open position: Research Associate – Local Representative of the Regional Research Network ‘Water in Central Asia’

open position: Research Associate – Local Representative of the Regional Research Network ‘Water in Central Asia’

February 15, 2017



Name of position: 1 Research Associate – Local Representative of the Regional Research Network ‘Water in Central Asia’

Location of the position: Almaty, Kazakhstan

Deadline for applications: March 1, 2017

Employer: CAWa and German Kazakh University in Almaty


The regional research network ‘Water in Central Asia’ (CAWa) with project partners in Germany and Central Asia is looking for a highly self-motivated, independently working, communicative, and team-oriented fulltime (100%) research associate, starting from April 2017 until April 2018 with possibility for prolongation. Main tasks of the successful candidate lie in the active representation of the entire CAWa project in Central Asia with the periodic notification of findings and significant contribution to disseminating and presenting the project to decision makers and scientific and governmental organizations/institutions. Support in capacity building is also expected from the candidate. The successful candidate willconduct organizational, advisory, and scientific tasks in an international, ambitious and committed team. We offer to work in a strong international network with numerous organizations in research and practice. The successful candidate will need to be able to familiarize himself or herself fast with the project contents and processes, goals, methods, and findings. In case of mutual interest of the project partners and the successful candidate, a further career at the GKU is possible.


Our project

The CAWa project has started in June 2008 and has since then been funded as scientific-technical component of the German Water Initiative for Central Asia (“Berlin Process”) by the German Federal Foreign Office. Funding is continued for the third project phase (2015-2017). Overall goals for the third project phase of CAWa are: (i) informed decision making in the water and land management by data transparency, (ii) support of regional and trans-sectoral cooperation and communication, and (iii) strengthening of technical and methodological competences of researchers and specialists in water management organizations, at universities and governmental institutions. The international partners involved in the project are the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Germany), the Department of Remote Sensing at the University of Wuerzburg (Germany), the German-Kazakh University and its UNESCO Chair on Water Management in Central Asia (Almaty, Kazakhstan), the SIC ICWC (Scientific Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia, Tashkent, Uzbekistan), KRASS (Khorezm Rural Advisory Support Service, Urgench, Uzbekistan), CAREC (Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia), Central-Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (CAIAG), and the Central Asia’s Hydrometeorological (Hydromet) Services. Methods applied in the CAWa project focus on satellite-based earth observation in the context of water and land management. Particular focus lies on the utilization of optical remote sensing data for the monitoring of irrigated land use and yield estimation (WUEMoCA tool), snow cover and glacier are as well as on the use of geodetic information for monitoring lake’s and reservoir’s water levels and snow depths.


Requested fields of research and main tasks

  • Active communication and design of implementation in cooperation with all project partners, including self-organized short research visits to the partner institutions, and organization of workshops and team meetings,
  • Active representation of the CAWa project and all related work packages in Central Asia with the periodic notification and significant contribution to disseminating and presenting the project contents and processes, methods and goals of developed information tools (MODSNOW, WUEMoCA) to decision makers and scientific and governmental organizations and institutions at conferences and workshops,
  • Communication and exchange of feedback and raised questions and challenges on the use of tools to the project partners in Germany and recommendations for improvement,
  • Preparation of scientific project proposals and realization of own scientific research
  • Development and implementation organization of Remote Sensing and GIS courses and teaching activities for water managers to imparting methods and supporting data processing for analyzing and visualizing geo-information,
  • Active support in planning and realizing the annual CAWa Summer School with international participants from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan,
  • Development of teaching materials with focus on earth observation (optical remote sensing, laser and radar altimetry) and GIS and support in teaching MSc and BSc students at the GKU in the context of the CAWa project,
  • Support in supervision of MSc and BSc students at the GKU in the context of the project,
  • Support in project cooperation with the German Cooperation GIZ in the field of transboundary water management in Central Asia.


Expected skills and competences

  • High-quality graduation in Geography or related fields,
  • Extended basic knowledge in Earth Observation and Geographic Information Systems and strong willingness to increase knowledge and expertise,
  • Sound knowledge in geostatistical analyses and programming skills,
  • Excellent English skills (both written and spoken) are mandatory, good Russian skills are advantageous,
  • Advanced knowledge of the region and organizational structures are advantageous,
  • Very good ability to represent the entire research team effectively internally and externally, including at conferences and meetings in the region,
  • Professional and respectful behavior and attitude in a collaborative environment,
  • Experience in international research, project management, and project coordination is advantageous,
  • Experience in working in a team-oriented, international and collaborative environment,
  • Teaching experiences are advantaegous.


Contract’s conditions

The successful candidate will receive a position for 1 year with possibility for prolongation.Successful candidate will be placed at the German-Kazakh University (GKU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan,with access to office infrastructure. Salary dependent on qualifications and experience and according to local conditions.

Please submit your application (in English) including the reference number 2017/CAWa project representative and containing a cover letter, motivation letter (1 page maximum), curriculum vitae with list of publications (if present) and working/project history, copies of diplomas, certificates or references from employers, by email to Dr. Barbara Janusz-Pawletta (German-Kazakh University, until March 1, 2017.

For further information on the project, candidates are encouraged to consult the project’s website



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