Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at UNAM

Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at UNAM”

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) offers one Postdoctoral position for a candidate who would like to pursue a career in international environmental policy and the multiple values of ecosystems and biodiversity. The position has been created to support the work of a Technical Support Unit (TSU) focused on the ‘Multiple conceptualizations of the values of nature and its contributions to people’ following the preparation of the Deliverable 3(d) of the platform already approved by its plenary. The position is a 2-year position (with an internal renewal process at the end of the 1st year) to begin in August 2017 as an in-kind contribution of UNAM to IPBES and its TSU on Values.

The deadline for applications is January 18 2017. Please write to for further information or to apply for the positions (find further details below).


About the IIES – UNAM (the host of the values TSU and where the candidate will be based).

The Research Institute on Ecosystems and Sustainability (IIES) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is devoted to research, capacity building and creating bonds with different sectors of society in order to understand environmental problems related to the management of socio-ecological systems. Thus, its main approaches are interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research done across scales. The IIES seeks to contribute to building sustainable societies capable of providing material and cultural assets to people, in just and equitable ways, without affecting ecosystems (see further details in the following link IIES is nested in the Morelia Campus of UNAM, in the western central highlands of Mexico.


The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is a body created in 2012 to assess the state of biodiversity and the ecosystem services that provides to society. The IPBES is responsive to the interests of decision makers all around the world and seeks to integrate science and policy in order to promote better decisions regarding the management of ecosystems.

The IPBES has 4 programme objectives: 1) Capacity & Knowledge Foundations, 2) Regional & Global Assessments, 3) Thematic & Methodological Issues and 4) Communication and Evaluation.

Following the third objective, the postdoctoral activities will be framed under the needs regarding the deliverable (3d) on the diverse conceptualizations of values of biodiversity and nature’s benefits to people including ecosystem services.

The values TSU

Technical Support Units (TSUs) have clearly defined roles and responsibilities framed by working groups within the IPBES. Thus, the TSU based in at IIES-UNAM, in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, is an IPBES body devoted to the work relevant to the multiple values of nature and its benefits and thus, it is related to the deliverable 3(d) of the panel.

Moreover, it aims at offering scientific, technical and logistic support to the Core Group on Values, the Multi-Expert Panel and the Secretariat. The recent approval of the Bureau for the creation of this TSU has generated opportunities regarding the topic of values for the TSU and the IPBES, which may be of interest for a creative candidate interested in this postdoctoral position.

This Call

Within the current call, the successful applicant will be hosted at the IIES located in the campus Morelia of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. This candidate will develop postdoctoral activities on the project detailed below: Central topic of the postdoctoral position: Integration of multiple values in decision making across scales, from global to local scales.

Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Balvanera Levy – IIES-UNAM

( in collaboration with Dr. Unai Pascual – Basque Centre for Climate Change, BC3 (

Description of the activities: The postdoctoral activity will explore how multiple values of nature and its contributions to quality of life have been incorporated in decision making at global, national and local scales. Its main purpose is to recognize and suggest mechanisms or processes into decision-making at a range of scales, to explicitly incorporate multiple values of nature in agreement with the conceptual proposal of IPBES (

The position has two key components, each of which will require half of the time of the


  1. Respond to technical and logistical needs of the TSU in order to achieve its objectives in the short and medium terms. This includes attending to IPBES meetings, generating valuable proposals to achieve TSU goals on the short, medium and long terms, prepare meetings, coordinate workshops, establish communication paths with other IPBES members and get involved in other science communication strategies.
  1. Generate a personal research project related to strengthening the science-policy interphase on incorporating the multiple values of nature into decision-making. This includes preparing a research project, producing at least two scientific papers (1 per year), preparing policy briefs and supervising the work of at least one undergraduate or student towards achieving the TSU objectives.


We are looking for outstanding candidates with excellent inter-personal communication skills, who are independent and creative, and with proven commitment and excellent academic performance. The candidates applying for this position should also have experience working or interacting with experts with multiple backgrounds as well as with decision-makers from diverse governmental and non-governmental contexts. Moreover, the candidates should have a proven ability to communicate fluently in both English and Spanish. We are expecting candidates with studies in environmental and earth sciences, political sciences, communication, sociology or ecological and environmental economics.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates must have obtained a PhD degree within tree years before applying for the postdoctoral position. They should also have proven productivity, i.e. peer reviewed book chapters and papers. The selected candidate will be asked to apply to the Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at UNAM, which has a one-year duration with the chance to renew the scholarship for one more year. The fellowship stipend grants an equivalent of 16 minimum wages per month (35,000.00 MXN, 1,700.00 USD, 1,600.00 EURO / per month approximately; a rent for a 100 sqm house in Morelia is 600 USD). Moreover, the grant gives access to the postdoctoral candidate and his/her family to health insurance (please, find further details on the following link

Application guidelines

  1. The candidates must send an extended CV, the PDFs of 3 selected publications, and a Cover Letter in English highlighting their interest in in the position, how their personal characteristics make them suitable for the position, as well as their willingness to be based at IIES-UNAM and commit for a total of two years.
  1. A research proposal to be undertaken over the two years that includes conceptual background, objectives, methods, a calendar of activities, and a description of the expected outputs (at least one paper per year) and outcomes at the end of each year (10 pages long).
  1. Dr. Patricia Balvanera, Dr. Unai Pascual and other members of the IPBES MEP and Core Group on Values will interview short-listed candidates.
  1. The selected candidate will follow the procedure established within the Rules of Operation of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at UNAM (See details in the following link
  1. Candidates must have a proof of English fluency (trough a certificate or a previous degree undertaken in an English speaking country or program)

Key dates

– Deadline January 18, 2017: Send your complete application to

– January 18 to 23, 2017: Candidate selection based on CV and research proposal.

– January 23 to 27, 2017: Interviews of short-listed candidates.

– February 5, 2017Announcement of the successful candidate who will apply to the UNAM Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

– 8 February 2017: Initiation of application procedures in concordance with the Rules of Operation of the Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at UNAM ()

– April 2017: Announcement of the final decision by UNAM (In agreement with the deadline established by the POSDOC-UNAM call).

– August 2017: The postdoctoral candidate is based at IIES-UNAM and initiates the research.

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