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Vacancy: Chief Scientist

GRID-Arendal seeks a Chief Scientist

GRID-Arendal is a small, flexible organization with highly qualified staff that specializes in complex environmental issues. The Chief Scientist provides leadership for the effective and efficient implementation of the annual work programme. She/he will have experience supervising teams that have done work for international environmental organisations like the United Nations Environment Programme, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), European Union funding bodies and the Green Climate Fund (GCF). You will have experience in scientific writing, editing and peer-review processes.

Main objectives and responsibilities:

The Chief Scientist of GRID-Arendal works closely with the Managing Director in leading the organization’s strategic orientation, work programmes, workforce planning and personnel management. In particular, the Chief Scientist oversees the effective application of results-based management in project/programme development. She/he provides leadership to content delivery staff and oversees the timely implementation of planned activities, the sound management of resources, monitoring and evaluating programme performance and fosters internal collaboration and partnerships.

As the principal advisor on science issues, he/she ensures sufficient executive oversight of the quality of science and impact of GRID-Arendal’s projects. He/She ensures the scientific credibility, legitimacy, relevance and integrity of GRID-Arendal’s production and dissemination of scientific and technical information products. He/She also participates in public relations functions by representing GRID-Arendal at meetings, press conferences, conventions and other events.

The Chief Scientist is a member of GRID-Arendal’s Management Team and reports to the Managing Director. You will supervise professional staff working in the different programmes.

Specific responsibilities of the Chief Scientist:

In collaboration with the Managing Director, the Chief Scientist will have responsibility in three key areas of GRID-Arendal operations:

1) GRID-Arendal’s project planning, implementation and results-based management;

2) Ensure the credibility, legitimacy, relevance and integrity of GRID-Arendal’s scientific products;

3) Supervision, guidance and (where relevant) mentoring of content staff.

GRID-Arendal’s project planning, implementation and results-based management cycle

  • Responsible for GRID-Arendal’s ability to meet project goals in a timely manner and within budgetary limits.
  • Responsible for the project design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes related to GRID-Arendal’s results-based framework
  • Ensure project managers receive the support required to develop sound and realistic project plans including outputs, milestones, risk assessment and monitoring and evaluation strategies.
  • Ensure GRID-Arendal efforts are impact-oriented integrating a results-based management approach at programme and project scale.
  • Coordinate the compilation of progress- and final reports to major donors including the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), GEF and UNEP.

Responsible for the quality and credibility of GRID-Arendal scientific communication products

  • Ensure the scientific rigor of GRID-Arendal outputs through proper peer review of environmental assessments, scientific journal articles and reports.

Supervision, guidance and mentoring of content staff and project teams

  • Ensure GRID-Arendal individuals and teams have the necessary support and staff capacity to deliver their project deliverables.
  • Responsible for good internal flow of information across programmes and look for possible synergies with respect to project development
  • Provide leadership and conduct performance assessments of staff
  • Take on other responsibilities that may be assigned by the Managing Director. In the absence of the Managing Director, assume the duties of the Managing Director.

Professional qualifications:

  • Advanced degree or equivalent experience in a discipline relevant to GRID-Arendal’s goals and programmes.
  • Ten years of leadership experience with demonstrated experience leading a high performing, cross-functional, diverse team.
  • Advanced experience with impact driven project development in the framework of results-based management.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire others to enable the best outcomes.
  • An understanding of the importance of communications in project development and results dissemination.
  • Excellent communications skills, including excellent spoken and written English, is required.
  • Knowledge of Norwegian language would be an advantage.

Personal qualifications:

  • Over at least the last five years you have shown exceptional leadership abilities and have led and managed teams of highly qualified staff from diverse and/or multinational backgrounds.
  • You thrive on enabling and maintaining team dynamics that increase the potential for creativity, success and staff satisfaction in a small flexible but complex organisation.
  • You are skilled and confident and able to work constructively to resolve possible conflict situations.
  • Your values fit with GRID-Arendal’s mission, as demonstrated through your work and/or personal efforts to date.

GRID-Arendal practices equal gender opportunity and qualified female candidates are encouraged to apply.


GRID-Arendal’s salary system is linked to the Norwegian Government salary system. It is based on education and experience. Salaries are subject to Norwegian tax regulations. Insurance and personal benefits are provided in addition to salary.

Deadline for applications: 30 April 2018

Application should include a cover letter and curriculum vitae. Please send your application by email to: and mark in the subject ‘Chief Scientist’ by close of business on 30 April 2018. 

Position type: Permanent

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