Senior Researcher China and Asian Security Programme
4 Nov 2019
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. Based in Stockholm, SIPRI also has presences in Beijing and Washington, DC.
SIPRI was established on the basis of a decision by the Swedish Parliament and receives a substantial part of its funding in the form of an annual grant from the Swedish Government. The Institute also seeks financial support from other organizations in order to carry out its broad research programme.
Research Area: China and trends in Asia
Responsible to: Director of Studies, Conflict and Peace
Managing: Researchers, Assistant Researchers, Visiting Fellows, Interns
Contract: 2 years, with possible extension
The SIPRI China and Asian Security programme is a part of the Conflict and Peace research cluster, together with the Institute’s other regional security programmes and the Peace Operations and Conflict Management Programme.
The Programme conducts analysis of the key conflict and security issues affecting contemporary China and Asia and, including both non-traditional and traditional security risks and China’s role in regional and global security. Where relevant, research work is undertaken in cooperation with other programmes in the Conflict and Peace cluster, as well as the Armament and Disarmament and Peace and Development clusters at SIPRI.
The purpose of the post of Senior Researcher is to implement, manage and develop the China and Asian Security Programme.
The primary responsibility of the Senior Researcher is to run a thriving programme on China and Asian Security.
To implement the programme strategy, the post holder’s main responsibilities are to:
• Together with the DoS Conflict, Peace and Security, prepare the overall programme design and strategy, which includes the research direction, budget, fundraising strategy, staffing targets and an outreach plan;
• Both lead and conduct research in the programme by coordinating and participating in collecting, processing and disseminating data and analysis;
• Together with the DoS Conflict, Peace and Security, lead fundraising for the SIPRI China and Global Security programme and advise others on fundraising;
• Manage and mentor staff in line with the programme’s strategy and Institute policy;
• Disseminate research results through the maintenance of a good pace of publications and other forms of outreach of high quality, in accordance with SIPRI productivity requirements;
• Contribute to a pleasant and stimulating intellectual and work environment in the Institute.
On the programme design and strategy, the Senior Researcher & Programme Director will work with senior colleagues to fulfil her/his responsibilities on the following:
• Research direction: With the Director of Studies, the Institute Director, and other colleagues as appropriate;
• Budget: With the Grants Manager;
• Fundraising: With the Grants Manager, the Director of Studies, the Institute Director and Deputy Director;
• Staffing: With the Institute Deputy Director and Head of Human Resources;
• Outreach: With the Head of the Communications Department and the Head of Editorial Department.
The main tasks of the Senior Researcher & Programme Director include:
• Conducting his/her own high quality research, writing up the results and working with the relevant SIPRI departments to disseminate findings (see ‘Productivity’ section below);
• Communicating her/his and team research findings widely and effectively by producing shorter written outputs, giving interviews, presenting in meetings and through social media;
• Preparing, coordinating, writing up and contributing, as appropriate, to research proposals for the programme and its members, and for other colleagues in the Institute;
• Together with the DoS Conflict, Peace and Security, ensuring that the programme is sufficiently funded, that all the programme’s research funding proposals are well presented and effectively argued, and properly budgeted;
• Networking with donors, policy makers and media among others to disseminate relevant research and policy findings;
• Managing and mentoring programme staff, including by encouraging them to communicate their research findings widely and effectively;
• Establishing annual objectives and monitor fulfilment of the objectives across the year;
• Responsible for fundraising for the SIPRI China and Asian Security Programme and advise others on fundraising;
• Taking part in the collective life of the Institute by attending and participating in seminars, Research Staff Collegium meetings, and other collective activities.
The Senior Researcher is expected to be productive in a variety of ways – by writing regularly, through seminar presentations and panel discussions, and by being available for interviews whether by the news media or for social media distribution by SIPRI and/or other organisations. Written output may be for publication in scholarly and policy-oriented journals, the SIPRI Yearbook, anthologies and conference papers.
The Senior Researcher is expected to write each year:
• 3-4 well researched articles, each of about 5,000 words in length, or the equivalent in the form of contributions to the SIPRI Yearbook and/or other publications such as a SIPRI policy or other research report of comparable length and weight;
• 4-6 shorter policy-relevant pieces such as blogs, op-eds, backgrounders, expert comment or fact sheets.
The Senior Researcher is also expected to be an effective speaker and lecturer. S/he is expected to participate in public speaking engagements (4-6 panel debates, lectures, workshops) regularly, and should be prepared to comment on film for SIPRI’s various video series.
It is also an expected form of output that the Senior Researcher collaborates on the agenda and session design, discussion questions and annual report for relevant SIPRI annual conferences.
In establishing annual objectives for productivity, the Senior Researcher and the Director of Studies may vary the details of these expectations and set alternative targets.
The position is based in Stockholm. As with all research posts at SIPRI, the position requires willingness and availability to travel for the purposes of, inter alia, field research, fund-raising and presenting and disseminating research findings. Given the distances involved, SIPRI is ready to discuss arrangements that would entail extended absence on travel and even co-location of the position in Stockholm and another place. It will, however, be important for this to be balanced by significant presence in the institute and participation in activities there, as well as by the larger need for work-life balance.
An estimate of required travel is 1-3 short trips per month (e.g., 2-3 days duration) and a longer trip every 2-3 months.
Qualities for the Post
The Senior Researcher should be a top-class researcher on China and Asian security, peace and conflict issues, with a strong track record in publication and fundraising, a talent for communication, the ability to manage staff and budgets, and entrepreneurial skills.
When starting in post, the Senior Researcher should have as a minimum the following experience:
• At least 5-6 years of experience as a researcher initiating, fund-raising for and carrying out her/his own research projects;
• A record of publications that is commensurate with the length of time worked in research;
• A strong broad knowledge of Asia, together with detailed knowledge of key security, conflict and peace issues in China or at least one other Asian country.
Knowledge and Skills
When starting in post, the Senior Researcher should have, as a minimum, the following knowledge and skills:
• Good knowledge of peace, conflict, stability and fragility issues in the region;
• Some academic or professional background in conflict analysis and conflict resolution;
• Proficiency in an Asian language, preferably Mandarin, as well as English.
A university degree or degrees, in disciplines and topics relevant to this post, at Master or Doctoral level, or publications to Doctoral degree standard.
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