Senior Research Fellow P-5

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual (2 positions) with strong commitment and potential to support the 2019–23 research programme as well as the training programme and communication activities of the Institute Closing date: 13 July 2018, 23:59 UTC+3
About UN University

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 SDGs, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe. For more information please visit

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as original research that is ‘open access’. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme, is available on the institute's website.

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to support the 2019–23 research programme as well as the training programme and communication activities of the Institute. Further information on the 2019–23 work programme is provided below.

The 2019–23 Work Programme

Current plans for the 2019–23 UNU-WIDER research programme centre on three key development challenges: (i) Transforming Economies; (ii) Transforming States, and (iii) Transforming Societies, with three cross-cutting concerns: (a) Fragility and Risk; (b) Empowerment, and (c) Knowledge and Capacity. Specific sub-topics to be covered in the work programme include: informality; productive job creation; public expenditure and tax incidence; the causes and consequences of state ineffectiveness; market failures and ways to correct or compensate for them; the management of natural resource wealth; women’s economic and social empowerment; social mobility, migration, and environment, energy and climate.


Under the supervision of the Director of the Institute, the Senior Research Fellow will:

  • Contribute substantially to the Institute’s research programme, assume intellectual leadership, and take responsibility for the formulation, implementation, publications, communication and evaluation of research programmes/projects with internal and external research teams.
  • Coordinate and implement conference, communications and meeting activities vis-à-vis UNU-WIDER’s target audiences: researchers, international development agencies, and national decision makers.
  • Carry out teaching, training, and supervision within the capacity-building programme of the Institute, including guidance of junior researchers and PhD students.
  • Represent the Institute in both local and international research, policy and outreach events, and prepare presentations and speeches for specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Support senior management in its fund-raising activities for the Institute.
  • Draft research and management reports.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the Director.
Required qualifications and experience
  • PhD in Economics, Development Economics, Political Science, or a related Social Science field.
  • A minimum of ten (10) years of progressively relevant professional work experience, including the management of research and training programmes.
  • A strong background in applied research in an international environment with demonstrated quantitative skills of the highest international level, and a proven track record of high-quality academic and policy publications, with relevance to UNU-WIDER’s future work programme.
  • Excellent knowledge of the international research and policy agenda in areas related to the Institute’s future research programme — including, in particular, the analysis of inequality and gender in development.
  • Considerable research supervision experience, as well as teaching experience.
  • Experience in managing research projects or programmes and mobilizing research funding from donors and international funding agencies.
  • Excellent communications and drafting skills, with fluency in both oral and written English. Knowledge of other official UN languages would be an asset.
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

We offer a competitive net salary (tax exempted) at P-5 level and allowances including post adjustment. Post adjustment is subject to change.

The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant, removal expenses and home leave. For more information, please visit

The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

Duration of contract

This is a full-time fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year, which can be extended subject to conditions established in the UNU guidelines, with the combined duration of fixed-term appointments not exceeding six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for newly recruited United Nations staff is 65 years.

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Application procedure

Interested applicants should submit their applications online using the 'Apply here' link on the left side column and must upload the following:

  • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position.
  • A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) downloadable from UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations.
  • A list of publications.
  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A copy of highest educational degree obtained.

The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs (Charter of the United Nations: Chapter 3, Article 8).