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Senior Research Fellow (P-5)

United Nations University


Posted over 30 days ago...


Join UNU-WIDER in driving sustainable and inclusive development in Mozambique with impactful research and policy advice.


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No salary declared 😔

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Maputo, MZ

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In-person- Maputo Mozambique

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Expires at anytime

The United Nations University (UNU) is an acclaimed international organization dedicated to generating research that influences global policies for a better world. UNU-WIDER, the organization's think tank for development economics, is known for its data-driven policy advice aimed at fostering equitable growth worldwide. The institute, which has been operational since 1985, is a hub for thought leadership and partnerships with a variety of UN agencies and academic institutions globally. Learn more about UNU-WIDER at

UNU-WIDER is currently leading the 'Inclusive Growth in Mozambique' (IGM) programme and is seeking a dynamic individual to manage its operations, research, and capacity-building activities within the country. More information on the IGM programme can be found at

  • Key role in the management and operation of UNU-WIDER’s Mozambique country programme.
  • Oversee partnerships and collaborations with local academic and policy institutions.
  • Design and implement research and capacity-building activities.
  • Supervise and train junior research staff.
  • Contribute to strategic planning and fundraising for the institute.
  • Publish and disseminate research findings and participate in policy dialogues.
  • PhD in development economics or related field with strong quantitative skills.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience with supervisory roles.
  • Experience in Mozambique and familiarity with local institutions.
  • Strong track record in development economics research and policy engagement.
  • Proficiency in Portuguese and English.
  • Excellent project management and team leadership skills.

The position offers a competitive, tax-exempt salary, including additional benefits such as annual leave, pension, and health insurance. This full-time contract has an initial term of one year, with the possibility of renewal. The role is based in Maputo, Mozambique, with expected travel requirements.

Interested candidates should apply by completing the UNU P11 Form, providing a motivation statement, and answering position-specific questions. The application deadline is 19 March 2024. Assessments and interviews will follow for candidates who meet the qualifications.

UNU is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and inclusion, and encourages applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission 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.

For the past four decades, United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans 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.

United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

UNU-WIDER is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system.

UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today, it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme are available at

UNU-WIDER has been co-implementing since 2015 a research and capacity development programme in Mozambique called ‘Inclusive Growth in Mozambique’ (IGM). The objective of the programme is to support the Mozambican government in designing evidence-based policies that shape inclusive growth and benefit the poorest and most vulnerable groups. The programme is implemented in a partnership between the National Directorate of Economic and Development Policies (DNPED) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Mozambique (MEF), the Centre for Economic and Management Studies (CEEG) of the Faculty of Economics of the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), and the Development Economics Research Group at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH-DERG). More information on IGM is available at


1. Play a key role in the management, day-to-day operation and any future expansion of UNU-WIDER’s Mozambique country programme

  • Oversee the day-to-day operation of the ‘Inclusive Growth in Mozambique’ (IGM) programme and other projects implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique, in close collaboration with the UNU-WIDER Partnerships and Programme Unit staff in Mozambique, including acting as day-to-day team leader of the UNU-WIDER team in Mozambique and working alongside programme partners.
  • Oversee and manage relations with local partners in academia and policy, including the two IGM partners in Mozambique: the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Mozambique (MEF) and the Faculty of Economics of the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM).
  • Contribute to the establishment of phase III of the IGM programme to start in January 2025 depending on donor negotiations, including the design of the research, policy and capacity building activities of the programme and supporting and managing donor and partner relations.
  • Design, implement and manage research projects, commission research, and build collaborative networks to advance the overall aim of the IGM programme and other future research programmes implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique.
  • Supervise junior research staff in the Mozambique country programme, including setting and monitoring team objectives, identifying training and/or development needs and ensuring performance management as relevant.

2. Institutional development

  • Collaborate with the UNU-WIDER management in shaping and implementing the Institute’s strategic and programmatic plans in Mozambique, with respect to the IGM programme and other future research programmes implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique.
  • In collaboration with the UNU-WIDER management, lead in fundraising activities that support the Institute’s strategic and programmatic plans in Mozambique, with respect to the IGM programme and other future research programmes implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique.
  • Actively contribute to an inclusive and diverse international work environment in the Mozambique country programme, and actively support exchanges and collaborations between the different research teams of UNU-WIDER.
  • Contribute more broadly to UNU-WIDER’s overall research programme through creating synergies between the work conducted in Mozambique and UNU-WIDER’s research teams in Helsinki, Pretoria and other locations where UNU-WIDER may establish its presence in the future.

3. Knowledge sharing and collaboration

  • Oversee the development of and managing of strategic partners and collaborators within the IGM programme and other future research programmes implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique.
  • Publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed journal articles, books, reports, and policy briefs and actively represent the Institute by presenting research findings and policy recommendations when appropriate.
  • Lead and collaborate with the UNU-WIDER Partnerships and Programme Unit to establish contacts with the national and international scientific community, and open new opportunities for the Institute in Mozambique.
  • Help implementing the communications and dissemination strategy of the IGM programme and other future research programmes implemented by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique.
  • Conduct policy analysis and advise on policy issues relevant to the economic development of Mozambique, and other developing countries when appropriate.
  • Engage in international policy processes and agendas of relevance for UNU-WIDER research programmes in Mozambique and UNU-WIDER’s broader research programme.

4. Capacity development

  • In collaboration with the UNU-WIDER management, lead in the advancement of the Institute’s capacity development programmes in Mozambique, both within and beyond the IGM programme.
  • Manage the design and implementation of capacity development activities to advance UNU-WIDER’s Mozambique country programme and associated projects, including identifying capacity development needs, supporting training activities, engaging local partners in programme activities, and organizing workshops, meetings, symposiums, and field activities; and

5. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor

Key performance indicators

  • Continued high-quality programmatic presence of UNU-WIDER in Mozambique through the successful implementation of IGM programme and through a well-managed expansion of UNU-WIDER’s portfolio in the country;
  • A high level of academic excellence as seen by the publication of research outputs;
  • Successful recruitment to and management of the IGM programme and other potential research, policy and capacity development activities by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique;
  • Effective management of junior UNU-WIDER staff based in Maputo in ways that strengthen the IGM programme and other potential research, policy and capacity development activities by UNU-WIDER in Mozambique;
  • Contribution to the positive reputation of UNU-WIDER as a reliable and trustworthy partner among research partners, governments, donors, and civil society in Mozambique.



  • Inclusion — take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity
  • Integrity — act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards
  • Humility — demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others
  • Humanity — act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet


  • Connect and collaborate — build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan — seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver results with positive impact — hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and develop — pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate — demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

1) Education and certification

  • PhD in development economics, or a related discipline with strong quantitative skills.

2) Required skills and experience

  • At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible work experience, including managing research programmes in academia, policy research, or related institutions, together with supervisory functions.
  • Experience in working in Mozambique with academic and policy partners, and strong knowledge of local institutional settings.
  • This position is based in Maputo and thus willingness to live and work long-term in Maputo is a strict requirement.
  • Strong track record of research publications in development economics, including research on Mozambique.
  • Experience with fieldwork in Mozambique or another equivalent developing country context.
  • Track record in engagement with policy dialogues and agendas on issues related to economic development in Mozambique and in other developing countries.
  • Proven experience and strong skills in both project and team management.
  • Highly self-motivated, innovative, and organised, yet detail-oriented, with a professional and conscientious attitude and the ability to independently prioritise.
  • Willing to travel as required both within Mozambique and internationally.
  • Strong planning, organisational, and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently.
  • Good familiarity with organising conferences, workshops, and summer schools, preferably at the intersection of research and policy.
  • An excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

3) Language Requirements

  • Speaking fluent Portuguese is a strict requirement.
  • Excellent drafting skills and fluency in both oral and written English and Portuguese is a requirement.
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.

UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy. For more information please see: 

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.

For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years.

Expected start date: As soon as possible

How to Apply

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline: 19 March 2024


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

Special notice

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector's authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

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 organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are also encouraged to apply.

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.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

Information about UNU rosters

UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement.We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU.

Scam warning

UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.


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