Young Research Fellow, New York, United States 234 views


Organizational Context

The Human Development Report Office (HDRO) is a small multi-disciplinary unit located in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. The mission of the HDRO is to advance human development through the expansion of opportunities, choice and freedom. The Office works towards this goal by conducting original analysis and research, commissioning top quality background research, and, advocating practical policy changes. It works with others to achieve change through writing and research, data analysis and presentation, support to national and regional analysis as well as outreach and advocacy work.

One of its best-known outputs is the global Human Development Report, first launched in 1990. These independent Reports are intended to challenge policies and approaches that constrain human development, promote innovative concepts and to advocate practical policy changes. In each Report a different development theme is examined in-depth using available data and new analyses relevant to the chosen topic resulting in both an assessment of current status as well as a series of policy recommendations for the future.

The Human Development Fellowship Program

The Human Development Young Fellows Program (YFP) is expected to be a magnet for young, bright professionals who want to accelerate their careers, with an orientation towards research and analysis. As a HD fellow, you will make a direct contribution to the content of the Report and other products, to the quality and relevance of the background research for the HDR, to maintaining good relationships with external research partners and other relevant stakeholders, and in capturing the diverse reflections of experts in consultations that inform research and report development.

We are looking for candidates who are interested in building a career in research, a PhD being the likely next step, after the program. At the end of the program, fellows will have a strong foundation that will help them to pursue their career objectives in human development.

Duties and Responsibilities

Functions / Key Results Expected

This is a structured, one-year development program where fellows will have the opportunity to work closely with experienced development professionals.

Within the overall vision and the structure of HDRO, the Research Fellow, under the guidance and supervision of members from the Research Team, will provide analytical, substantive and research contributions to the work of HDRO. Such contributions would encompass contributions to the intellectual thinking of human development issues and paradigm; to the substantive work of the HDRs; to the work on human development measurements; and to the overall work of HDRO.

The fellow will undertake the following activities:

  • Research and intellectual work on human development issues.
  • Contributions to literature reviews, HDR data analysis and writing of the HDRs.
  • Review of background research for HDRs, communication with background paper researchers, and other area experts.
  • Fact checking of HDRs.
  • Work on the human development aggregate measures.
  • Contribute to compilation of data bases and graphs for indicators related to human development.
  • Prepare inputs for the proper dissemination of research, including presentations and materials for events.
  • Contribute to development of data visualizations and infographics.
  • Contributions to the overall work of HDRO.


  • Very strong analytical skills.
  • Good writing skills in English; French or Spanish in addition will be an asset.
  • Knowledge management, shares knowledge and experience.
  • Self-management.
  • Effective team player, that demonstrates commitment to UNDP values and displays sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Good communication and inter-personal skills.
  • Good understanding of the human development paradigm and its policy implications.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in social science with focus on social, economic, or political aspects of development. (Preference will be given to recent graduates, who completed their degree in the last 3 years.)

Work Experience:

  • Minimum 2 years of relevant work experience, preferably in areas of research. Have a good grasp of substantive and policy issues related to the study of social and economic development, and of the human development and capabilities approach.
  • Strong experience in quantitative data analysis using statistical software (STATA, R or Phyton).
  • Very good writing skills and ability to produce high quality policy papers as well as shorter memos and notes.
  • Collaboration and working in teams, exchanging information and ideas with others to reach common goals and making a substantial contribution to the team’s work.
  • Motivated to contribute significantly to the human development debate.
  • Excellent command of English (oral and written). Fluency in one or more additional UN languages will be an asset.

Language requirements:

  • Fluency in English.
  • Writing skills and verbal fluency in another UN language is an asset.


Only applications submitted through the UNDP Jobsite will be considered.

Criteria for Selection: Applicants will be evaluated based on UNDP’s cumulative analysis methodology (weighted scoring method), where the award of the contract will be made to the applicants whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

The criteria which shall serve as basis for evaluating offers will be a combined scoring method as follows:

  • Technical (based on CV/ desk review and interview) – 70%
  • Financial (fee) proposal (30%)

Only applicants obtaining a minimum of 49 points (70%) on the Technical evaluation would be considered for the Financial Evaluation. For those offers considered in the financial evaluation, the lowest price offer will receive 30 points. The other offers will receive points in relation to the lowest offer, based on the following formula: (PI / Pn)* 30 where Pn is the financial offer being evaluated and Pl is the lowest financial offer received.

Application procedures: Qualified candidates are requested to apply online via UNDP jobs site.

The application should contain: Cover letter explaining why you are the most suitable candidate for the advertised consultancy. Please paste the letter into the ‘Resume and Motivation’ section of the electronic application;

Signed CV that includes your past experience in similar projects/programs and contact details of references

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please combine all your documents into one (1) single PDF document as the system only allows to upload maximum one document (named CV).

Click here for important information for US Permanent Residents (‘Green Card’ holders).

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence. UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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