Research Associate (PSA) – Tax and Conflict at UNU-WIDER. APPLY NOW!

Research Associate (PSA) - Tax and Conflict at UNU-WIDER. APPLY NOW!

Research Associate (PSA) – Tax and Conflict at UNU-WIDER. APPLY NOW!

About UN University (UNU) Research Associate (PSA) – Tax and Conflict

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 www.wider.unu.edu.


1. Contribute effectively to the implementation of the ‘Tax and Conflict’ project, as part of UNU-WIDER’s Domestic Revenue Mobilization programme focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Contribute to research on the links between taxation, violent conflict and state- and peace-building in conflict-affected states.
  •  Contribute to the Institute’s overall work programme on the links between conflict and economic development.
  • Support communications and dissemination activities for UNU-WIDER’s target audiences. 

2. Conducting research in support of the Institute’s programme of work more broadly on conflict focusing on achievement of the following results: 

  • Producing research papers individually or in collaboration with others at own initiative, related to the WIDER work programme, but not necessarily only part of the projects above.
  • Assist the work on building an evidence base and working on data, specifically on conflict, taxation, development and state- and peace-building in conflict-affected contexts.
  • Undertake statistical, econometric and other analyses, and synthesize key findings.
  • Writing policy briefs, blogs, academic journal papers and internal briefing papers.

3. Helping to convene events, multi-stakeholder meetings and discussions focusing on achievement of the following result:

  • Assist in organising regular online and offline convening activities, such as the annual WIDER Development Conferences and other events involving researchers, innovators, non-governmental representatives or any other stakeholders.
  • Identifying speakers, resource persons, documenters and scribes for above events and arranging for their involvement.
  • Undertaking documentation of above activities, production and dissemination in various forms; and
  • Managing event logistics and provide on-site support for any convening activities. 

4. Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor or the director.

  • Supervision of visiting PhD Fellows.
  • Other tasks of relevance for the implementation of the work programme. 

Key performance indicators

  • Timely and quality delivery of planned research publications.
  • Timely and quality delivery of other outputs (dissemination, organization of events, supervision of PhD fellows, etc.).
  • Quality and level of engagement with other researchers, teams, consultants, and partners.



  • 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

Qualifications of Research Associate (PSA) – Tax and Conflict

Required Qualifications and Experience Research Associate (PSA) – Tax and Conflict at UNU-WIDER:

  • PhD (completed or about to be completed in the coming year) in economics, political science, or a related discipline with strong quantitative skills.
  • A minimum of two (2) years of relevant work/research experience.
  • Research publications on conflict analysis or development economics in relevant journals or reputable working paper series.
  • Proven skills in STATA and other data analysis software.
  • PhD level competencies in quantitative research.
  • Knowledge of advanced econometric techniques.
  • International experience and readiness to travel internationally.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work independently in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


  • Skills in R, or other statistical software.
  • Experience in policy research and writing policy briefs and blogs.
  • Experience of work in a low- and middle-income country setting.

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent drafting skills and fluency in both oral and written English.
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under an international PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary of EUR 65,794.00, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station, as well as their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only in the event that the function will be undertaken physically in the duty station and excludes working from home arrangements.

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 1 year. This is a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on 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:  8 December 2023


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 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.


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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