Vacancy: Research Scientist (P-3), IAEA Environment Laboratories

Position and Grade: Research Scientist (P-3)
Organizational Unit: Radioecology Laboratory
IAEA Marine Environment Laboratories (IAEA-MEL), Monaco
Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications
Duty Station: Monaco
Issue Date: 19 June 2012
Application Deadline: 31 July 2012
Type/Duration of Appointment: Fixed term, 3 years (subject to a probationary period of 1 year)

Organizational Setting
IAEA Environment Laboratories (NAEL) is a Division of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications and consists of four laboratories, three of which are located in Monaco (including the Radioecology Laboratory) and one in Seibersdorf (approx. 45 km south of Vienna). NAEL implements the IAEA Programme Environment under the Major Programme 2. The Division operates in a complex matrix environment with inputs from many parts of the organization, such as the Technical Cooperation Department for implementation of TCP projects as well as other Departments for horizontal collaborations.

The Radioecology Laboratory (REL) consists of a team of nine laboratory staff. Its role is to improve knowledge of the processes which determine the behaviour and fate of radionuclides and other contaminants in the environment, with a particular emphasis on the biosphere. Its activities lie in the field of radioecology and its applications to ecotoxicology and biogeochemistry. Its project work aims at assisting and enhancing capability in Member States in using nuclear and isotopic techniques to understand and assess contaminant transfer and impact and environmental processes.

Main purpose
As part of a team led by the Laboratory Head, the Research Scientist carries out laboratory experimental research using radiotracer and stable isotope techniques aimed at assessing the processes controlling biokinetics of radionuclides and other trace elements in ecosystems with emphasis on: (a) how biological characteristics and processes affect the transfer of radionuclides and other trace elements into organisms and their subsequent bioavailability to consumers, (b) the use of artificial and natural radionuclides and radiotracers to study element transfer through food webs and life stages of organisms; (c) the application of experimental radiotracer techniques to evaluate the bioaccumulation, transfer, fate and effects of artificial and natural radionuclides, analogue elements and toxic elements or compounds in marine organisms, d) the impacts of environmental/climate change (in particular ocean acidification) on their direct impacts on marine biota and on contaminant transfer, using nuclear and stable isotopic techniques.


The Research Scientist is a conceptual thinker, conceptualizing the scientific problems, a planner of the necessary experiments, and an analyst, evaluating data for eventual publication. In addition, she/he is a technical and scientific writer.


The Research Scientist will be required to assist developing and to implement in-house collaborative studies as well as with outside institutes on the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques to study ecotoxicology and the transfer of contaminants in ecosystems impacted under environmental/climate change scenarios. He/she will also assist developing and implement externally-funded research projects aimed at supporting NAEL’s subprogramme on radioecological and isotopic solutions for coastal marine problems.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Plan and conduct experimental research using radiotracer and stable isotope techniques on transfer of radionuclides and other contaminants in seafoods and other biota, under environmental/climate change scenarios.
  • Process data and evaluate them for the preparation of technical reports and scientific manuscripts for publication.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of collaborative projects with national institutes and international organizations to demonstrate the value of nuclear and isotopic applications in ecotoxicological and environmental/climate change research.
  • Utilize natural and artificial radionuclides and radiotracers to improve knowledge of biological transfer and environmental transport processes.
  • Help supervise the work of laboratory technicians, interns, trainees and fellows to improve their efficiency and develop their skills.
  • Support technical cooperation projects relevant to the application of radiotracer and isotopic techniques to ecotoxicological and environmental/climate change issues of interest to Member States and also coordinated research projects initiated by the Radioecology Laboratory.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of new techniques and exchange information with collaborators inside and outside NAEL at scientific meetings.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Specialized knowledge in marine biology and ecology in order to properly plan experimental studies and analyze and interpret their results on trace element and radionuclide behaviour in seafood and other biota and transfer through specific life stages, food webs and ecosystems, under environmental/climate change scenarios.
  • Good knowledge of the biogeochemistry of organic and inorganic contaminants and radionuclides, and analyses of these contaminants by a number of spectrometric and radiometric techniques.
  • In-depth knowledge of radiotracer techniques for carrying out laboratory experiments on the transfer of radionuclides and other contaminants in ecosystems.
  • Good knowledge of the bioaccumulation and effects of metals, organics, and radionuclides in marine species.
  • Good knowledge of ocean acidification chemistry and biological impacts.
  • Good planning and organizing skills with the ability to be flexible and to work independently.
  • Strong analytical skills: ability to articulate, conceptualize, innovate, plan and execute ideas as well as impart knowledge and training skills.
  • Interpersonal skills:
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with IAEA staff at all levels and with scientists and technical staff from Member States;
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment with scientific, technical and administrative staff and to build and maintain collaborative partnerships across organizational boundaries;
  • Proven ability to work in a multicultural/multidisciplinary team with respect and sensitivity for diversity.
  • Supervisory capabilities and ability to support and cooperate with others.
  • Knowledge of the needs of developing countries in the field of work.

Education, Experience and Language Skills

  • Advanced university degree (or equivalent experience) in environmental sciences (i.e. biology, radioecology, biogeochemistry or oceanography).
  • Minimum of five years of working experience in the study of radioecology and/or ecotoxicology and the transfer of contaminants in marine systems using nuclear techniques.
  • Experience in ocean acidification studies and its biological impacts an asset.
  • Proven record of relevant publications in international, peer-reviewed, scientific journals.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is essential. Working knowledge of another official IAEA language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish), especially French, would be an advantage.


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $56 091 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $32 869*, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks’ annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance.

How to apply to the IAEA

Complete an Online Application

* Subject to change without notice

Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process.

International Atomic Energy Agency,
19 June 2012. Job offer.

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