Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

About UN University (UNU)

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.

Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change - UNU-WIDER
Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

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.

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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.

Responsibilities: Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

1. Establish, develop, and lead a research programme and associated projects on the links between climate change, just transition and distributional outcomes in developing countries

  • Design a research programme in line with the Institute’s work programme 2024-2028 and conduct research activities to advance the programme in collaboration with UNU-WIDER’s Research Unit.
  • Design, implement and manage research projects, commission research papers and build collaborative networks to advance the overall aim of the research programme.
  • Identify and contribute to emerging issues in the field of just transition and distributional outcomes in developing countries that are of interest to key stakeholders, including the United Nations, member states, and national and international policymakers, and subsequently articulate policies, strategies, and approaches to address them; and
  • Line manage staff within this research team, setting and monitoring team objectives, including identifying training and/or development requirements and performance management issues as appropriate.

2. Institutional Development

  • Support the Director and Deputy Director with the shaping and implementation of the Institute’s strategic and implementation plans, especially in relation to the theme of just transition.
  • Act as a Certifying Officer on behalf of the Director of UNU-WIDER.
  • Actively contribute to an inclusive and diverse international work environment.

3. Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration

  • Oversee the development of and managing of strategic partners and collaborators within the theme of just transition.
  • Publish research outcomes in peer-reviewed journal articles, books, reports, and policy briefs and actively represent the Institute by presenting research findings and policy recommendations when appropriate.
  • Lead and collaborate with the Partnerships and Programme Unit to establish contacts with the national, and international scientific community, and open new opportunities for the Institute in the area of just transition.

4. Capacity Development

  • Support the advancement of the Institute’s capacity development programmes, including the visiting PhD and visiting scholars programmes.
  • Conduct policy analysis and advise on policy issues relevant to the relationship between climate change, just transition and distributional outcomes in developing countries.
  • Manage the design and implementation of capacity development activities to advance the research programme and associated projects such as organising workshops, meetings, symposiums, and field activities; and
  • Engage in international policy processes and agendas of relevance based on the research programme.

5. Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor

Key performance indicators: Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

  • Development and implementation of a high-quality research programme for UNU-WIDER on the relationship between climate change, just transition and distributional outcomes in developing countries, including the delivery of research outputs, policy advice and capacity development.
  • A high level of academic excellence as seen by the publication of research outputs.
  • Successful recruitment to and management of the theme on just transition.
  • Contribution to the positive reputation of UNU-WIDER as a reliable and trustworthy partner among research partners, governments, donors, and civil society.



  • 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: Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • PhD in development economics, environmental sciences, geography or a related discipline with strong quantitative skills. 
  • At least seven (7) years of progressively responsible work experience including managing research programmes in academia, research, or related institutions, together with supervisory functions is required; experience in an international setting would be highly advantageous.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the research agenda on just transition in developing countries.
  • Recognition by the scientific community, as demonstrated by invitations to editorial boards of journals, Advisory Committees, and keynote speeches.
  • Track record of research publications in areas related to climate change and development economics.
  • Track record in engagement with policy dialogues and agendas on issues related to just transition, climate change and development.
  • Established skills in both project and team management.
  • Highly self-motivated, innovative, and organised, yet detail-oriented, with a professional and conscientious attitude and the ability to independently prioritise.
  • Willing to travel as required both locally and internationally.
  • Strong planning, organisation, and time management skills, with the ability to communicate clearly and efficiently.
  • An excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills, as demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • Good familiarity with organising conferences, workshops, and summer schools, preferably at the intersection of research and policy.
  • 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.


UNU offers an attractive, tax exempt compensation package including an annual net salary and post adjustment, which reflects the cost of living in a particular duty station and exchange rates (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance). Other benefits include: 30 days annual leave, dependency benefits, pension plan and health insurance scheme. Benefits for internationally recruited staff may include home leave, travel and removal expenses on appointment and separation, education grant for dependent children, assignment grant and rental subsidy. For more information please see: https://careers.un.org/lbw/home.aspx?viewtype=SAL 

Duration of contract

This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal on a fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory work performance.

For academic positions, the combined duration of fixed-term appointments with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff 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: 5 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

Staff members of the United Nations University are international civil servants subject to the Rector’s authority. They may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

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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.

Research Fellow (P-4) Climate Change – UNU-WIDER




Simon Tyrus Caine

Simon Tyrus Caine is a solar energy expert with more than 10 years experience in the solar sector. Simon has worked and lived in more than 5 countries. Simon has been involved in solar installations, solar project development, solar financing as well as business development in the solar sector. At SolarEyes International, Simon manages content development and day to day operations of the organisation.

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