Principal Research Fellow/Research Fellow

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personal Service Agreement
    Macau Special Administrative Region of China
    UTC +8
    Recruitment is ongoing

    Organizational Unit: UNU Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS)

    United Nations University objectives

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of 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.

    UNU Computing and Society (UNU-CS)

    The United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) is a new research institute at the intersections of information and communication technologies and international development. Located in Macau SAR, China, UNU-CS focuses on the key challenges faced by developing societies through high-impact innovations in computing and communication technologies.

    The mission of UNU-CS includes:

    • leading in investigating and inventing human-centred information and communication technologies that address pressing global issues, such as sustainability, development, governance, peace and security, human rights, and human dignity
    • supporting policymakers, within the UN system and beyond, with actionable knowledge and thought-leadership
    • nurturing the next generation of interdisciplinary computer scientists, social scientists, and designers in developing countries
    • embracing the enormous dynamism of the city of Macau and Pearl River Delta region while still working globally

    For more information, please visit

    UNU-CS is seeking to hire Research Fellows to staff its emerging action-oriented research Labs. The research Labs consist of three main areas: :

    • Digital Peace Lab: ICTs for peacebuilding and to support human security, respond to crises, and mitigate human displacement
    • Gender Tech Lab: ICTs that promote women’s empowerment and enable sustainable community led development
    • Small Data Lab: ICTs that create actionable knowledge from local data, empower citizens with data they trust, and improve global datasets with local data


    Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Director of UNU-CS, successful candidates shall be closely involved in the planning and implementation of research programmes in the relevant thematic areas of UNU-CS. This will include the following tasks:

    • contribute regularly to the research outputs of UNU-CS as agreed with the Director
    • conduct both desk and field research, and social and computing scientific scholarship, as appropriate to specific research tasks
    • identify, compile, and undertake reviews of published and unpublished documents
    • prepare drafts and final reports of research projects for publication; disseminate research publications locally and internationally in a variety of formats to be agreed on with the Director
    • attend meetings and discussions with key people related to the research projects and activities.
    • produce policy impact through dissemination of key scholarly findings to appropriate stakeholders, as agreed to with the Director
    • collaborate on project planning and project administration; assume responsibility for the administrative duties relating to the research activities undertaken, liaising as necessary with colleagues at the Institute and UNU Headquarters
    • plan, coordinate, and evaluate the effectiveness of research workshops and other activities
    • assist in organising capacity building activities, workshops, and conferences in the relevant research programmes of the Institute
    • undertake supervision of postgraduate and postdoctoral candidates in the Institute as required
    • reside full-time in Macau for the duration of the contract; some international travel may be required
    • assist the Director in liaising with potential donors and collaborators for the Institute
    • be proactive in seeking external funding for agreed research projects that fall within the scope of UNU-CS research programmes, as agreed with by the Director
    • Perform any other tasks as may be assigned by the Director

    Required qualifications and competencies

    • minimum qualifications for junior research positions: a new PhD degree, or a master’s degree with at least three years directly relevant working experience; demonstrated research promise
    • minimum qualifications for mid-career research positions: a PhD degree, or terminal advanced degree, and at least 5 years of directly relevant research work experience; sound record of scholarly publications

    Other required qualifications and competencies include:

    • proficiency with modern computer programming environments
    • skills in relevant social and/or computing scientific disciplines
    • familiarity with interdisciplinary research methodologies and conceptual frameworks
    • passion for the mission of the United Nations and UNU-CS
    • excellent communication and drafting skills, with proficiency in both oral and written English
    • willingness to work in a dynamic start-up environment and to help build a leading global research institute
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    Remuneration for junior positions starts at US$3,907 per month, and for mid-career positions at US$5,641 per month.

    UN income is not subject to taxes in Macau.

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time position on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU with the possibility for renewal subject to performance and funding availability. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

    Research Fellowships are contract positions 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

    As soon as possible.

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

    • a cover letter overviewing your relevant research skills and describing how your work relates to one or more of these emerging action-oriented research labs: 1) Digital Peace Lab, 2) Gender Tech Lab, 3) Small Data Lab
    • a curriculum vitae with lists of publications
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2017/UNU/CS/PSA/RF/30)

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    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).

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