Deputy Director and Gender Lead

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    Fixed Term Appointment (P-5)
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    UTC +8

    United Nations University (UNU)

    UNU is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, 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)

    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 to advance evidence-based policy on key sustainable development and global health issues. UNU-IIGH aims to build knowledge and capacity in global health for decision making by UN agencies, UN programmes and Member states towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to contribute to developing and strengthening health policy frameworks and management actions, particularly for people in developing countries, and support the implementation of promotive and preventive approaches to human health. UNU-IIGH’s research and capacity building in global health relates specifically to informing the policy debates and directions that ensure that in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “no one is left behind”.

    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 capacity strengthening. Specifically, the Institute’s work engages with policy debates and seeks pathways to reduce the impact of inequalities and marginalisation on health, health service delivery and access to health care. Critical considerations are intersections of gender, race, age and migration and the role of universal health coverage, global health governance, accountability and human rights.

    The position

    UNU-IIGH is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and extensive experience in policy-relevant research to lead its work on gender and health and act as Deputy Director of the Institute working closely with the Institute Director, taking primary responsibility for managing and expanding its research programme and positioning UNU-IIGH amongst the broader UN community.

    The ideal candidate is a mid-to late-career academic, researcher or technical expert in the field of global health, with a demonstrable commitment to gender equality and with experience working with the UN and/or global health organisations.


    Under the leadership of the Director, the Deputy Director and Gender Lead will:

    1. Lead the programme of work on Gender and Health

    • lead and manage the programme of work on gender and health, including designing, undertaking and disseminating research outputs and managing a team of researchers
    • manage the day-to-day operations of the gender pillar with respect to its scientific profile, budget submission, allocation and monitoring, personnel planning, and implementation of administrative policies; monitoring and evaluation of the team’s work
    • lead research, knowledge management, and dissemination
    • publish research results together with other researchers, partner, and beyond, in international peer-reviewed journals and other similar publications

    2. Manage resource mobilisation strategies

    • mobilise resources to extend existing programs and develop new programs within the strategy for UNU and UNU-IIGH
    • support the Director in donor relations, including resource mobilisation activities for the institute’s programmes, preparation of proposals, and engagement with donors and other stakeholders
    • lead the development of resource mobilisation strategies for policy-relevant topics and manage the implementation of resource mobilisation strategies, plans, and efforts
    • establish and maintain relationships with government, partners, stakeholders and donors to achieve active collaboration, cooperation and alliances on programme development and implementation, and resource mobilisation
    • finalise donor reports and negotiate and/or approve cost-sharing agreements with donors
    • establish reporting accountability framework to ensure that donors are duly informed on a timely basis

    3. Support the overall management of UNU-IIGH

    • support the Director in the overall management of the Institute, including:
      o formulating and implementing the Institute’s strategy
      o budgeting, financial planning, and implementation
      o human resource management
      o management and development of academic sections and programmes
    • act as officer-in-charge when appointed by the Director.

    4. Facilitate capacity building and knowledge sharing

    • guide Pillar Leads on strategic programme development and project-based fundraising, and ensure the quality of project outputs and adherence to internal policies and guidelines
    • facilitate knowledge-sharing across the pillars and programmes to build capacity and promote the adoption of best practices in the areas of research, convening, capacity strengthening, fundraising and stakeholder engagement
    • promote diversity, inclusivity, gender equality, and gender mainstreaming throughout the Institute’s work and academic programmes
    • contribute to the dissemination of the Institute’s research results and knowledge products

    5. Represent UNU and create and maintain strategic partnerships and networks

    • promote, strengthen, and develop scientific partnerships with relevant institutions at all levels; maintain and further develop existing cooperation with UN agencies, gender research networks, and external partners, including visiting fellows and the UNCT
    • represent the Director and UNU-IIGH as required in local, regional, and global fora

    6. Perform other duties as assigned by the Director

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience of the position include:

    • a PhD degree or equivalent in public health or related field
    • a minimum of ten (10) years of progressively relevant research leadership experience
    • demonstrated experience in financial and human resources management
    • evidence of academic and peer-reviewed publications related to UNU-IIGH’s programme areas
    • demonstrated track record in the international research and policy arena in areas related to the Institute’s research programme
    • a strong background in global health with specific experience in the IIGH strategy areas of research (gender), capacity building, and translating evidence to policy at the global level
    • excellent knowledge and experience of international agencies and the UN system
    • significant, demonstrable experience in managing complex programs and projects, resource mobilisation and partnerships
    • excellent communications and writing skills, with fluency in both oral and written English
    • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    Key Performance Indicators

    • Timely and quality implementation of the gender components of the IIGH strategy and annual workplan
    • Timely and quality delivery on operational goals
    • Quality and level of engagement with gender related networks and working groups
    • UNU-IIGH is seen as a reliable and trustworthy partner by research partners, governments, donors, and civil society
    • Timely development and implementation of resource mobilization strategy, resulting in sufficient resources to implement UNU-IIH gender strategy and secure funding for the continuation its programme
    • Performance of personnel, office produces quality knowledge products



    • Inclusion – Take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
    • Integrity – Act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
    • Humility – Demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
    • Humanity – Act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


    • Connect and Collaborate – Build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
    • Analyse and Plan – Seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
    • Deliver Results with Positive Impact – Hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
    • Learn and Develop – Pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
    • Adapt and Innovate – Demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways


    UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy. For more information please see:

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.

    For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

    Starting date

    1 January 2022 or sooner.


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

    Special notice

    Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector’s authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

    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. 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 at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

  • Interested applicants should submit their application materials by email to

    Applications must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • a full CV with a list of publications

    You may also refer to the following websites when you are compiling your application:

    UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.