Research Fellow (P-4)

Applications procedure
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    Professional (P-4)
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
    UTC +1

    About UN University

    For the past four decades, UNU 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-MERIT

    UNU-MERIT explores the social, political and economic factors that drive technological innovation, with a particular focus on the creation and diffusion of knowledge, as well as all aspects of governance in domestic and global organisations, from risk assessment to policy analysis, design and evaluation. UNU-MERIT functions as a unique research center and graduate school for over 80 PhD fellows and 100 Master’s students, and as a UN think tank addressing a broad range of policy questions on science, innovation and democratic governance. In addition to policy-relevant research, the institute trains specialists who combine a high level of academic scholarship with leadership, in order to strengthen democratic governance in domestic and international organisations. For more information, in particular on the details of the research themes, please visit

    UNU-MERIT works in close partnership with Maastricht University. In particular, the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) has integrated its activities into UNU-MERIT, including the Master and PhD programmes, and all research activities. For more information on MGSoG, see


    Under the authority and supervision of the Director of UNU-MERIT, the successful candidate will be active in one or more of the following research themes:

    • Economics of Knowledge and Innovation
    • Structural Change and Economic Development
    • Economic Complexity and Innovation

    More information on the institute’s research themes is available on the website:

    Specific tasks include [1]:

    • carrying out research projects and publishing in international academic journals
    • engaging in fund-raising through research projects in fields relevant to the institute
    • coordinating outreach activities (publications, workshops, etc.) in fields relevant to the institute
    • contributing to the teaching activities of the institute (PhD and/or master level)
    • contributing to the dissemination of the institute’s research results to the international community of policymakers and policy-opinion makers, in particular the broader UN
    • supervising PhD Fellows in the institute, in collaboration with a professorial fellow
    • performing other related tasks as assigned by the Director

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a PhD in a discipline relevant to the institute’s program, preferably economics
    • a least two years of post-doctoral experience in a research setting
    • proven strong research background and academic peer-reviewed publications in areas related to the research themes listed above
    • good knowledge of the international research and policy agenda in areas related to the institute’s program
    • excellent oral and written communication skills in English; knowledge of other official UN languages would be an asset
    • 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
    • work experience in managing research programs in academia, research or other organisations would be an asset
    • experience in managing and seeking research funding from donors and international funding agencies would be an asset
    • professional experience in teaching would be an asset

    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.


    We offer a competitive net salary (tax-exempted) at P-4 level and allowances including post adjustment, which is subject to change. The post carries the standard set of UN entitlements/benefits, 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 information please visit:

    The Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidate at a lower category.

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The period of initial appointment will be for one year with the intention of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance, up to a maximum of six years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

    Starting date

    By 1 September 2020.

    [1] The complexity of the tasks and responsibilities will depend on the level of the appointed candidate. UNU Rector reserves the right to appoint suitable candidate at at lower category.

  • Interested applicants should submit their application materials by email to

    Applications must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a complete CV and list of academic publications
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • full contact information of three (3) references
    • the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/MERIT/FTA/86270)

    Please note that the institute reserves the right to dismiss applications without notice in case candidates are deemed to have insufficient research experience as evidenced by their publication record.


  • Applications to: