Executive Research Associate

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    UTC +9

    Organizational Unit: UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

    United Nations University Objectives

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Research focuses 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, leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

    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.

    United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

    UNU-IIGH is one of the research and training centres that comprise the UNU system. As the UN think tank for global health, the mission of UNU-IIGH is to build knowledge and capacity for decision-making by UN agencies, programmes and member states about global health issues. The goal is to advance evidence-based policy on key issues related to sustainable development and health ensuring that “no one is left behind”.


    UNU-IIGH is looking for a Research Executive to support the Director and Institute as it implements a new strategic plan. Reporting to the Director, the Research Executive is required to:

    • Identify opportunities for partnering with national stakeholders, international organisations and UN Agencies
    • Build and maintain issue-based partnerships and coalitions with national partners, international organisations, and UN Agencies
    • Liaise with UN and other international and national institutions in the preparation of contributions to UN reports and coordination mechanisms
    • Represent UNU-IIGH as required by attending international meetings, taking notes, and drawing conclusions on the implications for UNU-IIGH and opportunities for interventions, partnerships, etc., which would require the active and direct intervention of the Director
    • Mobilise external resources for the establishment of research projects and programmes
    • Coordinate the integration and coherent functioning of UNU-IIGH activities in line with the strategic vision and guidance of the Director
    • Facilitate internal as well as multi-stakeholder meetings and consultation processes as required
    • Work in collaboration with colleagues from UNU-IIGH and UNU to promote the efficient flow of information and actions on instructions
    • Assume day-to-day responsibility for research programmes related to community engagement in health systems, including social innovation for health, and refugees and marginalised communities
    • Undertake work assignments that could be added when necessary as the programme of work progresses
    • Carry out teaching, training, and supervision within the capacity building programmes of the Institute, including direct supervision of interns, junior researchers, PhD students, and post-doctoral fellows

    Required qualifications and experience include

    • A doctoral degree in a relevant health related field
    • Minimum five (5) years of progressively responsible experience that combines strategic and managerial leadership in programme management, business management, planning and operations
    • Experience working in an international environment essential
    • Experience working in an academic/research institution or non-profit organisation required
    • Experience engaging with funding agencies
    • Ability to work strategically and collaboratively across departments
    • Ability to conceptualise, synthesize, and convey strategic vision
    • Effective, versatile and action-oriented
    • Excellent communication skills, including the teaching and facilitation of group activities
    • Strong inter-personal and team building skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • Ability to leverage information technology, executive information systems, management techniques and tools for optimal office performance
    • Fluency in both oral and written English is required; working knowledge any other United Nations official languages is an asset
    • Ability to prepare high level documents, reports, communiques and presentations


    Remuneration will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the successful candidate.

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment on an annual Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with the United Nations University. The initial appointment will be for a period of one (1) year with the possibility of renewal, subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration not exceeding six (6) years.

    This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowance applies. The post is limited to a person residing in Malaysia. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

    UNU-IIGH is an equal opportunities and diversity employer and is committed to a workplace that reflects the values of diversity and inclusivity embodied by the United Nations. Applications from developing countries and from women are strongly encouraged.

    Starting Date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using the link recruit.iigh@unu.edu and must upload 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 downloadable from UNU website. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations and
    • A full CV.