European vacancies

- Programme Leader on Migration and Cities , Barcelona, Spain



Organizational Unit : United Nations University – Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM)  


Position : Personnel Service Agreement  


Reference Number : 2017/UNU/GCM/PSA/PL/66  


Applications to : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


Closing Date :  22 September 2017   


Time zone : UTC+2    


United Nations University objectives


 The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to solutions to the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States. For more information please visit  


The United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM) is one of several research and training institutes of the UNU. Based in Barcelona, it works to contribute to good governance, cultural diversity, democracy and human rights through a better understanding of cultural mobility and diversity in the context of globalization, focusing especially on the major cultural and social phenomena of migration and media. The institute fosters cutting-edge research in these areas at global and local levels. For more information please visit:    




Migration and Cities 


Today, 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Projections show that urbanization, combined with the overall growth of the world’s population, could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.  

Cities, small and large, are at the forefront of receiving migrants. Cities are also made and remade by migration. In the imaginaries of many on the move, cities are spaces of opportunity and hope, where many seek to build new lives. They are also spaces where migrants may wait in transit, often for long periods of time. While cities have long been resilient to change, the current period is seeing the emergence of a range of new humanitarian challenges, particularly in a context where state policies are falling short and there is an increasing fragmentation in interests, policies and priorities. Cities as actors face the challenges of infrastructure and the provision of services for the numbers that arrive. Whilst many cities remain ill prepared to receive migrants, there are others that provide examples of good practice in innovative ways on a variety of fronts.   

Building on the precedent of existing research and publications on migration and cities, UNUGCM seeks a suitably qualified Programme Leader to further develop and enhance this area of expertise.    


Job Summary


 Working as the Programme Leader (PL) for developing the Programme Initiative (PI) on Migration and Cities, under the supervision of the Director, the incumbent:

 • Will identify critical research issues in the areas covered by the Programme Initiative (PI), formulates the PIs’ current research strategy with support and approval from the Director and Senior Research Officer;

• Will develop and implement a funding strategy to foster this line of research with the aim of achieving external special project funding for the PI;

• Will develop, monitor, manage, and evaluate research projects that are critically important for the strategic directions of the PI;

• Will be responsible for developing the PI team and monitoring their work, as well as fostering GCM’s contacts with other international agencies and donors;

• Will be responsible for GCM-wide public relations efforts and for knowledge dissemination and utilization, including participation in UNU, public and scientific fora, with respect to the PI’s domain;

• Will collaborate with colleagues and external contacts to support specific programme directions and projects; and

• Plans and chairs the PI team meetings.  


Primary Duties or Responsibilities  

Programme Planning and Development 

FUNDING and Development Responsibility 

It is expected that the incumbent will: 

• Lead in the identification of the overall development research problematic; 

• Identify and engage with UNU-GCM’s niche vis à vis the donor community; 

• Make contact with potential donors and take responsibility to secure special project funding;

 • Ensure the overall internal coherence of the PI’s project portfolio;

 • Initiate and implement ‘mid-stream’ corrections to the PI’s strategy;

 • Identify opportunities that will contribute to meeting the objectives of the PI(s) in terms of relevance, quality, policy impact, capacity building and in terms of visibility (reputation) of the programme and UNU-GCM;

• Participate in the elaboration of research themes through, inter alia, team meetings, internal committees, in-house research, seminars, and workshops;  

• Ensure that a regional perspective is brought to bear on programme planning for the PI;

• Establish important contacts and exchange strategic information with institutions; with researchers from research centres in the South and the North; and, with the international donor community essential for the conduct of GCM’s work;

• Keep up to date with literature on, and contribute to, research and current developments in the disciplines/areas covered by the PI’s and in the regions where the PI’s work is relevant at the international level; and • Collaborate with the Director in the identification and evaluation of emerging and key development trends and priorities in a particular region.


  Programme Management

 A Programme Leader, the incumbent will manage the Programme Initiative and team and as such: 

• Will be responsible for the PI’s overall policy orientation; 

• Will report on the PI’s progress to UNU-GCM’s management and to UNU with the approval of the Director;

 • Will prepare the PI’s annual work plan (including travel plans) and oversee its implementation; 

• Will be responsible for the PI’s evaluation planning and execution; and 

• In collaboration with the Director, manage and resolve human resource issues.  


Human Resource Management 

The incumbent will be expected to: 

• Manage, oversee and assign the work of the professional technical and support staff in the initiative;

 • Be responsible for the recruitment and the professional development in consultation with the Director; and 

• Be responsible for the performance appraisals of the members of the PI team.  


Project Development and Management 

With respect to projects that are critically important for the strategic directions of the PI, the incumbent will independently:

 • Elaborate research proposals, including conceptual, methodological, operational, evaluative, and financial aspects;

 • Incorporate, at the project design stage, plans for dissemination and utilization of research results; 

• Explore the potential for support and participation by the UNU research community;

 • Develop partnerships with other funding agencies to support project activities; 

• Negotiate with researchers and policy makers to increase the use they make of research as input in policy formulation; and

 • Identify and encourage links with other Programme Initiatives and between regions. 


 For projects critically important for the strategic directions of the PI, the incumbent will independently: 

• Manage, in consultation with the administrative staff, the preparation of contracts and grant letters, materiel purchases, travel arrangements, analysis of financial statements, adjustment of budgets and schedules, and project closures;

• Provide technical supervision, including analysis of interim reports, participation in workshops, literature searches, identification and administration of resource persons/consultants in support of projects;

 • Review final project reports of research results, and negotiates revisions and/or additional research requirements; and 

• Assist in coordinating the research activities of collaborative projects between UNU and developing country researchers.  


Research Utilization and UNU-GCM Representation

The incumbent will: 

• Assist researchers in writing, editing, and publishing research results; 

• Contribute to public and scientific fora through the preparation of papers for peer reviewed publications, monographs and books;

 • Identify opportunities and leads initiatives for strategic networking with other donors, lenders, research institutions and policy makers; and

 • Work with the Communications Office, signals the news value of GCM’s substantive programming and provides intellectual content and interpretation for the GCM’s public relations efforts.  


Required Qualifications and Experience Required qualifications and experience include: 

• PhD in migration studies, urban anthropology, urban studies or a related field in the social sciences;

 • A minimum of five (5) years of working experience in a relevant field, preferably in an international and multicultural environment;

 • A track record of securing special project funding;

 • Evidence of familiarity with donor networks; 

• Evidence of cutting-edge research publications;

 • Evidence of policy-oriented research publications;

  • Proven experience in the supervision of master’s and PhD students;

 • Excellent skills in writing applications for research grants;

 • Experience in fund raising for research projects;

  • The ability to build good working relationships with individuals of different national and cultural backgrounds; 

• Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to approach relevant stakeholders, team leaders, and donors; and

 • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English  Remuneration Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  


Duration of Contract

This is a full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance and availability of funds. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years. This is a locally recruited post; no relocation allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor is he/she a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.  


Starting Date: 1 December 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.  

Application Procedure: Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and must include the following: 

• A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;

• A curriculum vitae;

• A copy of the highest educational degree obtained;

• A list of publications; 

• A completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website.  Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations; 

 • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement:  2017/UNU/GCM/PSA/PL/66  The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations - Chapter 3, article 8)  

Please note that only the candidates who are shortlisted candidates will be contacted.  

N.B: The working language of UNU is English. 


Job posted on 22nd August 2017

Please mention Policy Jobs when applying to this position