The Nordic Africa Institute

Senior Researcher in Development economics

The Nordic Africa Institute is a knowledge hub for research, policy advice and documentation on modern Africa. Based in Uppsala, Sweden the institute is a government agency, funded jointly by Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

The Nordic Africa Institute invites applications for the position of

Senior Researcher in Development economics

About the Nordic Africa Institute (NAI)

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) was founded in 1962 and since then has provided knowledge in the form of high-quality research, timely information and extensive documentation on Africa.  Over a period of half a century, NAI has remained committed to academic and policy research, information dissemination and documentation on African issues. NAI has followed the trends and development of Africa studies in the Nordic region and in African continent, and also actively initiated new ideas and forms of engagement to fulfil its mission as the main center for African knowledge in the Nordic countries and to serve its stakeholders in the Nordic countries and globally.

NAI is a Swedish government agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (not a university) and research staff combine commitment to high quality scholarly outputs with science-policy outreach to decision makers based in the Nordics and Africa. NAI is currently developing a new institutional strategy for the 2022-2026 period whose mission is to ensure Nordic decision makers and associated change makers have a deeper understanding of modern African perspectives and societal dynamics.

NAI is a value-based organization.  We have a joint foundation in the national common values for all Swedish governmental agencies and add our own core values of involvement, communication, trust and transparency. We sustain a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion. Everyone has the right to equality in the workplace, to balance his or her career and family life, and to work in a respectful fashion with others without fear of discrimination.

NAI offers a stimulating intellectual environment, an interdisciplinary research orientation, a team of researchers from different social and natural scientific backgrounds, a professional communications unit, and a library with modern facilities. In addition, the institute is linked to an extensive network of research institutions in Africa and the Nordic countries.

Job Description

The Senior Researcher is expected to lead academic activities and other intellectual engagement, including empirical research, webinars, and policy dialogue. In addition, the Senior Researcher will participate in other activities as may be assigned by the Head of Research or members of the Management Group, such as review of proposals for NAI´s scholarship programmes, plan and organize seminars & conferences, facilitate networking, inform Nordic decision-makers, brief ambassadors, dissemination of research findings and media engagements. The Senior Researcher is expected to have professional relationship with researchers and research institutions working on African issues, particularly in Africa and the Nordic countries.

The candidate is expected to have an excellent record of experience working on the economic analysis of issues and trends relevant to modern Africa, but with good capacity to connect to other research areas and different disciplines. There is scope to be flexible regarding what topics are the focus of research attention and policy engagement. However, for information, priority areas for NAI relate to: trade and taxation; youth employment and decent work; economic development and social protection; digital inclusion in the market place; migration and employment; fiscal sustainability and investment in human capital.


  • Minimum of a PhD degree in Economics, Development Economics, Development Studies, Political Economy, Global Studies, or International Development.
  • The candidate must have demonstrated academic experience (no less than 7 years post-PhD) in the economic analysis of Africa’s development, including research-based policy engagement.
  • Excellent track-record of cross-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary or trans-disciplinary working.
  • Strong methodological skills for undertaking empirical research.
  • Proven capacity to attract external funding for research programmes and projects.
  • Strong communication skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Demonstrated track record in science communication and policy/practice engagement with non-academic stakeholders.
  • Strong writing ability and capacity to present complex issues in a readable form for both academic and non-academic audiences.
  • Excellent knowledge of spoken and written English.


  • Demonstrated ability to undertake mixed methods research alongside social scientists with qualitative skill sets (e.g. from anthropology, geography or political science).
  • Working knowledge of research centers, networks, and universities in the Nordic countries and Africa, relevant to the proposed agenda for research and policy engagement, will be an added advantage.
  • An agenda for research and policy engagement that relates to one or more of the following areas: trade and taxation; youth employment and decent work; economic development and social protection; digital inclusion in the market place; migration and employment; fiscal sustainability and investment in human capital.

The application

The application should contain:

A) An agenda for research and policy engagement based on a 5-year time frame (not exceeding 5 pages). This should cover:

  • A research topic (indicative questions, theory, methodology)
  • Strategy for science policy engagement, including a statement of intent on intended contribution policy advice in the Nordics and Africa
  • Network strategies, with particular reference to Africa and the Nordic countries.

B) A 1-page statement outlining the applicant’s experience.

C) Complete CV with a list of scientific publications where it is clearly indicated which publications are formally considered as peer reviewed.

D) Three of the applicant’s own peer review academic publications most relevant to the position. (Either on-line links or electronic copies).

E) Up to three examples or a 1 page summary demonstrating science communication to non-academic audience/s. Examples could include links to media interviews, blogs, policy briefs, appearances at policy meetings, community engagement.

F) The names and addresses (phone, e-mail) of at least two referees.

As part of the recruitment process, shortlisted candidates will be invited to present their proposed research projects for the Nordic Africa Institute.

Condition of Service:

This is a permanent position, with a probationary period of 6 months.

Duty station is Uppsala.

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 1 January 2022.

Contact persons:

Eleanor Fisher, Head of Research; Dan Åkhagen, Human Resources Officer. Trade Union representatives: Johan Sävström (OFR/ST) and Henrik Alfredsson (Saco-S). All can be reached at +46 18 471 52 00 or through Please note that due to the fact this is vacation period in Sweden there may be a delay in response to questions.

More information about the institute’s ongoing research activities, grants, library services and publications is available on the Institute’s website:

How to apply:

Apply through our online recruitment system, link below.

Closing Date for applications: 3 September 2021

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

Apply for this position The Nordic Africa Institute Wed, 16 Jun 2021 23:59:00 +0200 Box 1703, SE-751 47 Uppsala Sweden