Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons vacancy search engine

Senior Science Policy Officer (P-4)



The work involves keeping abreast of developments both in science and technology and in arms-control policy, as well as analysing and communicating to a wide range of internal and external stakeholders the implications for Chemical Weapons Convention implementation that might arise. In particular, the incu mbent performs the following duties:

  1. Develops science policy advice for the Director-General of the OPCW, and for his reports to and interacts with the OPCW Policy-Making Organs – drawing on e.g. technical advice from the Scientific Advisory Board.
  2. Serves as Secretary to the Scientific Advisory Board to facilitate the programme of work, and organise meetings and workshops of the Board and its temporary working groups. This function supports the Scientific Advisory Board’s mandate to monitor developments in science and technology in order to enable the Director-General to render specialised advice to States Parties.
  3. Serves as an internal resource to provide advice and technical information on science and technology topics for units across the OPCW.
  4. Coordinates science communication with technical and non-technical stakeholders of the Chemical Weapons Convention, especially delegations from Member States 
  5. Monitors longer-term scientific and technological developments (e.g. converging sciences and trends and driving forces for technological change), and evaluates the implications for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. 
  6. Supports the OPCW’s dialogue with scientists both in academia, industry and other relevant sectors on aspects of science and technology that impact on implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (including the multiple uses of chemistry).
  7. Engages with other international scientific advisory mechanisms, and also security related forums to share experiences and continue to develop effective science-decision maker interaction.
  8. Helps to translate Chemical Weapons Convention policy issues into technical questions for the Scientific Advisory Board and its temporary working groups. 
  9. May be asked to supervise interns and/or junior level staff.
  10. Performs other duties as required. 



Education (Qualifications): 

Essential:  Doctorate degree or equivalent in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field, preferably in the physical or life sciences.  


Essential:  A minimum of 7 years post-degree experience, of which a minimum of 3 years of providing science-based policy advice in the international context  either in the public or private sector.

Desirable:  Experience in implementing, or analysing the implementation of, the Chemical Weapons Convention or other science based international instruments.

  • Active participant in networks of scientific societies and organisations.
  • A track record of publications in peer-reviewed scientific and/or patent literature. Interdisciplinary technical publications are an asset.
  • Post-doctoral research experience is an asset.



Skills and Abilities (key competencies):

 Substantive knowledge and understanding:

  • A strong understanding of scientific and technological principles and approaches across STEM disciplines and application sectors.
  •  Familiarity with driving forces and trends in scientific and technological change that can be drawn upon to develop related policy recommendations.
  • Strong ability to frame technical questions in order to help solve policy problems
  • Advocate of scientific literacy to aid decision making processes.

Working with others:

  • Excellent stakeholder management skills, including ability to deliver results through others and ability to deliver high-quality results under pressure. 
  • Thorough understanding of the complexities of working in an international environment (including the different points of view of a diverse membership). 
  • Exquisite communication skills – both oral and written – and ability to engage in effective dialogue with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. 

Personal impact:

  • Excellent analytical skills (e.g. quickly identifying the essence of a complex issue).
  • Ability to command the professional respect of scientists, and productively engage with and inform non-technical professionals. 
  • Innovative, resourceful and creative, but also having the ability to generate ideas that can be grounded in reality and implemented in practice.
  • Strong sense of initiative, including ability to plan, conduct and report on activities independently.
  • Demonstrated commitment to continuous learning and on-the-job development.
  • Comfortable working on open-ended trans-disciplinary issues in a complex and dynamic international environment.


 Language Requirements:   Fluency in English is essential and a good working knowledge of one of the other official languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish) is desirable.