International Expert – Scientific Coordinator for Monitoring Surveys EU/UNDP Project - “Improving Environmental Monitoring in the Black Sea, Phase 2 – EMBLAS II”

Location : Home Based, with Travels in the Black Sea Region
Application Deadline :19-Feb-16 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :estimated March 2016 – December 2016
Expected Duration of Assignment :approximately 48 working days


The Black Sea is one of the most vulnerable regional seas in the world given its limited exchange of water with the open oceans and the large area of continental Europe from which it receives the drainage. The four strongly interlinked priority trans-boundary problems of the Black Sea are eutrophication - nutrient enrichment, changes in marine living resources, chemical pollution (including oil), and biodiversity/habitat changes, including alien species introduction - as well as the underlying root causes like industrial activities, agriculture, domestic wastewater, sea transport (oil spills, ballast water), and coastal zone degradation (urbanisation, tourism). The Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Bucharest Convention) addresses these problems through enhanced cooperation among its signatories. The development/improvement of a monitoring network and data collection to provide for ecosystem-based and knowledge-based decision-making is considered to be a management target of high priority. Further coordination in policies and legislation between the Black Sea countries is of common interest in the region and specifically to the EU's partners countries – being also members of the Black Sea Commission (BSC) - in so far it influences their own ability to comply with EU legislation and policies, notably the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). 

The overall objective of the project is to help improve the protection of the Black Sea environment. This objective will be pursued through the implementation of those initiatives that were elaborated and planned during the preparatory phase of this project (EMBLAS-I).
The specific objectives are as follows: i) to improve availability and quality of Black Sea environmental data in line with the MSFD and Black Sea Strategic Action Plan 2009 (BS SAP 2009) needs; ii) to improve partner countries' ability to perform marine environmental monitoring along MSFD principles, taking into account the Black Sea Diagnostic Report II recommendations on capacity building.

The following activities are carried out in the Phase 2 of the project – EMBLAS II:

  • Project Activity 1: Continue support to the implementation of countries’ obligations under the Bucharest and other related Conventions and Agreements;
  • Project Activity 2: Implementation of cost-effective and harmonised marine environmental monitoring programmes in accordance with reporting obligations under multilateral environmental agreements, the WFD and the MSFD;
  • Project Activity 3: Large scale implementation of training programmes on monitoring methods and quality assurance adhering to the ISO 17025 standard;
  • Project Activity 4: Implementation of Joint Surveys and environmental assessment of the Black Sea along the lines of the WFD and the MSFD;
  • Project Activity 5: Operate the web-based Black Sea Water Quality Database;
  • Project Activity 6: Dissemination of Knowledge and Best Practices, Public Awareness and Visibility.

The project will strengthen capacities of the respective national authorities for biological and chemical monitoring of the Black Sea, taking into consideration the requirements of EU water related legislation (EU WFD and MSFD). Significant effort will be put into training and other capacity building activities. In order to promote ownership, engagement of local experts and organisations is foreseen. 

Location: home based, with travels in the Black Sea region for the project meetings and particularly to Odessa for provision of training (expected duration of travels up to 23 days surveys Ukraine, Georgia, open Black Sea).The project is implemented in Georgia, Russian Federation and Ukraine.

Duties and Responsibilities

The consultant will support the project implementation in the activities related to EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), training programs, national pilot monitoring studies and joint cruises as well as the databases to be prepared within the project. He/she will work under the direct supervision of the Project Team Leader and UNDP Regional Technical Advisor for International Waters, who will have the overall supervision role on the project from the UNDP side.  

The consultant will closely cooperate with the other international, national experts and partner organizations working on the project, as well as other relevant UNDP staff – project assistant and water programme analyst from UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS.

In detail, the Consultant will have the following tasks in the project:

  • In the Project Activity (PA) 1, the consultant will contribute to Proposal on modification of selected BSC data/information reporting sheets to incorporate the new  indicators proposed and promote indicator-based reporting on compliance at relevant meetings of BSC AGs, BSC and other relevant fora;
  • In the Project Activity 2, the consultant will: a) Contribute by reviewing to finalization  of  the following key project documents: Concept of BS monitoring catalogue/factsheets and Manual for National Pilot Monitoring Studies (NPMS); b) Actively participate in the preparations and implementation of NPMS (personal participation at the NPMS cruise for Ukraine and Georgia) and consult/contribute also to other relevant materials and technical reports; c) Contribute to the organisation of intercomparison exercises with a special focus on biological measurements and contribute/consult  to the technical reports on intercomparisons carried out within the NPMS; d) Contribute to the concept of sustainable operational monitoring (SOM) by taking into consideration the results of EMBLAS-I and lessons learnt from similar activities in the Black Sea region;
  • In the project activity 4, the consultant will: a) Contribute to the finalization of the Joint Open Sea Survey Manual (review), participate in preparation and implementation of survey (personal participation) and assist in/consult writing survey reports; b) Support organization of workshops focused on biological guidelines and he/she will contribute to the preparation of Methodology / template for the Status of Environment report of EMBLAS-II;
  • In the project Activity 2 and Activity 4 the consultant will have a role of a coordinator for NPMS and JOSS, closely cooperate with the national lead partner organizations, project experts (Monitoring Expert, Communication & Coordination Expert) and UNDP staff to plan logistic and technical arrangements for the cruise, with the following particular responsibilities: a) Review Further update and fine-tuning of  the Cruise Manuals (in cooperation with the experts of the National Lead Partner organizations (Georgia – National Environment Agency; Ukraine – Ukrainian Centre for Ecology of Seas); b) Support (advice) for  purchase the equipment and consumables necessary for cruises, in close cooperation with the National Lead Partners and UNDP staff (to follow the UNDP procurement rules) as well as identify additional necessary purchases during the survey stemming from emergency situation; c) Make sure that all goods provided as an in-kind contributions are collected from the respective providers and coordinate transport of all materials, equipment and consumables needed for the cruises and loading ships with the National Lead Partner Organizations and relevant experts; d) Control on an updated inventory of all purchased goods and services secured including those arranged by the National Lead Partner Organizations (e.g. provision of sample storage facility, distribution of samples to relevant laboratories, etc.);
  • In the project activity 5, the consultant will: Provide comments to the upgraded on-line BS Water Quality Database.

The Consultant will prepare several deliverables in cooperation with the project experts, within the following time frame and payment schedule:
April 2016 (30 % of payment):

  • Inventory of all purchased goods and services secured including those arranged by the National Lead Partner Organizations;
  • Contribution to the final version for the Manuals for the Monitoring Surveys.

June 2016 (40 % of payment):

  • Participation and coordination of the monitoring cruises (NPMS and JOSS in the period May-June 2015).

August 2016 (20% of payment):

  • Contribute to concept on BS sustainable operational monitoring (provide summary of comments);
  • Contribute to finalised monitoring programmes revision (provide summary of comments).

December 2016 (10% of payment):

  • Contribute to the Technical reports and Final Summary Technical Report on the NPMS and JOSS (provide summary of comments);
  • Provide comments to the upgraded on-line BS Water Quality Database.

The assignment will require travel in the region, in particular personal participation and monitoring cruises as well as others upon request by UNDP (to be covered separately). The consultant is expected to work closely with UNDP Regional Centre for Europe and the CIS, with the staff, responsible for the project implementation. 


Functional Competencies:

  • Excellent research and analytical skills; 
  • Ability to work in a team and deliver high quality results under time pressure. 

Corporate Competencies:

  • Demonstrates integrity by modeling the UN’s values and ethical standards; 
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of UNDP; 
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability; 
  • Treats all people fairly without favoritism;
  • Fulfills all obligations to gender sensitivity and zero tolerance for sexual harassment.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master degree in biology, environmental chemistry, hydrobiology, environmental/natural sciences or environmental engineering (or equivalent).


  • At least 3 years of demonstrable experience and a proven track record  at least in one of the following fields: biology, chemistry, oceanography;
  • Experience and a proven track record in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) or Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and other EU Directives;
  • Regional/national experience in working with international environmental research projects in particular in the Black Sea region, at least in one of the following areas:  integrated water resources management, water quality, monitoring programmes, marine monitoring, quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC),  data quality control (DQC), data collection on water quality and data management, laboratory work;
  • Experience in organization / participation in monitoring surveys. 


  • Fluent writing and communication skills in English; 
  • Working knowledge of Russian is an asset. 

Evaluation of Applicants:
Individual consultants will be evaluated based on a cumulative analysis taking into consideration the combination of the applicants’ qualifications and financial proposal. The award of the contract should be made to the individual consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (P11 desk reviews and interviews) and financial criteria specific to the solicitation.

Only those candidates, who will receive at least 70 % of technical points based on the P11 desk review will be invited for the interviews. Candidates who obtained at least 70% of points in each of the steps of the process will be considered for financial proposal evaluation.

Technical Criteria - 70% of total evaluation – max. 70 points:

  • Criteria A – academic qualification / education – max points: 10;
  • Criteria B – general professional experience in EU environmental Acquis (WFD or MSFD) – max points: 15;
  • Criteria C – specific professional experience in the environmental research, in the areas of project (IWRM, water quality monitoring – chemical & biological, QA/QC, environmental data collection or database development, marine monitoring in the Black Sea region)– max points: 10;
  • Criteria D – specific professional experience in organization or leading of monitoring surveys – max points: 15
  • Criteria E – language, writing skills (publications) max points: 10;
  • Criteria F – interview (technical and communication skills) – max points: 10.

Financial Criteria - 30% of total evaluation – max. 30 points.

Application procedure:
Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via this website. 

The application should contain:

  • Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised position. Please paste the letter into the "Resume and Motivation" section of the electronic application;
  • Filled P11 form including past experience in similar projects and contact details of referees (blank form can be downloaded from ); please upload the P11 instead of your CV;
  • Financial Proposal* - specifying a total lump sum amount in USD for the tasks specified in this announcement. The financial proposal shall include a breakdown of this lump sum amount (number of anticipated working days and any other possible costs); travel costs for missions will be paid separately according to the UN rules and regulations;
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please make sure you have provided all requested materials.

Please note that the financial proposal is all-inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant/contractor during the contract period (e.g. fee, health insurance, vaccination and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services...). Travel costs for missions will be covered separately according to UNDP rules and regulations.

Payments will be made only upon confirmation of UNDP on delivering on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner.
Individual Consultants are responsible for ensuring they have vaccinations/inoculations when travelling to certain countries, as designated by the UN Medical Director. Consultants are also required to comply with the UN security directives set forth under General Terms and conditions as well as other related documents can be found under:

Qualified women and members of minorities are encouraged to apply. Due to large number of applications we receive, we are able to inform only the successful candidates about the outcome or status of the selection process.

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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