The Nordic Africa Institute

Nordic Senior Researcher from Finland

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Closing date was 11 September 2020.

We are looking for a senior researcher in the area of democracy and governance with demonstrable experience in academic and policy-relevant research on African issues to join our team of resident researchers. The position is targeted towards a researcher with current residence and professional affiliation in Finland and for the duration of two years.

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About the Nordic Africa Institute

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) has a unique mandate to produce research and inform policy which is relevant to support development in Africa. We intend to develop our role further as the Nordic hub for Africanist research, documentation and policy advice and we are therefore looking for an experienced researcher who is enthusiastic about contributing to NAI’s research and policy work in the coming years.

The Institute has since its establishment in 1962 been an important research, documentation and information centre on modern Africa in the Nordic countries. NAI is jointly financed by the governments of Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and promotes research on and knowledge of contemporary Africa in the Nordic countries, as well as cooperation between mainly African and Nordic researchers. The Institute also disseminates information on current African issues, through publications, seminars, conferences and various policy-related activities.

Providing and supporting in-depth knowledge generation based on the voices of Africans, is fundamental to contribute to more resilient societies and achieving Agenda 2030 on the continent. We are a value-based organisation and believe that you are a person who actively shares your knowledge and are open to do systematic trend analyses beyond your field of expertise.

The Institute is currently implementing a five year strategy, 2017-2021, which has promoting academic and policy-oriented research programmes on Africa in the Nordic countries as one of its strategic goals. It is in pursuit of this goal that NAI is looking for a senior researcher in the area of democracy and governance with demonstrable experience in academic and policy-relevant research on African issues to join its team of resident researchers. The positions is targeted towards a researcher with current residence and professional affiliation in Finland and for the duration of two years.

As an applicant you should have experience from working in an interdisciplinary environment and from translating knowledge and research into policy relevant messages and policy engagement. Strong communication skills and experience from working with stakeholders such as government, policy, academia, public agencies, think tanks, civil society, and inter-governmental organisations are highly valuable for this position.

NAI offers a stimulating intellectual environment, an interdisciplinary research orientation, a team of international researchers from different social and scientific backgrounds, a library with modern facilities as well as attractive employment conditions. In addition, the Institute is linked to extensive networks of research institutions in Africa and the Nordic countries.

Job Description

Senior researchers at the Institute are expected to initiate new research projects and lead the execution of research projects/programmes. They are expected to work in an interdisciplinary environment and systematically share analyses with colleagues and stakeholders. Researchers are also expected to engage in other activities of the institute such as policy dialogues, media engagements, dissemination activities, planning and organising research seminars and conferences, scholarship programmes etc. within their areas of specialization and expertise.

Researchers should be able to participate actively in the preparation of research projects/programmes, review of different applications within the area of research. Other tasks and assignments may include planning, facilitating academic networking and dissemination of research findings. In addition, senior researchers will carry out other duties as may be assigned by the Head of Research.



  • At least the level of Senior Researcher in relevant discipline within social sciences or humanities.
  • A minimum of 3 years of working experience from Africa focused academic research and publishing on democracy and governance.
  • Proven experience in policy advice and media engagements.
  • Ability to present complex issues in a readable form for both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Strong analytical skills and expertise in various research techniques.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, and competences and skills in effective communication.


  • Strong networks of Africanists and other relevant stakeholders in the above mentioned research field especially in the Nordic region.
  • Expertise in the role of digitalization in relation to democracy and governance.
  • Proven knowledge of policy processes and policy environments.
  • Good knowledge of research centres, networks, and universities in the Nordic countries and in Africa.

The application should contain:

  1. Proposal for a research project not exceeding 5 pages which should include:
    • Research problem, methodology and conceptual & theoretical framework;
    • Potential sources of external funding for proposed research activities;
    • Strategies for disseminating research findings (including platforms for policy engagements and media activities).
  2. A complete CV with a list of scientific publications including books, articles, research reports, policy notes etc.
  3. Three sample publications by applicant that relate to the thematic area of research. (Preferably through links to online sources, and in two copies each if print copies are sent).
  4. The names, professional titles and addresses (phone, e-mail) of two referees.

As part of the recruitment process, shortlisted candidates will be invited to make a presentation based on their proposed research projects for the Nordic Africa Institute.

Condition of Service

To be eligible to apply for the position you must currently live and work in Finland.

Contract period will be for a fixed period of two years, with a probationary period of 6 months. Salary is negotiable within the Institute’s current salary levels and remuneration packages. The position includes attractive benefits and conditions offered for employees of Swedish civil service. Starting date is as soon as possible.

Contact persons:

Therese Sjömander Magnusson, Director, or Tania Berger, Head of Administration/HR. Trade Union representatives: Johan Sävström (OFR/ST) and Henrik Alfredsson (Saco-S). All can be reached at +46 18 471 52 00 or

More information about the institute’s research focal areas and themes, on-going research activities, scholarship programmes, library services and publications.

The application should be sent:

by email to (Including publications to the extent possible or by indication of internet addresses when available).

Closing Date for applications: 2020-09-11

The Institute promotes equal opportunities for all, and good representation of African regions. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.