Switzerland: Research Coordinator

Organization: CERAH – the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action
Country: Switzerland
Closing date: 15 Oct 2018

To coordinate the research aspects of the “Humanitarian Encyclopedia Project”

Research background and rationale
The humanitarian sector faces one challenge among others: although practitioners and scholars acknowledge that humanitarians share a common set of principles, values and concepts, the definition and uses of such terms is by no means consensual. “Resilience”,“Humanity”, “Protection”: these central concepts in humanitarian action refer to a range of meanings and associated practices, depending on the geographical, organizational, but also disciplinary background of the people using them. Hence, in an expanding and ever more diverse sector, understanding each other in humanitarian contexts has become particularly important. The Humanitarian Encyclopedia intends to collectively interrogate how humanitarian concepts are used across time, geographical contexts, organizational cultures, disciplinary backgrounds and professions.

Building on an interdisciplinary, participatory and multi-methods approach, the Humanitarian Encyclopedia will
• Identify key concepts, systems of concepts salient to humanitarian practice;
• Map divergences and commonalities in the definition, use and interpretation of these
• Analyse the causes of common and divergent uses;
• Examine the impacts of common and divergent uses on humanitarian practice
For more information about the project, please consult the project website:

Job Description
Under the supervision of CERAH Director, the research coordinator will be responsible for coordinating and implementing some of the research activities of the project. Responsibilities include:

  1. Coordination of the research consortium
    • Organization of meetings
    • Writing and dissemination of minutes
    • Identification of research partners
    • Identification of authors for the writing of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia entries
  2. Data collection on concepts uses
    • Identification of a corpus of text-based sources on concept uses
    • Identification and organization of case studies
    CERAH is a joint Centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute (IHEID) www.cerahgeneve.ch
  3. Implementation of field-based research projects on some selected concepts
  4. Communication and dissemination activities
    • Publications
    • Conferences

Qualifications required

  • PhD degree in a relevant field (social sciences, political sciences, international relations etc.). Doctoral candidates having a planned date of defence are welcome to apply
  • Proven knowledge (through publications and/or training certificates) on quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Working experience in the humanitarian sector is an asset
    We are looking for a person with the following competencies:

  • Good track record in being involved or managing interdisciplinary research projects

  • Good publication track record

  • Excellent analytical and communication skills

  • Ability to work collaboratively with academic and professional stakeholders coming

  • from a diverse range of backgrounds

  • Ability to successfully manage multiple concurrent tasks

  • Strong analytical writing skills

  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills; working knowledge of French

About the CERAH CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, is a joint initiative of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). Bringing together a multitude of academic and humanitarian actors, the CERAH offers a wide range of postgraduate programmes for humanitarian professionals and a research portfolio in humanitarian studies, both of which strengthen reflection on and enhance humanitarian practice. Its broad stakeholder base, including academia and humanitarian organizations worldwide, allows the CERAH to pursue multicultural and highly participatory perspectives in all of its endeavours.

Starting in January 2019 (or at the earliest possible date); one year-contract renewable on a yearly basis.
Interested persons should send a motivation letter, a curriculum vitae (including a list of publications), and two references by October 15, 2018.
Short listed candidates will be required to submit a writing sample and will be invited for an interview in Geneva in November 2018.

How to apply:

To apply: https://erecruit.graduateinstitute.ch/recrutement/?page=advertisement_display&id=192