Section Head (Isotope Hydrology)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Vienna, Austria
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
International Organization
Experience Level: 
Senior (10+ Years)
Degree Required: 


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Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA's Major Programme 2, "Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection". This Major Programme comprises individual programmes on food and agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The Major Programme's objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage the marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Division of Physical and Chemical Sciences is responsible for assisting and advising Member States in research and development for the nuclear sciences, especially the physical and chemical sciences. Specifically, the Division provides support to Member States in the following fields: production of radioisotopes and radiolabelled products for applications in health care and industry; radiation source applications; research reactor utilization; applications of accelerators and nuclear instrumentation; nuclear and atomic data for applications; controlled nuclear fusion and isotope hydrology and geochemistry.

The Isotope Hydrology Section is responsible for planning and implementing the IAEA’s water resources programme. The programme assists Member States in the sustainable management of all aspects of their water resources, but with a particular focus on isotope hydrology. Major activities include internationally coordinated research, global isotope monitoring, capacity building, and technical assistance to Member States to help them with the assessment, development and use of water resources. The Section also operates a well-equipped laboratory for the analysis of stable and radioactive isotopes. The laboratory trains counterparts in using analytical techniques for high-quality measurements of isotopes in water samples.


Main Purpose

As a sub-programme manager and team leader reporting to the Director-NAPC, the Section Head plans, initiates, manages, coordinates and supervises projects related to environmental isotope applications addressing various water security issues, including the assessment of surface and groundwater resources and water pollution, the development and promotion of analytical techniques for stable and radioisotopes, and provision of technical support to Member States in the area of nuclear and isotope applications in water resources assessment and management.



The Section Head is: (1) a manager and team leader, plans, coordinates and supervises the activities of the Section in accordance with Member States’ needs and monitors implementation in line with a results-based approach; (2) a substantive contributor, developing projects and preparing scientific reports related to a specialized field; (3) a leader, promoting teamwork by creating a collaborative environment where staff can develop their skills and knowledge; (4) a communicator, to engage Member States in inter-Agency cooperation within and outside of the UN system; (5) an adviser to the Director-NAPC on how to best address the needs of Member States in area of water resources.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Develop the Water Resources Programme and projects therein in line with the strategic direction of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and recommendations from the Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Applications (SAGNA), and the expressed needs of Member States.
  • Plan, direct, coordinate and monitor implementation of the activities of the Isotope Hydrology Section in accordance with Member States' needs: ensure innovative policies and strategies, quality management standards and a results-based approach are integral to the overall management of the Section.
  • Manage the Section's coordinated research projects (CRPs) in the subject area and provide guidance to project officers in formulating suitable research and development project proposals to ensure projects are well managed and disseminated within the scientific community.
  • Broaden and deepen the field of knowledge by organizing scientific meetings related to the specialized field and serving as scientific secretary, preparing scientific programmes, contributing to the preparation and editing of scientific reports, manuals, proceedings and other scientific publications; prepare and organize in-house meetings in support of the Section's scientific programme.
  • Maintain the high standing and recognition of the IAEA in the scientific community by representing the IAEA at international and national meetings as required; establish and maintain contacts with individual scientists at various centres and other relevant international organizations.
  • Coordinate provision of specialized technical input to technical cooperation projects in the subject area and provide technical guidance; evaluate proposals, develop work plans, select qualified experts, evaluate expert reports, provide technical evaluation of fellowship applications and guidance related to the programmes of study; provide support in planning and implementing training courses and workshops.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

• Doctorate Degree - Doctorate Degree in one of the areas of relevance under Environmental Sciences/Isotope Geochemistry (Geology, Geochemistry, or Hydrogeology), or a closely related field of physical science.

• A minimum of ten years' relevant professional experience in planning and project coordination related to isotope hydrology, ground and surface water research, stable isotope techniques, of which at least five years should have been at the multinational/international level and three years at the managerial level.
• Demonstrated management experience in: implementing complex scientific projects, including planning, implementation, monitoring and management of human and financial resources; supervising and leading co-workers, as well as handling interpersonal matters.
• Proven experience of scientific and technical collaborations and similar interactions with major national/international nuclear centres and their programme managers.
• Demonstrated scientific, managerial and leadership skills to lead a multidisciplinary team and to take a strategic approach.
• Familiarity with IAEA projects, activities and services, as well as CRPs and technical cooperation projects related to Isotope Hydrology.
• Demonstrated expertise in isotopic analytical methods and analysis is desirable.
• Proven ability to build collaborative partnerships with other international institutes active in the same area and demonstrated ability to maintain strong interpersonal relationships with peers and collaborators.
• Familiarity with and understanding of the specific needs and conditions of developing countries and proven ability in matters relating to strengthening human capacity development in developing countries.
• Strong communication skills in English, including demonstrated ability in drafting and reviewing technical documents and making effective oral presentations.
• Fluency in spoken and written English. Working knowledge of other official IAEA languages would be an asset.


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $87108 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 35279*, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks' annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance