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Research Assistant, West Africa and the Sahel


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 seeks a Research Assistant to work as part of the team in the Institute’s work in West Africa and the Sahel, namely on two projects, ‘Building Sustainable Peace in Mali’ and a project on the analysis of the security and justice sectors in Niger and Chad. Funding for these projects is provided by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and European Union, respectively.

The main tasks of this position, working together with partner organizations in West Africa and under the guidance of the Programme Director, are to:

  • Support capacity building of West African civil society organizations to strengthen their ability to contribute to policy development, including by engaging with the main stakeholders;
  • Develop a set of lessons learned and good practices in methodology for civil society monitoring and reporting on the safety and security challenges to improve peacebuilding policies in West Africa and the Sahel; and
  • Undertake research on topics of relevance for the project, write-up and disseminate findings.

The project requires fluency in written and spoken English and French. The position might involve travel to West Africa.


Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Contribute to the development of approaches for civil society monitoring and reporting of safety and security at the community level in Mali, Niger and Chad;
  • Contribute to the development of training modules for civil society organizations and of capacity-building modules for the population on safety and security issues;
  • Support (including logistics and administration) workshops in the region and in Europe;
  • Contribute to the reporting of project findings to the sponsor of the project and other project stakeholders;
  • Support the West Africa/Sahel programme in learning from its past and current activities in establishing guidelines for the research methodology; and
  • Help to identify possible activities for future projects in West Africa and fundraising.



The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A degree (Master’s preferred) in a relevant discipline with publications on relevant themes on post-conflict policies, peace, safety and security in the Sahel region and West African countries;
  • Two years of research assistance or project/programme coordination;
  • Experience in fundraising, with proposal and grant-writing skills;
  • Knowledge of francophone African history, economic, political, safety and security issues, and gender-related challenges (UNSCR 1325) as well as experience working with civil society, are assets;
  • Previous experience in planning and organization of high-level events in Europe and Africa is desirable;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and French; and
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.


Contract period

Starting from 1 January 2018, or as soon as possible thereafter. The appointment will be, initially, for a one-year period, and renewable. The post is full-time, and the successful applicant will be expected to reside in Stockholm with travel to West Africa. The salary package will be negotiated individually.


How to apply

If interested in applying for this position, please submit a one-page letter, both in English and French, detailing your qualifications and interests in the subject area, and a full CV in English with information about your educational background, relevant experience, skills, major publications and two writing samples (article, book chapter or substantial piece of writing up to 8000 words). Applications should be sent via email to Please state ‘Research Assistant, West Africa and the Sahel’ as a reference in the subject line of your email with the application materials.

The initial closing date for applications is 4 November 2017.

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

For further information about the West Africa Programme, please contact Dr Gregory Chauzal (

The trade union contacts at SIPRI are Pieter Wezeman for ST ( and Jiayi Zhou for SACO (