Senior Research Fellow

United Nations University , Maastricht, Netherlands

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
Above 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
30th June, 2021

Job Description

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 centre and graduate school for over 100 PhD fellows and 140 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 programs, 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 developing new research for policy impact in the nexus of the areas of climate change, innovation, and economic development.

Specific tasks include

  • supporting the development of the research agenda of the institute around the concept of comprehensive innovation, in particular in the nexus of climate change, innovation, and economic development
  • carrying out research projects and publishing in international academic journals and refereed volumes
  • coordinating policy engagements and related initiatives upholding and supporting the UNU mandate
  • supporting policy-making at the international level related to innovation policy and global public goods
  • 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
  • performing other related tasks as assigned by the Director


Key competencies of the position include:

  • extensive knowledge of the international research and policy agenda in areas related to the tasks of the vacancy is desirable
  • demonstrated ability to translate strategic concepts and general policy direction into the implementation of policy relevant research projects is required
  • 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


Education requirements include:

  •  PhD in a discipline relevant to the institute’s research program is required


Work experience requirements include:

  • a minimum of ten years of post-doctoral experience in a research setting is required
  • a strong research background, as proven by academic peer-reviewed publications in areas related to the research themes that are described in the link above, is required
  • five or more years of decision-making experience in international organisations is desirable
  • experience in managing international research programs in academia, research, or other organisations is desirable
  • experience in managing and seeking research funding from donors and international funding agencies is desirable
  • experience in the design and implementation of innovation financing frameworks in developing countries is desirable
  • evidence of teaching in a university setting is desirable


Language requirements include:

  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English is required knowledge of other official UN languages would be an asset.


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