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Research Fellow - Power & Accountability (P3) (PSA)

United Nations University


Posted 4 weeks ago

Contribute to Resolving Global Challenges with the United Nations University as a Research Fellow in Kuala Lumpur


icon Salary

£59151 - £62024

icon Location

UNU-IIGH Building, HCTM Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak

icon Expires

Expires at anytime

Organisation Summary

At the forefront of international efforts, the United Nations University (UNU) is a beacon of knowledge and progress within the UN system, dedicated to resolving the world's most pressing problems. With 40 years of research excellence, UNU supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its global network of scholars and partnerships with UN agencies and academia. For more insight, visit

The UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) in Kuala Lumpur is a leading research and training institute within UNU, focusing on key global health and sustainable development issues, advocating for health policy frameworks and preventive approaches to health care. Learn more at

Role Summary

  • Conduct and support cutting-edge research in global health governance.
  • Develop working papers, policy briefs, and synthesize policy-relevant evidence.
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder meetings and discussions.
  • Represent UNU-IIGH in global forums and contribute to educational activities.
  • Assist in routine management and administration at the Institute.
  • Provide training and create resources to strengthen capacity in the Global South.
  • Supervise junior researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and interns.

Role Requirements

  • PhD in public health or related field, or an MD with a relevant Master's degree.
  • Over seven years of experience in public health research, policy, or programming.
  • Proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research, policy analysis, and systematic literature review.
  • Proven track record of peer-reviewed publications and policy briefs.
  • Time management skills and the ability to work independently.
  • Desirable experience includes gender-responsive research, interdisciplinary projects, knowledge of global health governance, and work in low- and middle-income countries.

About United Nations University

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. For more information, please visit

About the Institute (UNU-IIGH, Kuala Lumpur)

is one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in
the UNU system.UNU-IIGH was established in 2007 to advance
evidence-based policy on key sustainable development and global health issues.
UNU-IIGH aims to build knowledge and capacity in global health for decision
making by UN agencies, UN programmes and Member states towards achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals. The aim is to contribute to developing and
strengthening health policy frameworks and management actions, particularly for
people in developing countries, and support the implementation of promotive and
preventive approaches to human health. The UNU-IIGH’s research and capacity
building in global health relates specifically to informing the policy debates
and directions that ensure that in keeping with the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), “no one is left behind”.

a neutral convener and leveraging its position within the UN, UNU-IIGH works
with a network of academic, policy, and civil society experts to serve as a
platform for critical thinking and exchange of knowledge and tools for policy
influence and capacity strengthening. Specifically, the Institute’s work
engages with policy debates and seeks pathways to reduce the impact of
inequalities and marginalisation on health, health service delivery and access
to health care. Critical considerations are intersections of gender, race, and
class and the role of universal health coverage, global health governance,
accountability and human rights.

The position

UNU-IIGH is recruiting a research fellow to contribute to a new work programme on power and accountability in global health. The programme sets out to improve the functioning of the global health system and enhance its effectiveness in reducing health inequalities, promote anti-colonial approaches to global health improvement and ensure more democratic and accountable modes of governance. For further information, please visit

UNU-IIGH is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and extensive experience in policy-relevant research to work on global health governance and the political economy of global health. The successful candidate is expected to based in Kuala Lumpur where he/she will enjoy an excellent multicultural environment and opportunities to interact with scholars and policy makers from different countries and diverse educational backgrounds.


The Research Fellow will be:

  • Conducting and supporting research
  • Synthesizing policy-relevant evidence and producing working papers and policy briefs
  • Helping to convene multi-stakeholder meetings and discussions
  • Representing the Institute in meetings and forums
  • Contributing to the information, education and communication activities
  • Contributing to the routine management and administrative tasks of the Institute
  • Building capacity of researchers, policymakers and civil society organisations in the Global South through training and production of manuals and other knowledge products
  • Supervise postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, junior researchers, and interns; and
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the Director



  • 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

Required qualifications and experience for the position include:

  1.   PhD in public health or relevant field or an MD with a relevant Masters' degree. 
  2.   At least seven years of professional experience in public health research, policy, or programming.
  3.   Familiarity with systematic approaches tosearching and evaluating scientific literature
  4.   Demonstrated competencies in both quantitative andqualitative research design, data analysis and interpretation
  5.   Experience with policy-relevant research,including formulating of policy-relevant research questions and/orundertaking policy analysis
  6.   Experience with writing peer-reviewed articles andpolicy briefs
  7.   Excellent time management skills
  8.   Ability to work independently

1.    Familiarity with gender-responsive research and/orprogramming

2.    Experience in working on interdisciplinaryresearch projects

3.    Knowledge of global health governance structures and processes

4.    Knowledge of implementation research and systems thinking approaches

5.    Experience of work in a low- and middle-income country setting


The successful candidate will be employed under a PSA contract at P-3 level and no relocation allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary of in the range of USD 59,151.00 and USD 62,024.00,commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days of annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

Duration of contract

The duration of the initial contract is 12 months. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA holders 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

16 June 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

PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

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. 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 at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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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