Earth’s Urban Knowledge-Action Network (KAN). Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action Networks are collaborative frameworks that conduct highly integrative sustainability research on specific topics. Their aim is to generate the multifaceted knowledge needed to inform solutions for complex societal issues.The applicant should have experience in project and research  coordination/management, and, ideally, experience in inter- and trans-disciplinary  projects (working with a variety of disciplines and actors, such as scientists, policy-makers, other stakeholders).  Experience working on ecosystem services would be considered an asset.


More specifically, the role will consist of :


-      Ensuring that the Urban KAN and its related activities are being developed in a timely manner by overseeing the good coordination and facilitation of the Urban KAN members, especially the KAN Development Team (DT) (30% of time);

-      Support the DT in creating a research agenda for the Urban KAN;

-      Support with the organization of meetings;

-      Support the mobilization and engagement of the Urban KAN network (scientific and stakeholder communities);

-      Support in fundraising (support in writing grant proposals);

-      Liaising or developing other activities within the Urban KAN or in partnership with other Future Earth KANs.

-      Working in close collaboration with the “Urban Project Assistant” in preparing/facilitating the organization of the international Conference on climate change and cities co-sponsored by the Intergovernmental Platform on Climate Change (IPCC) to be held in March 2018 in Edmonton (15%);

-      Leading the coordination of the first phase of the Cities Biodiversity Outlook II projects conducted in partnership with the Convention on Biological Diversity-CBD (“The Role of Natural Systems for Sustainable Cities”) (30%);

-      Support the development of the project content and making sure that the project progresses as planned;

-      Lead the organization of a first scoping workshop to be held in Montreal in October 2018 with the various projects partners and guests (e.g. CBD, The Nature Conservancy, Stockholm Resilience Centre, ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), etc.);

-      Ensure that there is alignment between this project and the other Urban KAN activities and, where it fits, draw on the expertise of the Urban KAN community to contribute to parts of the CBO II project. Liaising with and contribute to an urban project being led by a local partner and one being led at the Montreal hub and ensuring that there is alignment with the Urban KAN activities where it is fit (20%);

-      Support the preparation and coordination of information flow (media posts, blogs, website content) (5%).


The Science Officer will work as part of a globally distributed Research Enabling Team to be the point of entry, exchange, dialogue and feedback between the Secretariat and the research and stakeholder communities in their joint pursuit of the Future Earth agenda. She/He will support and work under the supervision of the Montreal Global Hub Director. Although there will be development of research content, the main tasks are to facilitate the development of projects, mobilize and facilitate engagement of research and stakeholder networks, coordinate grant applications.


Candidate qualifications and key competencies

- Master’s degree (or Bachelor’s degree with a strong experience) in the field of global environmental changes or sustainable development from the physical, biological, social, economics or humanities disciplines

- Experience on issues related to urbanization/cities

- Minimum 3 years’ experience in interdisciplinary project coordination and management

- Familiarity and experience with stakeholders communities and/or international organizations (science, policy, NGOs, etc.) in the field of the environment and sustainability is highly desired

- Excellent spoken and written English required; excellent spoken and written French is highly desired

- Sound judgment, strong sense of confidentiality, tactful and sensitive to diverse cultures and constituents

- Superior communication, organizational and interpersonal skills with ability to multitask are essential

- Ability to work independently and in collaboration with an international team are essential

- Must be available to regularly work outside normal working hours

- Must be available to travel extensively.


Salary scale

CAD 25,000-45,000 based on qualification and experience (one year contract with opportunity for renewal).


Application procedure

Applicants to this position are requested to submit a curriculum vitae, together with a cover letter describing their interest in the position, and how their skills and experience would help them meet the requirements of the role by the August 11th at 11h59pm EST. Please also include the name and contact details of two referees. Applications – in english and in one combined PDF file - should be sent via email with “Science Officer-Urban-Montreal hub” in the subject line to montrealhub@futureearth.org. Further information on Future Earth and this position: Dr Jean-Patrick Toussaint, Science Officer (email: montrealhub@futureearth.org; Phone: +1-514-848-2275; website: www.futureearth.org).

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