Vacancy: UNU-GCM Research Associate

Organizational Unit: UNU Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (UNU-GCM)

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.

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:


This Research Associate will work closely with the Director and other team members of UNU-GCM on drafting a baseline report addressing xenophobia and representations of migrants in the media. This report will form a key output in support of UNU’s current Chairmanship of the Global Migration Group (GMG) in 2017. Working arrangements are flexible. We seek expressions of interest from established professionals and graduates with proven experience of in-depth research on the nexus of migration and media.

The Research Associate will work towards an in-depth and globally relevant baseline report that explores and identifies routes to addressing xenophobia via the representation of migrants in the media in order to work towards greater inclusion. The draft report will be tabled at an international conference to be held in October 2017 and subsequently refined before publication by or before March 2018. The finalised report will be disseminated within the UN system and made available to Member States. It is also likely to serve as the basis for future engagement by UNU-GCM with the media to collaborate on addressing xenophobia.

The principal objectives of this baseline report are:

  • to highlight the central role of media in the construction of resilient, plural, and diverse societies
  • to identify and highlight good practices by the media that favour inclusion, and to engage media in positive practices in relation to the representation of migrants and the contribution of migrants to host and sender societies
  • to generate and disseminate new and insightful knowledge, supported by rigorous research and evidence, that advances policy-formation on migration in 2018, a key year when the proposed Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migrations is being negotiated
  • to complement and reinforce the United Nations’ “Together” campaign against xenophobia

The Research Associate should demonstrate:

  • a detailed knowledge of relevant international and comparative media practices in relation to the topics of migration and xenophobia
  • understanding of the priorities of the United Nations New York Declaration of September 2016 in relation to migration and xenophobia
  • strong qualitative and/or quantitative social science research skills
  • excellent English-language writing skills
  • the willingness to meet deadlines in a timely manner

Required qualifications and experience

 Required qualifications and experience include:

  • minimum qualification: graduate degree in an area relevant to the nexus of migration and media, with demonstrated proficiency in relevant research on migration and media
  • demonstrated application of social science research skills to policy problems
  • excellent communication and drafting skills, with proficiency in both oral and written English
  • good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-gender environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity  


Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience of the successful candidate. The successful candidate will be responsible for paying all taxes and any other fiscal obligations.

The consultancy allows for flexibility in terms of working hours and location.

Duration of contract

This is part-time employment on a Consultant Contract (CTC) with UNU-GCM. The appointment will be for four (4) consecutive months. No consultant shall provide services for more than twenty-four (24) months in a thirty-six (36) month period.

The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

Starting date

15 April 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

For further details on the application process, click here.