Associate Director, Office of Research, Florence, Italy
Associate Director, Office of Research, Florence, Italy

Job description

Organization:UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund
Category:Research & Development
Grade: D-1
Duration: Fixed Term
Deadline: 5 December 2016


The Office of Research-Innocenti (formerly Innocenti Research Center), is the dedicated research office of UNICEF. It undertakes and commissions research on issues of relevance for children in order to inform the strategic directions, policies and programmes of UNICEF and its partners, to shape global debates and contribute to building the knowledge base to support better outcomes for children.

The Office of Research-Innocenti (OoR) is seeking an energetic, creative and committed individual to provide strategic leadership to its research activities, to manage diverse, multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, and to achieve ambitious organizational goals. This is a senior management role that will be pivotal to the achievement of the Office's ambitions to strengthen its role as a leading centre of research on children.

Under the general guidance of the Director, the incumbent will lead the development and implementation of a research programme relevant to the work of UNICEF, and provide strategic leadership to research staff working across multiple disciplines. The Associate Director will join a diverse team which includes research, communications and operations staff in a growing office with opportunities for expanding into new areas. As a key member of the office management team, the post-holder will help to shape the overall work programme and ensure delivery of results.

The position calls for a proven research manager and leader, capable of scoping out opportunities, and excited by the prospect of contributing to research that impacts the lives of children globally. The incumbent should be capable of fostering new ideas and innovation among research staff, ensuring high quality is maintained, identifying resource and partnership opportunities and representing the Office and its research within UNICEF and to external institutions.

Duties and Responsibilities

Research leadership: leads processes of research and analytical work that can benefit children globally; develops position papers, research proposals and other documents on key research topics, and leads office-wide processes to ensure the quality of research proposals being developed and submitted for funding; oversees implementation of research projects to ensure appropriate methods, quality and relevance to the work of UNICEF.

Building partnerships and networks of researchers, funders and users: develops, manages and strengthens partnerships, networks and collaboration; supports the Office and other staff in fundraising for research programmes.

Quality and appropriate dissemination of key research products: ensures processes for quality review of all research publications/products; works closely with the Communications team, and other senior staff to ensure high visibility of flagship research products; identifies opportunities for and participates as relevant in high-visibility presentations of research findings with media coverage or opportunities for policy influence; promotes publication of the findings of UNICEF-supported research.

Research facilitation and governance: supports the Research Facilitation and Knowledge Management team, and other senior staff on development of standards, guidelines, tools and training related to research and research management; collaborates in building a broad-based understanding of the value of research and its use among UNICEF staff; engages and leads in organisational processes related to the governance of research in UNICEF including the Research Task Force and Standing Committee on Research and Data.
Staff management: manages senior research staff and oversees the management of teams of multidisciplinary researchers; supports the Director in other staff management issues, as needed.

Office management and support to the Director: assists the Director, Office of Research in overseeing and coordinating the functions of the Office of Research, as appropriate.


Advanced university degree in social science, public policy or other development-related disciplines relevant to children and child rights; with advanced multidisciplinary research in one or more specialized areas relevant to children. A Ph.D. degree is highly desirable; equivalent research training and experience essential.

Work Experiance

Fifteen (15) years of progressively responsible experience in research and research management in relevant technical areas, at the national and international levels. Experience in leading the development and implementation of a policy-related research agenda. Strong professional reputation and profile as demonstrated by a substantive publication record on issues related to the work of UNICEF and the global research agenda. Demonstrated experience in fundraising for research.


Core Values


Diversity and inclusion

SSR competencies

Delivering results

Managing complexity and change

Impact and partnership

Innovation and risk taking

Leading, engaging and nurturing



Fluency in English is required, knowledge of other UN working languages is an asset.

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