Office: United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
Position Title: Associate Researcher
Desired Starting Date: 1 December 2021 (Negotiable)
Duration: 12 months, with the possibility of extension
Occupational Rate: 100%
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research – UNIDIR is an autonomous institution within the United Nations that conducts independent research on disarmament and related problems, particularly international security issues. The vision of UNIDIR is a stable and more secure world in which States and people are protected from threats of arms-related violence. The role of UNIDIR is to support Member States, the United Nations and policy and research communities in advancing ideas and actions that contribute to a more sustainable and peaceful world. UNIDIR is based in the Palais des Nations, Geneva.
UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms Programme (CAP) engages with States, the United Nations system, and the international security expert community to build knowledge and put in place measures to regulate conventional weapons and related parts, components and technologies in order to prevent and address armed conflict and armed violence, and contribute to efforts to enhance sustainable peace, security, and development. CAP currently pursues three research priorities:
Strengthening policy and practice on weapon and ammunition management;
Adapting conventional arms control to the changing nature of conventional warfare; and
Preventing and mitigating armed violence in urban and local settings.
More information on the programme’s research and activities can be found here.
Within UNIDIR’s CAP, the Associate Researcher will perform the following duties under the supervision of the Programme Lead:
1. Assist in conducting research and analysis:
Produce original research and studies related to conventional armaments and related control regimes and instruments;
Review and edit substantive materials produced by CAP, ensuring quality control on all written outputs;
Support the Programme Lead and Researchers with the development of research design and methodologies to facilitate the implementation of CAP’s research priorities, in particular relating to conflict prevention and peacebuilding; and
Assist in the management and maintenance of UNIDIR tools and databases related to conventional arms control.
2. Assist in management and implementation of research activities by CAP:
Help establish project plans and milestones;
Support the coordination of project activities and budgets with the Programme Lead, relevant Researchers and institutional staff;
Liaise with partners from States, regional organizations, the United Nations and expert NGOs for implementing CAP research activities;
Organize meetings, seminars, and workshops for CAP, covering the full lifecycle of activities (including, but not limited to, drafting invitations, distribution lists, agenda, logistical notes, as well as substantive preparations for, and facilitation during, CAP events);
Produce meeting summaries, reports, briefs and analysis papers from consultations, meetings and events held or attended by UNIDIR on issues relevant to conventional arms control; and
Assist in monitoring and evaluation of project implementation, including preparation and production of publications, donor reports and other official documents.
3. Undertake day-to-day planning and organization of CAP, including (but not limited to):
Support the preparation of meetings, events and workshops on conventional arms control, including in relation to conflict prevention and peacebuilding, at relevant global, regional and national disarmament fora;
Ensure sustained communication with partners from States, regional organizations, the United Nations and expert NGOs related to CAP;
Support the Programme Lead in outreach activities with relevant stakeholders to promote CAP’s work; and
Organize and maintain documentation and records.
4. Support the design, development and review of CAP strategies and projects:
Assist in drafting proposals and concept notes on conventional arms issues, including in relation to conflict prevention and peacebuilding; and
Support the Programme Lead and relevant Researchers by leading and/or participating in consultations with stakeholders in the development of concepts and strategies.
5. Assists in providing policy guidance:
Draft briefs, memos, backgrounds on conventional arms issues, including in relation to conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
Assist the Programme Lead in gathering policy positions and recommendations on emerging issues as well as for issues covered under the existing projects; and
Carry out any other policy and advisory duties that the Programme Lead and/or the Director may assign.
6. Assist in other duties as assigned by the Institute’s management.
III. Schedule for the proposed work
A workplan for the duration of the contract will be established within the first two weeks of the contract. The Associate Researcher will have regular communication with the Programme Lead in order to set assignments within the workplan and monitor progress. The Associate Researcher will inform the Programme Lead if there are any issues concerning meeting agreed deliverables and deadlines.
The Associate Researcher is to demonstrate the core values of the United Nations: Professionalism, Integrity, and Respect for Diversity. In addition, in this role, the Associate Researcher will demonstrate the following competences:
Planning & Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.
Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Qualifications and Experience
Advanced university qualification (Master’s degree or equivalent) in international affairs, political science, international law, public administration, disarmament and arms control, international security or a related field is required.
A proven track record of drafting written outputs, including meeting summaries, conducting original research and analysis, and producing publications is required.
A minimum of 2 years’ experience in project administration and planning, including organizing events and conferences, drafting programme documents and report writing, is required.
Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), is required.
Knowledge of current international debates and recent developments in conventional arms control, conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and international security, is required.
Knowledge of multilateral processes regarding conventional arms and ammunition, and experience working at an international organization or an internationally recognized think tank, is desirable.
Familiarity with relevant stakeholders, including regional organisations, UN funds, agencies and programmes, and country-level offices working in the field of conflict prevention, peacekeeping/peace operations, and peacebuilding is desirable.
Knowledge of gender issues or experience with gender mainstreaming in a field relevant to the position is desirable.
For this assignment, fluency in English (both written and oral) is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is desirable.
Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview.
The Associate Researcher is required to travel during the course of this assignment. Dates and locations will be determined during implementation of the Programme. The Associate Researcher must complete the UN course BSAFE (online) and provide UNIDIR with a certificate of completion.
UNIDIR retains copyright of all documents and the ownership of the intellectual property resulting from all work carried out under this contract. The Associate Researcher warrants that any written work will be original works or that where s/he incorporates copyright material from another source, copyright permission for its use will be obtained. Written output(s) may be attributed to the Associate Researcher.
The applicant should submit:
A cover letter
a CV, or PDF of a UN Personal History Profile (PHP) created via Inspira
Name and contact details of three references
Applications should be sent as email attachments, with the subject line “Application: CAP Associate Researcher” to email@example.com. No applications will be accepted by post. Deadline for submission of applications is 22 October 2021. Closing date is midnight Geneva time.
Please note that due to the high volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you move forward in the process, you may be contacted for further assessment.
UNIDIR promotes the core values of the United Nations: Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for Diversity. Women are encouraged to apply.