Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Location : Beijing, CHINA
Application Deadline : 25-Dec-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left : 7d 20h 36m
Type of Contract : Individual Contract
Post Level : National Consultant
Languages Required :
English Chinese
Duration of Initial Contract : 3 months, with possibility of extension


China has become one of the major South-South cooperation (SSC) providers in the world. Over the next five years, China’s development cooperation – in the form of grants and loans – is set to increase. In addition, China is continuing to support other developing countries through trade, investment, tourism and migration, regional integration and other forms of cooperation which go well beyond financial aid.

While China’s activities in these areas are expanding, there is scope for drawing lessons from international experience. In turn, many other providers can also learn a great deal from China’s approach to delivering development cooperation. It is therefore a priority for China to engage with others to enhance the effectiveness of development cooperation in future.

Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between UNDP and the Government of China to promote SSC in 2010, UNDP has been able to position itself as a key partner for China in improving its development cooperation effectiveness by being a) a provider of high-quality and relevant policy advice to China; b) a provider of information to others about China’s best practices in development cooperation, and c) a key partner for trilateral cooperation projects and other initiatives that help China to actively, and practically identify and make further improvements.

Given the expansion of UNDP China’s involvement in SSC in recent years, there is a need to continue to strengthen UNDP’s positioning and capacities in research and analysis of China’s development cooperation through preparation of knowledge products and supporting strategic cooperation with national research institutions and think tanks. This will require both strong knowledge of the relevant Chinese context as well as sound experience in facilitating, conducting as well as leading research processes, building wide national networks and relations across sectors, institutions and countries.

Under the guidance of the Economist, UNDP is looking for a research assistant to deliver UNDP’s objectives related to SSC, and in particular strengthen research capacity and networks.
Duties and Responsibilities

Assist in research projects on SSC and development cooperation in collaboration, including support in developing research proposals, shaping research objectives, identifying methodology and approaches, providing substantive inputs to report drafts, and ensuring applicability to the Chinese context etc.
Assist in providing technical inputs to knowledge pieces for internal references, including databases, background briefs etc. related to China’s development cooperation.
Support the dissemination of UNDP China’s knowledge products on SSC and development cooperation (e.g., through policy briefs, newsletters, workshops etc.) to promote a better understanding of the role of China’s SSC and trilateral cooperation in the international community.
Assist in project management and administrative tasks including contracting consultants, preparing budgets and annual reporting etc; facilitate and support cross-team work; and respond to any other requests by the supervisor and senior management.
Liaise with existing partners whenever needed Ready to undertake occasional missions in and outside China.


The Research Assistant will work under the supervision of the Economist and the overall guidance of the Assistant Country Director/Team leader in charge of the South-South and Global Development Cooperation Team.

Supervision will take place on a continuous basis as work requires. Furthermore, the contract holder will be evaluated on performance against the expectations by the supervisor. Special sessions will be held to give feedback to the contract holder and discuss ways for improvements and expansion of work. As a member of the South-South and Global Development Cooperation Team, he/she will benefit from the support and guidance of the other experienced members of the office through close and effective teamwork.

Solid knowledge of both China’s development cooperation, policy trends, institutional structure, modalities, volume, as well as global trends in development cooperation and among SSC providers;
Demonstrated capacity for undertaking research, preparing various forms of knowledge products as well as leading and supporting research undertaken by external parties;
Demonstrated analytical and writing skills and ability to produce knowledge products of varied types and for different purposes;
Strong interpersonal skills and ability to organize and coordinate diverse tasks and handle complex situations;
Excellent written and spoken English and Chinese;
Demonstrated translation skills (English-Chinese/Mandarin)
Demonstrated capacity for being an active team player;
Demonstrated capacity to apply computer applications and programmes, including word/data-processing (e.g., Word and Excel), database applications (e.g., Access), presentation software (e.g., PowerPoint) and Internet.
Familiarity with the UN system would be an asset.

Required Skills and Experience


Master’s degree in Economics, Political Science, International Relations, Development Studies, or a related field.

Work experience

1-2 years of relevant work experience, preferably at the national or international level related to development and SSC research and preparation of knowledge products. In particular, experience working with or researching on China’s approaches to development cooperation, as well as experience with development projects would be an advantage.


Fluent in both written and spoken English, and preferably Mandarin;

Personal CV or P11, indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number)
Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price.
Documents to be included when submitting application

Please provide Offeror’s Letter and proposal (download the format in the link provided: together with your CV while submitting application. For people who apply from UNDP Jobs, please note that the system will not accept the uploading of more than one document so please merge or scan all your documents into one prior to uploading.


Combined Scoring method – where the qualifications/skills will be weighted a max. of 70%, and combined with the financial offer which will be weighted a max of 30%.The final offer goes to the highest combined score winner.

All female and male candidates are equally encouraged to apply.

Only applicants submitted through the link could be considered.