Senior Research Assistant

I. Position Information

Position title

Senior Research Assistant

Position grade


Duty station

San José, Costa Rica

Position number


Job family


Organizational unit


Is this a Regional, HQ, MAC, PAC, Liaison Office, or Country Office based position?

Country Office

Position rated on


Reports directly to


Number of Direct Reports


II. Organizational Context and Scope


Established in 1951, IOM is a Related Organization of the United Nations, and as the leading UN agency in the field of migration, works closely with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. 

The Western Hemisphere Program funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), seeks to strengthen the capacities of States in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean to manage migration in a humane and sustainable manner. The Program has four pillars: migration management, regional dialogue and partnerships, migration crisis management, and communication for development. 

Under the general supervision of the Deputy Regional Program Coordinator and the direct supervision of the Lead Program Researcher, the Senior Researcher will be responsible for executing the following tasks:

III. Responsibilities and Accountabilities

  1. Provide technical support in the production and dissemination of knowledge about migration issues afecting the region, in accordance with the regional strategy and lines of action established in the Western Hemisphere Program.
  2. Ensuring the inclusion of the Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF) and other relevant IOM conceptual frameworks or guidelines in the planning, implementation, and reporting of research-related activities, at the national and regional level. This involves organizing and sharing information materials and trainings about IOM research guidelines to colleagues from the Western Hemisphere Program.
  3. Develop guiding documents such as terms of reference and concept notes for the technical planning and execution of the different activities related to the research unit.
  4. Coordinate the logistical planning and implementation of studies, this involves the preparation of monthly reports, workplans, budgets, field work agendas, interview schedules, planning and organizing materials for the launching of reports, among other activities.
  5. Supervise closely the work of research consultants and effectively communicate the progress on their work to the Lead Research Officer.
  6. Provide technical support in the development of methodologies, data collection tools, systematization and analysis of data, report writing, among other research-related activities.
  7. Monitor risks related to all the development of research projects and field work, and present reports on their development and possible adaptation strategies, in coordination with the Lead Research Officer.
  8. Coordinate the communication strategy of the research unit, developing visual materials, leading the distribution of findings and recommendations with relevant counterparts, and promoting its implementation.
  9.  Promote the adoption and application of a gender and human rights perspective in the design and implementation of activities related to the area of research.
  10. Work as a focal point or liaison with the Publications Unit (PUB) at Headquarters and with the Global Migration Data Center (GMDC) of IOM in Berlin to request for their inputs on the research projects and publications.
  11. Coordinate the work with the National Research Focal Points, which includes members from the different IOM national offices that participate in the Western Hemisphere Program, ensuring their involvement in the development and promotion of regional studies that have a national component.
  12. Participate, in representation of the Lead Research Officer, in meetings, forums, workshops, seminars, etc.
  13. Perform other functions assigned by the Lead Research Officer, according to their professional capabilities.


IV. Required Qualifications and Experience


  • High school degree with 7 years of relevant experience.


  • Bachelor’s degree in statistics, data analysis, or social sciences (public policy, international relations, law, international development, or other related technical field) with 2 years of relevant experience.



  • Relevant research experience, with a preference for reports and projects related to migration, including migrant protection and assistance and policy development.
  • Experience with international organizations, non-governmental or governmental organizations.
  • Demonstrable knowledge in data analysis, quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • General experience on migration issues will be an asset.



  • Project management skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems and integrate knowledge from a range of sources and then synthesis information to develop an understanding of relevant theoretical and empirical concepts and fields of research.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal, especially in areas such as report writing, journal publications, conference presentations, and in the ability to translate theoretical, technical, and statistical concepts into accessible reports

V. Languages


(specify the required knowledge)


Fluency in English and Spanish (oral and written).


VI. Competencies

The incumbent is expected to demonstrate the following values and competencies:

Values - all IOM staff members must abide by and demonstrate these three values:

  • Inclusion and respect for diversity respects and promotes individual and cultural differences; encourages diversity and inclusion wherever possible.
  • Integrity and transparency: maintain high ethical standards and acts in a manner consistent with organizational principles/rules and standards of conduct.
  • Professionalism: demonstrates ability to work in a composed, competent and committed manner and exercises careful judgment in meeting day-to-day challenges.


Core Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

  • Teamwork: develops and promotes effective collaboration within and across units to achieve shared goals and optimize results.
  • Delivering results produces and delivers quality results in a service-oriented and timely manner; is action oriented and committed to achieving agreed outcomes.
  • Managing and sharing knowledge continuously seeks to learn, share knowledge and innovate.
  • Accountability: takes ownership for achieving the Organization’s priorities and assumes responsibility for own action and delegated work.
  • Communication: encourages and contributes to clear and open communication; explains complex matters in an informative, inspiring and motivational way.


Managerial Competencies – behavioural indicators level 2

  • Leadership: provides a clear sense of direction, leads by example and demonstrates the ability to carry out the organization’s vision; assists others to realize and develop their potential.
  • Empowering others & building trust: creates an atmosphere of trust and an enabling environment where staff can contribute their best and develop their potential.
  • Strategic thinking and vision: works strategically to realize the Organization’s goals and communicates a clear strategic direction.


El/la candidato/a deberá enviar su CV, con tres referencias laborales (nombre, cargo, teléfono y correo electrónico), junto con una carta de motivación de máximo una página de extensión, al correo: haciendo referencia a la vacante: “SVN 2021-001 Senior Research Assistant”.

Lugar de trabajo: 
San Jose, Costa Rica
Fecha limite: 
Lunes, Febrero 8, 2021