Research Associate

UNU-WIDER is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to serve as a Research Associate to the project on ‘Institutional legacies of violent conflict’. Closing date: 2 December 2020, 23:59 UTC+2
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 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies, 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 freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme are available on the Institute's website.

As part of its 2019-23 work programme, UNU-WIDER will implement a new project on ‘Institutional legacies of violent conflict’. This project seeks to provide new theoretical insights and empirical evidence on how local institutional dynamics that develop during violent conflicts shape state-building and economic development trajectories in the long run. The project will include theory-building combined with the use of empirical data at the individual, household, community and national levels. It is organized around two thematic areas: (i) the effect of war dynamics on state-building trajectories in post-conflict countries, and (ii) linkages between wartime institutions and post-conflict economic development. Given current circumstances, the project will also include a cross-cutting theme on the interactions between conflict dynamics, COVID-19, and associated policies to contain it.

UNU-WIDER is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to serve as a Research Associate to the project on ‘Institutional legacies of violent conflict’.


Under the supervision of Professor Patricia Justino, Senior Research Fellow, the Research Associate will:

  • Contribute to the implementation of the project, including support for data analysis, active collaboration in related research publications, and support for communications activities for UNU-WIDER’s target audiences.
  • Carry out teaching, training and supervision within the capacity-building programme of UNU-WIDER, including the guidance of junior researchers and PhD students.
  • Perform any other tasks as assigned by the supervisor.
Required qualifications and experience
  • PhD, a master’s degree, or equivalent in political science, economics, or a related discipline.
  • Strong quantitative skills in advanced econometrics.
  • Experience with managing primary fieldwork in developing countries would be an asset.
  • Project management experience would be an asset.
  • Excellent drafting skills and fluency in both oral and written English.
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Readiness to travel internationally.

UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organization.

UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


This is an employment under a Personnel Service Agreement contract (PSA). Monthly remuneration of EUR4,350 to EUR5,550 depending on the level of completed education and prior experience. It is inclusive of a housing subsidy of EUR550 payable to applicants not residing in Finland/citizens of Finland.

The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a ‘staff member’ as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, possible work arrangements (Helsinki, or telecommuting) will be discussed with shortlisted candidates during the interview process.

This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave), and private health insurance coverage.

Duration of contract

This is a full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-WIDER with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Application procedure Interested applicants should submit their application online through Impactpool and upload the following documents there:

  • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • A list of publications
  • An up-to-date CV
  • A copy of the highest educational degree obtained