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Research Associate — Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC)

New York City (United States of America)

  • Organization: UNU - United Nations University
  • Location: New York City (United States of America)
  • Grade: PSA - Personnel Service Agreement - Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Conflict prevention
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Peace and Development
    • Administrative support
    • Mine Action and Weapon Contamination
  • Closing Date: 2020-08-12

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About United Nations University (UNU)

For the past four decades, United Nations University (UNU) has been a go-to think tank for impartial research 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 SDGs, 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.

UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research in New York is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges. For more information on UNU-CPR and its work, please visit

Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC)

The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)’s Managing Exits from Armed Conflict (MEAC) initiative is a multi-year collaboration to develop a unified, rigorous approach to examining how and why individuals exit armed conflict and evaluate the efficacy of interventions meant to help support their transition to civilian life. The project is generously supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), and Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and is run in partnership with DPO, UNDP, UNICEF, the World Bank, and IOM.

The MEAC initiative aims to fill existing knowledge gaps about how and why individuals exit conflict today and what types of interventions are likely to ensure their transitions to civilian life are sustainable. It will create a first-of-its-kind collaboration to rigorously and longitudinally study the sources of resilience, challenges, and obstacles to exiting armed conflict. To do so, MEAC will roll out various survey tools in North East Nigeria, Colombia, and possibly a third country.

Research Associate

UNU-CPR is looking for a Research Associate to programme the MEAC surveys in SurveyCTO, conduct analysis in R, assist with tasks such as preparing the datasets for analysis, writing analysis code, creating figures and tables, and ensuring adequate data quality, management, and protection.

The consultant will report to the MEAC Project Director, Project Manager, and will collaborate closely with the Case Study Managers/Principle Investigators and field research teams in Nigeria and Colombia. The work can largely be accomplished remotely but will require some time in the New York office when COVID-19 restrictions ease, and potentially travel to Los Angeles.


Responsibilities of the position include:

  • programme a number of surveys in SurveyCTO and troubleshoot problems that arise with the survey
  • in coordination with the local research coordinators and enumerator teams, ensure that the surveys are correctly programmed in multiple languages
  • develop SurveyCTO training module for local research teams
  • monitor incoming survey data and conduct ongoing quality checks of the data
  • coordinate with local research coordinators around survey logistics and data collection
  • ensure management and storage of MEAC data comply with data protection measures as required
  • in coordination with the Study Research Managers/Advisors, lead data scrubbing as necessary
  • create R code to facilitate semi-standardised, regular analyses and reports of the data
  • in coordination with the Study Managers/Advisors, research teams, and MEAC management, analyse the collected data and other outputs to present findings, including graphics


Required qualifications include:

  • at least 2 years of relevant professional experience and a B.A. in computer science, data management, statistics or social science with coursework in experimental design, statistics, and/or survey research; an advanced degree in these fields in lieu of professional experience may suffice
  • proficiency in survey software (extensive previous experience with SurveyCTO is preferred), and advanced proficiency in R
  • experience with data management and protection
  • experience working on and analysing data from large-scale experiments, surveys in developing countries, or M&E studies and assessments is desired
  • ability to work within a team
  • ability to work remotely
  • strong analytical and data visualisation skills
  • ability to write and present findings clearly and concisely, preferably in a manner that translates complex ideas into accessible language for practitioners and policymakers
  • experience and/or interest in policy-oriented research and writing is a bonus
  • experience researching or working in Nigeria or Colombia is a bonus
  • excellent English-language skills

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.

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.


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

Duration of contract

Initially a 6-month part to full-time consultancy contract, with flexibility in hours and with the option to renew for another 10 months.

The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.


Flexible, possibly home-based work with periodic travel to the New York office, depending on COVID-19 restrictions.

Starting date

September 2020.

Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to and must include the following:

  • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
  • an updated curriculum vitae
  • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
  • full contact information of three (3) references (e-mail, phone number and relationship) [UNU-CPR will only contact references for finalists]

Vacancy Announcement: UNU-CPR Research Associate (MEAC) (247.5 KB PDF)

By email:


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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