Research Associate

UNU-WIDER is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to serve as a Research Associate for the project on ‘Institutional legacies of violent conflict’. Closing date: 6 December 2021, 23:59 UTC+2
About UN University

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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 has started 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.

UNU-WIDER is looking for a postdoctoral fellow to serve as a Research Associate for 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
  • A PhD, or equivalent, in political science, economics, or a related discipline, either completed or to be awarded by September 2022 at the latest.
  • 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 multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
  • Readiness to travel internationally.

The successful candidate will be employed under an international PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including a monthly net salary in the range of EUR4,400 to EUR5,550, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract 

The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders is 65 years.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you to:

  • Apply here
  • fill out the UNU P11 form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a full list of publications and a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

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. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

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.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU.

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