Research Assistant – Small Data (6-month contract)

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Macau, Special Administrative Region of China
    UTC +7

    Organisational Unit: UNU Computing and Society (UNU-CS)

    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, and serves as a platform for new and creative ideas and dialogue.

    UNU Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS)

    The United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) is a research institute at the intersections of information and communication technology (ICTs) and sustainable development. UNU-CS conducts UN 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-CS encourages data-driven and evidence-based actions and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNU-CS is situated in Macau Special Administrative Region (S.A.R), China, and it is the only UN entity in the city. The Pearl River Delta, which embraces Macau, Hong Kong, and Guangdong Province, is considered an emerging Silicon Valley due to its booming economy and technological innovations. The strategic location provides an exciting opportunity for researchers and experts to maximize the impact of their work. More information can be found at

    Data and Sustainable Development

    This project explores and expounds on the role of data (especially social indicators) towards individuals’ development and wellbeing; supporting and catalysing community-level action towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); democratising social indicators monitoring by highlighting and demonstrating the role of the bottom-up, micro-level, citizen-generated data to complement the official social indicators; and enhancing trust in social indicators data. More details available at


    Under the guidance and direct supervision of the hosting Principal Research Fellow and the Director of UNU-CS, successful candidates shall be entrusted with the following tasks:

    • work within the Data and Sustainable Development research project and contribute to the effort towards the project goals
    • engage in research on the specific research areas and activities identified and agreed upon with the project leader
    • contribute to producing publications and communications materials based on the research work undertaken while at UNU-CS
    • contribute to the life of the institution and participate in events and activities, such as seminars, presentations, or meetings
    • reside full-time in Macau for the duration of the contract
    • perform any other tasks as may be assigned by the Director

    Required qualifications and competencies

    Required qualifications and competencies include:

    • a Master’s degree in the areas relevant to the ICTD, or a Bachelor’s degree with three or more years of advanced or specialized experience
    • proficiency with mixed method research approaches, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods
    • excellent communication skills, with proficiency in both oral and written English and strong academic writing skills
    • 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
    • passion for the mission of the United Nations and UNU-CS
    • the ability to engage actively, creatively, and imaginatively for the benefit of UNU-CS research


    Remuneration will be at MOP$16,465 per month and rent-free housing (excluding utilities) as living support will be offered to the selected candidate.

    UN income is not subject to taxes in Macau. The contractor will be responsible for paying local taxes and other fiscal obligations.

    This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) and will not hold international civil servant status, nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Duration of contract

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

    Starting date

    01 July 2019 (imperative)


  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to by 16 June 2019, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter in English, setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a curriculum vitae in English with a list of your relevant research experience and publications
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations)

    Submissions must include the subject line “Application for Research Assistant – Small Data (Ref No: 2019/UNU/CS/PSA/RA/37)”

    Please note that applications received after the closing date will not be considered and that only short-listed candidates will be offered the opportunity to interview for this position.

    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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