Policy Officer


Applications procedure
Related Files
    New York, NY
    UTC -5

    Organizational Unit: UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

    About the United Nations University

    For the past four decades, the United Nations University (UN)U 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 UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

    The UNU Centre for Policy Research is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges.

    This work has been recognised and directly incorporated into key UN reform processes, including the Review by the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO), the Review by the Advisory Group of Experts on the Peacebuilding Architecture, and the process leading up to the World Humanitarian Summit. UNU-CPR is staffed by recognised experts in key areas related to the peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights pillars of the United Nations, with recognised expertise in anti-slavery, anti-trafficking, global drugs policy, and migration. Established in 2014 in Tokyo, in July 2018 UNU-CPR will merge with the UNU Office at the United Nations (UNU-ONY) in New York, and operate from New York.

    For more information on UNU-CPR and its work, please visit http://cpr.unu.edu.

    About you

    You have a proven interest in conflict prevention, global development, and the multilateral system; direct knowledge of the UN’s policymaking processes; and are not satisfied with the status quo. You are an excellent writer with an established track record of independent thought and critical analysis. You work well in a team setting, but can also execute tasks autonomously and create and manage new projects, teams, and networks without constant oversight. You have a demonstrated ability to connect in-country developments with broader policy issues within the UN, and an interest in field-driven research. You thrive in a multicultural setting, enjoy innovative thinking, and wish to work on a team that is committed to gender parity.


    The Policy Officer will support and contribute to policy-oriented research projects in UNU-CPR’s areas of work, reporting to the Head of Research and the UNU-CPR Director. The issue areas that the Policy Officer is expected to cover are likely to be diverse and relate to cross-cutting challenges facing the UN across its main pillars of work, and in particular with respect to reform of the UN Development System and support to the Member States in the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

    The Policy Officer will be expected to:

    • lead the design of new policy research projects in line with CPR’s mission, and actively contribute to the development of a programme of work for the CPR team
    • raise funds for policy research projects and engage with donors
    • produce and commission original, policy-oriented analysis, including through field-driven research in conflict-affected settings
    • disseminate CPR’s deliverables by writing op-eds in widely read publications and organising and participating in conferences, media engagements, and other events
    • engage with Member States and senior UN officials to ensure policymaker uptake of research findings
    • provide substantive and editorial support to CPR research projects, as needed
    • ensure UNU-CPR’s awareness of key policy/reform developments within the UN, through regular liaison with UN counterparts and regular briefings to the UNU-CPR team

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • an advanced university degree (master’s or equivalent) in public policy, political science, law, economics, international development, anthropology, or a related field
    • at least five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in international relations, political affairs, conflict resolution, or economic development
    • knowledge of and strong networks within UN institutions and policymaking, as well as knowledge of the broader think-tank/policy development system globally
    • a solid research background, ideally including publications in areas related to peace, security, global development, and/or public policy
    • proven excellence in writing, editing, and communication
    • the ability to interact with colleagues and others of diverse cultural backgrounds
    • fluency in English (fluency in at least one other official language of the United Nations is desirable)
    • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural environment, with demonstrated sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender

    Relevant field experience in conflict-affected countries, fundraising, liaison with Member States, and direct work experience within the UN would be an additional advantage.

    UNU is committed to building a pluralistic and culturally diverse personnel. Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.


    The position is a P-3 fixed term appointment and will be remunerated in accordance with the relevant UN salary scale.

    The post carries the standard set of United Nations benefits and entitlements for international positions in the UN Common Systems, including participation in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund, the possibility of participation in a health insurance programme, education grant for eligible children, removal expenses, and home leave.

    For more specific information please visit http://www.un.org/Depts/OHRM/salaries_allowances/index.html.

    The Rector of UNU reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the level advertised.

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The period of initial contract would be for a one-year term with the likelihood of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance.

    The combined duration of appointments with United Nations University (UNU) shall not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory retirement age in the United Nations is 65 years. Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University.


    New York

    Starting date

    May/June 2018

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email (to cpr_p3@unu.edu) and must
    include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of
      the position
    • a single piece of published writing solely authored by the candidate, demonstrating their
      analytical capacities on issues pertaining to global development
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • an updated curriculum vitae
    • full contact information of three (3) referees
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2018/UNU/CPR/FTA/PO/04)

     – – – – –

    The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate
    in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of
    the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8)

  • Email: cpr_p3@unu.edu