Visiting Senior Research Fellow

Applications procedure
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    Consultant (CTC)
    Macau, China
    UTC +8

    United Nations University

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. It serves as a think tank for the United Nations system, contributes to capacity building—particularly in developing countries—as well as a platform for new and creative ideas and dialogue.

    United Nations University Institute in Macau

    United Nations University Institute in Macau is a research institute at the intersections of information and communication technology (ICT) and international development. The Institute conducts policy-relevant research and generates solutions, addressing key issues expressed in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through high-impact innovations and frontier technologies. Through its research, UNU Institute in Macau encourages data-driven and evidence-based actions and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

    One of the institute’s mission is to nurture the next generation of interdisciplinary computing, information and social scientists, and engineers to be thought leaders in the field of ICT for development. To this end, the institute seeks to build a team of experts to help deliver the institute’s mission and work plan.
    UNU Institute in Macau is situated in the Macau Special Administrative Region (S.A.R), China and it is the only UN entity in the city. Macau is one of the most dynamic regions in Asia, where technological innovations have become an integral part in driving social and economic development. A large ecosystem of private sector companies and technological start-ups are just a short distance away. Macau’s close proximity to China, Hong Kong S.A.R and other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, provides an exciting opportunity for researchers and experts to maximize impact of their work.

    Visiting Senior Research Fellow Programme

    UNU Institute in Macau welcomes seasoned researchers to join us and co-create exciting research projects together. To this aim, we are establishing a Visiting Senior Research Fellow programme.
    Visiting Senior Research Fellows will normally spend three (3) to six (6) months in residence at UNU Institute in Macau to explore research topics based on our common interest, independently or jointly with an institute host researcher. You will conduct high quality research that can push new frontiers, deepen core research understanding, and/or offer new approaches to long-standing developmental issues in the field of ICTs and sustainable development. Your research outcomes will inform UN policy-making on the issues related to ICTs and sustainable development.

    The goals of the program are to:

    • contribute to the ICTs and sustainable development research field
    • address global development issues in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    • engage academic partners within the UN policy-making process
    • increase our combined research capacity, global reach and impact
    • keep UNU in Macau research abreast of new and emerging scholarship on sustainable development
    • foster an interdisciplinary intellectual community

    There are two types of fellowship applications:
    a. fellowships with pay
    b. fellowships without pay

    The section below details the offer of option a. Option b can be for researchers who are on paid sabbatical leaves and want to conduct research in the institute with our resident researchers or independently in line with the institute’s research agenda.

    We will accept applications all year round and will review the applications twice per year, once in February and once in August. Selected candidates will be invited for a presentation/interview to elaborate on the project proposal as part of the selection process.

    At the end of the fellowship programme, the Visiting Senior Research Fellows are expected jointly or independently to produce a research paper and a UN policy relevant output, approved by the institute’s Head of Research.

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a Ph.D. or equivalent degree
    • experience in a faculty or senior research position at another institution
    • at least 10 years of academic research experience, with proven records and publications of academic excellence
    • engagement in research relevant to UNU Institute in Macau’s research agendas


    • flexibility and the ability to work under deadlines
    • creative solutions, and out-of-the-box thinking
    • results-driven
    • great team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    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.


    All the selected Visiting Senior Research Fellows will receive the following benefits:

    • office space in our newly renovated office building, which is part of Macau’s rich cultural heritage
    • free accommodation at UNU Institute in Macau’s’ staff apartment facility in Macau; you will not pay rent but utilities only (continuous residency is preferred, but flexible residency may be considered)

    For option A: fellowship with pay, the package also includes the following:

    • economy travel to and from Macau at initial arrival and final departure, (if applicable) with a ceiling of airfare (or other applicable mode of transportation) of USD$1500 or less, based on actual airfare/ transportation expenses.
    • a stipend usually ranging from USD4900-6000 each month (equivalent to UN professional salary levels); remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience; UN income is not subject to taxes in Macau

    For option B: fellowship without pay, the economy travel to and from Macau at initial arrival and final departure can be considered, if needed.

    Duration of contract

    This is a resident position of normally three (3) to six (6) months on a Consultant Contract (CTC) with UNU Institute in Macau. This is a contract position falling outside of the United Nations Common System. 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.

    Starting date

    Upon agreement between the two parties, usually within 6 months since review of applications.


  • Interested applicants should submit your applications by email to, and must include the following:

    1. Please specify which fellowship option (a or b)
    2. A curriculum vitae that lists your relevant experience and competencies (maximum 5 pages in length)
    3. A research proposal which should include:
      a. proposed dates of visit
      b. statement of purpose: 2-3 pages describing planned activities, objectives, methodologies, and
      why you want to do this work at UNU in Macau
      c. projected outputs
      d. benefits to UNU in Macau
      e. potential policy impact for the UN system
      f.  potential collaborator/host at UNU in Macau, if you want to work with an Institute researcher
      g. confirmation that your employing institution has given you permission for this leave of absence if
      you are successful
    4. One letter of recommendation (from someone familiar with your academic work)
    5. A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    6. The subject line “Application for Visiting Senior Research Fellow (Ref No: 2019/UNU/CS/CTC/SRF/89)”

    If you plan to work with a specific resident researcher of UNU Institute in Macau, the host researcher will also write a letter to endorse your application by responding to the following questions, as part of the application package:

    • How do you know the Senior Research Fellow candidate?
    • What interactions, if any, have you had with them?
    • Have you seen the Senior Research Fellow candidate give a talk or read his/her papers? If so, what was your impression?
    • What will you and UNU Institute in Macau get out of the collaboration with the Senior Research Fellow candidate?
  • By email: