Research Fellow on Data and Information Management

United Nations University

Maastricht, Netherlands

Experience: 0 to 3 Years

Skill Required: IT and ICT

The new Lab will be formally launched in Spring 2023. In the pre-launch phase of the Lab, the inaugural team of Computational Innovation Lab Research Fellows and Associates will co-create with UNU-MERIT staff a strategy for data analytics, information management and the data analysis platform addressing the complex challenges described above. This strategy process will identify and prioritize ideas and initial projects to maximize impact, visibility and partnerships for the institute.


Under the overall supervision of the Director of the institute, the Research Fellow on Data and Information Management (P-3) undertakes research, education and outreach activities in support of the institute’s Strategic Plan. The Research Fellow’s responsibilities include the following:

Data analysis and conducting research in support of the Institute’s program of work through both disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research:

  • Organize, design and carry out the evaluation and analysis of specific datasets on topics of relevance to the Computational Innovation Lab and the institute more generally
  • Produce and update high-quality information products and online services; maintain a data repository and ensure that the data are documented and accessible
  • Producing research papers individually or in collaboration with others (internally and externally) that fit within the disciplinary research activities of the institute and/or cross-cutting and inter-disciplinary horizontal research initiatives
  • Writing policy briefs, blogs, academic journal papers, internal briefing papers
  • Contributing to the writing of research reports, including reports for and on behalf of other UN agencies
  • Jointly develop research activities with colleagues in the Institute, striving for policy impact in the UN system, at international, regional, and national levels

Database and web management:

  • Design, develop and manage databases and platforms
  • Establish joint standards and processes for data collection, cleaning and checking
  • Ensure that platform design allows for easy and open access while retaining highest privacy and security standards
  • Design web user interfaces and programming of website and underlying software architecture
  • Design, implement and maintain features of the platform website using MySQL, CSS, HTML and other programming languages
  • Manage and continuously update content on the platform, provide overall quality control for the platform and ensure content is current and comprehensive
  • Understand, document, and ensure the quality of data for accuracy, consistency and comparability

Contribute to the fundraising activities of the Institute:

  • Lead funding acquisition to develop the computational innovation lab research agenda with respect to its data and information management research ambitions
  • Interact with researchers from the two research units of UNU-MERIT to develop joint research proposals and activities

Establish and maintain partnerships and professional relationships:

  • Build and maintain networks with relevant stakeholders, such as academics, donors, the UN system, governments, and private sector, for potential collaboration internationally
  • Engage policy consumers/partners to ensure policy impact of research outputs
  • Engage professional networks to raise visibility of the Institute
  • Support outreach and the dissemination of results

Strategy development and management of the Computational Innovation Lab:

  • Guide and manage the Computational Innovation Lab’s research program
  • Co-direct and supervise the Lab’s Research Associates, support other junior researchers and PhD Fellows
  • Co-create a strategy for data analytics, information management and the data analysis platform
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by supervisor


Education and certification:

  • A PhD (completed) in information management, information systems or software engineering or relevant quantitative discipline related to data science, complexity science or computer science.

Experience and other requirements:


  • A minimum of five (5) years of progressively relevant work experience in the area of (humanitarian) crisis management, green transformation or sustainable development, some of which should include managing teams of three or more staff;
  • A body of research on data and information management as demonstrated by a record of scientific publications, such as journal articles, book chapters, and scientific advisory reports
  • Excellent writing skills and a proven ability to communicate research findings to diverse audiences
  • A track record in funding acquisition and outreach as demonstrated through projects funded via public or private organizations
  • Strong communication and presentation skills, along with excellent drafting skills
  • Good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
  • Professionalism, flexibility and ability to work to realistic deadlines, creative thinking, results driven, foreseeing risks and allowing for contingencies when planning
  • Experience working with diverse stakeholders including public, private, non-profit and intergovernmental organizations
  • Experience in managing research projects in academia, research or other organizations


  • Experience in (humanitarian) crisis management, sustainable development or green transformation policy contexts within the UN common system or other international organizations
  • Experience in interacting with policy-makers, participatory research, and translating data- driven findings into meaningful insights and policy-focused reports
  • Experience in managing research finances and budgets

Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language is an asset, as is knowledge of Dutch