Research Associate - WIID/GRD

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to administrate the databases (WIID and GRD) hosted at UNU-WIDER to help with further developments of these databases, and to support and/or conduct research on inequality globally or across countries. Closing date: 5 May 2020, 23:59 UTC+3
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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 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’s current work programme is available on the Institute's website.

UNU-WIDER databases

UNU-WIDER hosts the World Income Inequality Database (WIID) and the Government Revenue Dataset (GRD). The WIID collects and stores inequality data from all over the world. UNU-WIDER is currently undergoing several efforts to improve and expand the dataset to make it more relevant and user-friendly for researchers, institutions and others interested in monitoring or analysing inequality across countries and over time. The GRD — originally developed by the International Centre for Tax and Development — presents a complete picture of government revenue and tax trends over time and allows for analysis at the country, regional or cross-country level.

Both datasets are regularly updated and released in Excel and Stata formats, as well as via a data query user interface and visualization.

UNU-WIDER plans to stimulate research based on these two important databases.

For more information on the WIID and GRD databases, please visit and

UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to administrate the databases (WIID and GRD) hosted at UNU-WIDER to help with further developments of these databases, and to support and/or conduct research on inequality globally or across countries.


Under the supervision of WIID and GRD focal points, the Research Associate will perform the following duties:

Administrate the WIID and GRD:

  • Contribute effectively to the implementation of the WIID and GRD projects within UNU-WIDER’s work programme.
  • Update WIID and GRD databases, documentation and visualization tools on a regular basis to incorporate the latest relevant available data on distribution and taxation at country level.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of the databases and provide assistance to users.
  • Contribute to further development of the databases.

Contribute to research on inequality:

  • Use statistical and econometric techniques to facilitate the analysis of global inequality, inequality comparisons across countries, or investigating the relationship between the income distribution and other relevant socioeconomic outcomes.
  • Conduct own research and supervise contracted work on inequality, especially based on WIID and GRD.
  • Support communications and dissemination activities for UNU-WIDER’s target audiences.
  • Perform any other tasks as assigned by the Director.
Required qualifications and experience
  • PhD or a master’s degree in economics, statistics, econometrics, or a related discipline with strong quantitative skills.
  • Proven skills in STATA.
  • Skills in R, or other statistical software, is an asset.
  • Experience administrating databases is an asset.
  • Knowledge of inequality measurement tools and research publications on related areas are also assets.
  • 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 (PSA). A monthly remuneration of EUR 4,350 to EUR 5,550 depending on level of completed education and prior experience. It is inclusive of a housing subsidy of EUR 550 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. No relocation allowance applies.

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 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