Job Opening

Posting Title: Research Officer (Cocaine), P3
Department/Office: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Duty Station: VIENNA
Posting Period: 19 August 2020 - 02 October 2020
Job Opening Number: 20-Social Affairs-UNODC-139347-R-Vienna (E)
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Drug Research Section (DRS), Research and Trend Analysis Branch (RAB), Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Vienna. The incumbent will work under the direct supervision of the Research Officer (Cocaine) (P-4) and the overall guidance of the Chief of DRS. The incumbent will also work in close collaboration with other officers/analysts of the project “Strengthening criminal investigation and criminal justice cooperation along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa” (CRIMJUST) in the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch (OCB) of the Division for Treaty Affairs (DTA), RAB in Vienna and in the field.

For more information on UNODC, please visit our website:


In the framework of UNODCs research on cocaine markets and trafficking routes, and in collaboration with other officers in Vienna and in the field, the incumbent will contribute to the development of UNODC’s data collection/monitoring capacity on cocaine markets and trafficking routes and will be responsible for drafting parts of the first World Cocaine Report. The incumbent will also be responsible for drafting operational briefs on recent trends in cocaine markets.

The incumbent will, in particular, perform the following specific tasks:

- Contribute to the research design, data collection, analysis and drafting of the first World Cocaine Report.
- Monitor the evolution of cocaine markets and trafficking routes through both quantitative and qualitative research.
- Routinely collect and review information and reports from UNODC and other UN offices, governmental institutions, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations (IGOs/NGOs), media reports and other relevant sources on cocaine markets and trafficking routes.
- Liaise with UNODC and other experts, officials of governments and research institutions, representatives of national, regional and global organizations in identification of relevant sources of information.
- Identify, select relevant sources, information and data and ensure correct usage of data and information resources as they relate to individual studies/assessments.
- Organize the input into the Drug Monitoring Platform on individual drug seizure cases and solicit further data sources.
- Undertake substantive research and contribute to the development and implementation of regional/country studies/threat assessments on the cocaine supply chain and the cocaine markets and their linkages with organized crime, governance, security and development issues, including in particular relevant trans-national issues.
- Undertake research, including fieldwork, using standard social science research tools and practices.
- Provide expertise for preparing survey questionnaires, survey reports and presentations.
- Contribute to the development of indicators through the identification of appropriate data sources and production of relevant methodology in consultation with international and governmental experts, academic and research institutions.
- Prepare written outputs, such as background and working papers, analytical notes and presentations to governing and technical bodies.
- Provide substantive inputs to technical assistance projects and participate in relevant field missions, training, workshops and seminars and respond to demands for information on specific topics.
- Participate in dissemination and briefing activities on assigned topics.
- Undertake other work-related assignments as may be required.


PROFESSIONALISM: Has knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and approaches relevant to drug related issues and knowledge of the mandates of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Has knowledge of research methods, approaches and techniques and has very good analytical skills to identify, analyse, and articulate difficult issues/problems. Is able to use sound judgment. Has strong research skills, including the ability to evaluate and integrate information from a variety of sources using standard methodologies and analytical techniques, draw conclusions and assess impact on the social development and policy issues. Is able to propose innovative research solutions and methods, and to prioritize tasks. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations. Takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.

TEAMWORK: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational goals; solicits input by genuinely valuing others’ ideas and expertise; is willing to learn from others; places team agenda before personal agenda; supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when such decisions may not entirely reflect own position; shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings.

PLANNING & ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.


Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in social sciences, environmental sciences, criminology, economics, law or other related field is required. A first-level university degree in similar fields in combination with two additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

A minimum of five years of relevant professional work experience in areas related to the research, collection and analysis of data on drugs and/or crime at the national or international level is required.
At least two years of international work experience, is required.
Experience in drafting research reports in English is required.
Experience in working with law enforcement authorities and producing strategic analysis for such operational audiences is desirable.
Research experience on drug supply and markets is desirable.
Track record of research publications on drug market issues, as first or contributing author, is desirable.
Experience in collaborative research and in international comparative research is desirable.
Practical research experience in the field of organized crime, or counter-terrorism, with a focus on data analysis, and security/strategic policy development is desirable.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in spoken and written English and Spanish is required. Knowledge of other official UN languages, in particular French, is an asset. Knowledge of Portuguese is desirable.


Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise and a competency-based interview.

Special Notice

This is a project post. Filling of this position is subject to funding availability and the initial appointment will be for a period of one year. Extension of appointment against this position is subject to extension of the mandate and/or availability of funding.

Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

Vienna is an H and a family duty station.

United Nations Considerations

According to article 101, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations, the paramount consideration in the employment of the staff is the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. Candidates will not be considered for employment with the United Nations if they have committed violations of international human rights law, violations of international humanitarian law, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or if there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have been involved in the commission of any of these acts. The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. The term “sexual abuse” means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The term “sexual harassment” means any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation, when such conduct interferes with work, is made a condition of employment or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, and when the gravity of the conduct warrants the termination of the perpetrator’s working relationship. Candidates who have committed crimes other than minor traffic offences may not be considered for employment.

Due regard will be paid to the importance of recruiting the staff on as wide a geographical basis as possible. The United Nations places no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. The United Nations Secretariat is a non-smoking environment.

Applicants are urged to follow carefully all instructions available in the online recruitment platform, inspira. For more detailed guidance, applicants may refer to the Manual for the Applicant, which can be accessed by clicking on “Manuals” hyper-link on the upper right side of the inspira account-holder homepage.

The evaluation of applicants will be conducted on the basis of the information submitted in the application according to the evaluation criteria of the job opening and the applicable internal legislations of the United Nations including the Charter of the United Nations, resolutions of the General Assembly, the Staff Regulations and Rules, administrative issuances and guidelines. Applicants must provide complete and accurate information pertaining to their personal profile and qualifications according to the instructions provided in inspira to be considered for the current job opening. No amendment, addition, deletion, revision or modification shall be made to applications that have been submitted. Candidates under serious consideration for selection will be subject to reference checks to verify the information provided in the application.

Job openings advertised on the Careers Portal will be removed at 11:59 p.m. (New York time) on the deadline date.

No Fee


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