Research Assistant, Climate Change and Risk Programme

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Apr 09

Position description

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute whose core mission is to undertake research and activities on security, conflict and peace. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. SIPRI provides excellent opportunities for scientific and personal development. SIPRI is an equal opportunity employer.

SIPRI is seeking a Research Assistant (RA) to join the Climate Change and Risk Programme which pursues research on identifying and assessing climate-related security risks, and policy actors’ responses to those risks. The overarching goal is to identify and understand sources of insecurity linked to changing climate, preventing and resolving conflicts, and contributing to sustainable peace. 

SIPRI is currently searching for a talented and motivated RA to work on a new research project on conflict prevention and low-carbon development in East Africa. While the Institute is specifically interested in recruiting a Research Assistant with experience in working or studying in this region, all applicants with knowledge and experience working with climate change impacts in Africa in the context of peace and development are welcome.

The position is specifically focused on a project called ‘Conflict Prevention and Low-Carbon Development: Opportunities for Building and Sustaining Peace Through Renewable Energy Projects’, funded by the Swedish funding agency, FORMAS. The project focuses on the Omo-Turkana Basin Region in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia. Reporting to the Principal Investigator, the RA will be responsible for supporting the research and administration of the project. Opportunities may arise to expand the position, joining additional projects. The position is based in Stockholm but might involve occasional travel to sub-Saharan Africa. 

Main tasks and responsibilities 

The Research Assistant is responsible for supporting a range of research tasks on the project, including:

  • Conducting directed research and research support (both qualitative and quantitative tasks) which may include some or all of the following

(a) conducting secondary research for data on climate change, livelihoods, access to energy, politics, security and gender

(b) conducting or supporting research interviews with stakeholders in Europe and in Africa, in person or by phone/Skype

(c) supporting the development of participatory research techniques, including digital and citizen science

(d) analysing quantitative data sets using excel, SPSS or GIS

  • Provide logistical and administrative support to the project, as directed by the Principal Investigator
  • Support the dissemination of research findings with research participants, policymakers, practitioners and the media.


The successful candidate will have the following experience and skills:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (e.g. development, anthropology, peace and conflict studies, geography, gender studies, political science, social sciences) 
  • Experience of working or living in a developing country 
  • Strong awareness of climate change impacts across Africa 
  • Ease of working in oral and written English 
  • Experience (through studies or work) conducting qualitative research 

While not essential, desirable experience and skills include:

  • Language skills in Swahili, Amharic or other languages indigenous to Eastern Africa
  • Ethnographic or participatory research methods
  • Experience working with quantitative data analysis

Contract period 

This position may be taken up at 50% (part time) for 2 years or 100% (full time) for 1 year. This flexibility is offered to encourage a diverse range of candidates to apply. Should the candidate seek part-time employment, the position must commence no later than 1 July 2018.  Contract preferences will be discussed at interview. Salary package will be negotiated individually.

Application instructions

If interested in applying for this position, please submit a one-page cover letter, a CV (maximum 2 pages) and a writing sample from previous work or study. Applications should be sent via email to [email protected]

The initial closing date for applications is 12 April 2018

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please note that, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

For further information about the vacant position, please contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Amiera Sawas ([email protected]). 

The trade union contacts at SIPRI are Pieter Wezeman for ST ([email protected]) and Jiayi Zhou for SACO ([email protected]).

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