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Research Officer

Geneva (Switzerland)

  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva (Switzerland)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date: 2020-12-17

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Before submitting an application, UNHCR staff members intending to apply to this Job Opening are requested to consult the Recruitment and Assignments Policy (RAP, UNHCR/HCP/2017/2 and the Recruitment and Assignments Administrative Instruction (RAAI), UNHCR/AI/2017/7 OF 15 August 2017.

Research Officer

Organizational Setting and Work Relationships

UNHCR¿s mandated responsibility for protection and finding solutions to refugee situations has long required stronger cooperation with development partners and the inclusion of persons of concern (POC) within national development programmes. Notwithstanding the Office¿s efforts over many decades, the proportion of refugees and internally displaced persons in protracted displacement situations remains high. Moreover, the diminishing number of people who have found durable solutions constitutes a worrying trend that has persisted in recent years. The increasing scale of irregular migration, large scale refugee movements, and the costs of responding to humanitarian situations have placed forced displacement high on the global agenda. These elements have driven the realization that humanitarian support alone is insufficient to lift displaced populations out of poverty, build and support resilience, enable solutions to their situations or assist them to realize their development potential.

The Global Compact for Refugees frames this new approach towards a more predictable and equitable responsibility-sharing, recognizing that a sustainable solution to refugee situations cannot be achieved without international cooperation and a whole of society approach. The SDGs provide a basis for inclusion, noting the principle of Leaving No One Behind. 

To support more informed programming, financing and advocacy by UNHCR, development actors and other partners, UNHCR has invested in gathering better data and is working to build a greater evidence base.  Part of this effort rests on identifying what are the key questions related to and influencing more impactful research that will ultimately benefit POC.

The Research Officer is the designated focal point for UNHCR¿s unique research portfolio that aims to influence the research agenda of key development actors to include forced displaced issues to ultimately trigger action aimed at supporting forced displaced populations and their hosts. S/he will provide oversight of research and knowledge products across the Organization to ensure the identification of essential knowledge gaps relevant to the needs of Regional Bureaus and Country Operations and will support both in designing situation-specific research agendas based on local demands. The Research Officer will also ensure close work with multiple entities within UNHCR to identify key questions related to socio-economic inclusion, transition from humanitarian to development assistance and resilience questions that should be researched and analysed in order to produce evidence-based advocacy priorities related to forced displacement.

As such, the Research Officer will be a strategic liaison with other knowledge partners including academics, think tanks and multilateral institutions along with key donors. The incumbent will provide quality assurance on all research-related activities and products, as well as play a fundamental role in disseminating and communicating UNHCR¿s research products to partners and the general public. Ultimately, the Research Officer will be to leverage rigorous research to inform evidence-based policies and programs relevant to UNHCR¿s core aims and operations.

All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.

- Contribute to a strategic vision and support engagement related to research around resilience and solutions in collaboration with key stakeholders within the Organization and external partners to contribute to the use of evidence in decision making.
- Provide support, guidance/recommendations to Regional Bureaus and Country Offices on the design of situation-specific research agendas based on local needs, ensuring buy-in from local partners on the importance of rigorous evidence informing their own programming and policies.
- Ensure smooth communication and coordination between HQ, Regional Bureaus, country teams, government bodies as well as external researchers and partners, serving as a link between these parties.
- Participate in official missions and deliver capacity building and training activities for partners and governments, where relevant.
- Contribute to proposals for research partnerships and funding.
- Identify and build collaboration with relevant research actors.
- Draft research reports, executive summaries, policy briefs and other documents for internal and external use.
- Conduct rapid reviews of current and relevant topics using articles, working papers and blog posts.
- Conduct literature reviews of academic and other scholarly works.
- Develop qualitative research tools and methodologies that deliver insights for programming, policy and advocacy of the forcibly displaced.
- Support efforts to systematically identify, catalogue and disseminate key messages, including through data and knowledge management
- Perform other related duties as required.

Minimum Qualifications

Education & Professional Work Experience
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree

Field(s) of Education
*Social sciences, Economics, Political Science, Public Policy, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology, Development Studies, Public Health
(Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Certificates and/or Licenses
Not specified.

Relevant Job Experience
At least 4 years of relevant professional experience in the social sciences (applied qualitative and quantitative research) both conducting and managing a research portfolio relevant to forced displacement. Demonstrated published analytical pieces that have been peer-reviewed. Familiarity with the state of the literature concerning the causes and consequences of forced displacement as well as relevant interventions for displaced populations. Demonstrated skills and experience managing research projects, preferably that culminated into publishing. Excellent conceptual and analytical capability and track record in developing tools/methodologies to ensure informed and responsible decision making. Strong collaboration and teambuilding skills. Ability to think creatively, and to explore, harness and translate innovative concepts into practice. Capable of multi-tasking and managing several programmes/projects at the same time. Excellent written, oral and presentation skills.
Experience working with multidisciplinary teams. Experience with qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Experience leading primary data collection efforts, data cleaning and analysis and working with data tools such as Kobo. Experience of working with synergies between the humanitarian-development nexus.

Functional Skills
CO-Drafting and Documentation;
CO-Strategic Communication;
MG-Project Management;
EC-Statistical and modelling software;
IM-Statistics Analysis;
DM-Data Collection and Analysis;
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)

Language Requirements

For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.

This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates. C001L3 - Accountability Level 3
C002L3 - Teamwork & Collaboration Level 3
C003L3 - Communication Level 3
C004L3 - Commitment to Continuous Learning Level 3
C005L3 - Client & Result Orientation Level 3
C006L3 - Organizational Awareness Level 3
M001L3 - Empowering and Building Trust Level 3
M003L3 - Judgement and Decision Making Level 3
X001L3 - Analytical Thinking Level 3
X005L3 - Planning and Organizing Level 3
X008L3 - Stakeholder Management Level 3

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please note that UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, travelling, processing, training or any other fees).

Please note that the closing date for vacancies in this addendum is Monday 7 December 2020 (midnight Geneva time).

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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