Home Grants and Funding Opportunities UNU-International Institute for Global Health Post Doctoral Fellow

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.

About Institute (UNU-IIGH)

UNU-International Institute for Global Health is one of 13 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system. UNU-IIGH was established in 2005 with the mission to advance evidence-based policy on key issues related to sustainable development and global health. UNU-IIGH aims to build knowledge and capacity for decision making by UN agencies, UN programmes and Member States towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Leveraging its position within the UN, UNU-IIGH works with a network of academic, policy and civil society experts to serve as a platform for critical thinking and exchange of knowledge and tools for policy influence and consensus-building.

This post-doctoral fellow position is open for a candidate with an interest in global health policy and governance and the interface between global health institutions and country-level actors. The successful candidate will contribute to a programme of work within UNU-IIGH aimed at addressing accountability deficits within the global health system and enabling initiatives directed towards a decolonisation of global health.

Generic Responsibilities of a Post-doctoral Fellow

1. Conducting research in support of the Institute’s programme of work focusing on:

This may include the production of relevant analysis and guidance, conducting literature searches and reviews; designing research studies; and collecting and analyzing primary data.

2. Drafting and helping to finalise research outputs of various kinds

This may include policy briefs, blogs, academic journal papers and internal briefing papers.

3. Helping to convene multi-stakeholder meetings and discussions focusing on the achievement of the following results

This may include the design and management of logistical arrangements, handling communication with external stakeholders, writing up minutes of meetings and conversations, and facilitating collaborative partnership work amongst participating actors

4. Contributing to information, education and communication activities

This may include developing teaching slides and other types of educational material, contributing to IIGH’s website, and enhancing IIGH’s social media profile

5. Contributing to the routine management and administrative tasks of the Institute

This may include contributing to IIGH’s internal reporting obligations, preparing and chairing internal management meetings, and organizing internal seminars. 

Key performance indicators

  • Timely production of high-quality research and research outputs
  • Demonstrable improvements in project management competencies
  • Successful organization of meetings with external stakeholders
  • Development of improved working relationships with research partners, member state governments, donors, and civil society organizations



  • 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


Education and certification


  • PhD in public health or relevant field (completed within the last five years), or an MD with a relevant Masters’ degree. Applicants who have submitted their PhD but have not yet been awarded their degree may also be eligible to apply.



  • At least one year of professional experience in public health research, policy, or programming
  • Familiarity with systematic approaches to searching and evaluating scientific literature
  • Masters level competencies in both quantitative and qualitative research
  • Experience in policy research and writing policy briefs
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Excellent time management skills


• Experience in working on interdisciplinary research projects

• Experience in writing peer-reviewed manuscripts

• Knowledge of global health governance structures and processes

• Experience of work in a low and middle income country setting

• Interest in gender-responsive research and/or programming

• Ability to work independently

Language Requirements

  • Oral and written fluency in English is required
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under a PSA contract and no allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package, including a monthly salary of US$3,028.92, commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications. Benefits include 30 days of annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

UNU will cover the cost of travel of the individual to the duty station and their return to their home upon completion of their services. Travel costs are covered only if the function is 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

This is full-time employment. The duration of the initial contract is 1 year, which can be extended for an additional 12-month period. 

Expected start date: 1 January 2024

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:  20 August 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 not 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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