Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    UTC +8

    About UN University

    For the past four decades, the United Nations University (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.

    About United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

    The United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IIGH was established in 2005 with the mission to advance evidence-based policy on key issues related to sustainable development and global health. UNU-IIGH aims to build knowledge and capacity for decision making by UN agencies, UN programmes, and Member States towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    As a neutral convener, and leveraging its position within the UN, UNU-IIGH works with a network of academic, policy, and civil society experts to serve as a platform for critical thinking and exchange of knowledge and tools for policy influence and consensus-building.


    Postdoctoral Fellows at UNU-IIGH are within five (5) years of graduation with a PhD or Professional Doctorate. The Postdoctoral Fellowship provides the opportunity to expand their career beyond the academic research environment to engage with policy application, translation, and dissemination. UNU-IIGH offers an excellent multicultural environment for interaction with scholars from different countries and diverse educational backgrounds.

    The 2019-2023 Strategy for UNU-IIGH shifts the institute’s body of work from investigator-driven global health projects to priority-driven, policy-relevant pillars of work. The institute’s mission is to build knowledge and capacity for decision making by UN agencies, UN programs, and Member States about global health issues. The goal of UNU-IIGH is to advance evidence-based policymaking on crucial issues related to sustainable development and public health. The strategy is implemented through three pillars of work:

    1. Translating evidence into policy
    2. Generating policy-relevant analysis related to gender and health
    3. Strengthening capacity for local decision making

    To that end, we are looking for postdoctoral researchers who will work with UNU-IIGH in these three areas.

    The Postdoctoral Fellowship is open to candidates who demonstrate that they can contribute to the ongoing research, policy translation, and capacity building projects of the institute. Furthermore, candidates will be given the opportunity and are expected to lead areas of work.

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • applicants must be within five (5) years of completion of a PhD in public health or a related discipline
    • professional experience in public health research, policy, or programming
    • experience in research design
    • proven experience with quantitative and/or qualitative research techniques is desirable
    • excellent communication skills in English
    • excellent time management skills
    • applicants should possess an analytical approach to defining policy-relevant research questions

    Other desirable skills include:

    • experience with broad-based and cross-disciplinary knowledge acquisition
    • demonstrated ability in conducting data analysis and interpretation
    • familiarity with searching and evaluating scientific literature
    • experience in writing manuscripts, white papers, progress reports and grant applications
    • familiarity with gender-responsive research and/or programming
    • experience in implementation research and/or health policy and systems research
    • experience in leading capacity-building efforts and hosting workshops

    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 organisation.

    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.

    We recommend that applicants review the information on how to apply for jobs with the UN to assist with the submission of a competitive application.


    This is employment under a Personnel Service Agreement contract (PSA) with a monthly remuneration of US$3,000. The successful candidate 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 full-time employment. The period of initial contract will be for 12 months, which can be extended for an additional 12-month period.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Applicants are requested to download and complete the UNU Personal History P-11 form. Please add the reference number “2020/UNU/IIGH/PSA/PFP/42” and state “UNU-IIGH Postdoctoral Fellowship 2020” in the section ‘What post are you applying for?’

    Interested applicants should submit their applications online to and must upload the following:

    • completed and signed UNU P-11 form
    • cover letter outlining your interests and motivation to work at UNU-IIGH
    • abstract from your current PhD research/dissertation
    • a recent publication sample (in English)
    • two letters of recommendation to support your application, one must come from one of your PhD supervisors
    • scanned copy of your passport details page

    Please state “Postdoctoral Fellowship 2020” with your name in the subject of the email. For non-Malaysian citizens or residents, assistance with visa formalities will be provided by UNU-IIGH. Note that only completed applications received by the deadline will be considered. We will acknowledge receipt of your application via email.