Principal Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow Humanitarian System Reform, Performance and Financing – Humanitarian Policy Group At Overseas Development Institute


Principal Research Fellow / Senior Research Fellow

Humanitarian System Reform, Performance and Financing – Humanitarian Policy Group

Contract: Open-ended

Location: Global, preference Washington/New York, Geneva, UK

Salary: Competitive Reward Package

Ref: HPG/01/21

An independent, global think tank, working for a sustainable and peaceful world in which every person thrives.

About ODI

ODI ( is an independent, global think tank. We work to inspire people to act on injustice and inequality. Through research, convening and influencing, we generate ideas that matter for people and planet.

About the Humanitarian Policy Group

The Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) is one of the world’s leading teams of policy researchers and analysts working on humanitarian issues. We combine influential, high-quality policy analysis with a capacity to act as an independent catalyst and platform for dialogue and debate.

About the role

We are seeking a Principal Fellow or Senior Fellow for the Humanitarian Policy Group to lead our work on humanitarian system reform, performance and financing.

Please note as ODI head office is located in UK, the job location is set as London and the application form will ask about the right the work in the UK, but this role is open to international candidates currently based outside of the UK with the right to work within that country.

HPG is seeking a global expert to lead, design and deliver outstanding research on our portfolio of work on the humanitarian system. The role will build on a significant body of influential HPG research and policy engagement on humanitarian system futures and reform; the performance of the humanitarian system, including on leadership and coordination, and humanitarian donorship and financing. You will be undertaking innovative research and analysis, and influencing the international debate through public affairs activities including publications, public events, and providing advice to governments and humanitarian actors at a senior level. You will have the opportunity to pursue new and innovative research interests by designing research projects, obtaining funding and managing resources for delivery.

Recent programme highlights on this agenda include:

Humanitarian action and foreign policy: balancing interests and values

Constructive deconstruction: imagining alternative humanitarian action

From the ground up: it’s about time for local humanitarian action

Grand Bargain annual reviews and policy engagement

Quality financing and reducing the humanitarian financing gap

International leadership and coordination in the Ebola DRC response

About you

You should be a recognised expert with extensive experience in an academic, policy or programme environment. Principal Fellows are authorities in research and policy, with a track record of developing and delivering innovative research and policy programmes. Senior Fellows should have a strong publication record, including analytical and public affairs work. You’ll be confident providing intellectual leadership of a research and policy agenda, as well as the day-to-day management of projects and staff within this portfolio. You’ll have a track record of influential publications or policy engagement, and be able to help drive forward HPG’s efforts to deliver change towards more effective humanitarian policy and practice in crisis contexts.

You will also have:

  • Extensive experience in policy-oriented research and/or direct policy formulation at a senior level, demonstrated by a track record of influential publications and/or delivery of major policy initiatives.
  • Experience of leadership or management at senior level, including management and mentorship of staff.
  • A demonstrated capacity for policy advisory and/or public affairs work, based on a rigorous approach, and an innovative and creative communications ability.
  • Experience of project delivery while maintaining complex stakeholder relationships.
  • Proven track record in both leading and being part of multi-disciplinary teams, building consensus and working in partnership in settings with competing incentives and cultures.
  • Proven ability to fundraise and build up a coherent portfolio of research and advisory work.

How to apply

For more information, please download an application pack from our website here. If you are experiencing difficulties downloading, please telephone 020 7922 8234 /0351 or email

ODI is committed to developing and supporting diverse and inclusive teams of people who share our passion, where we can all be ourselves and succeed on merit. We offer a range of flexible, family friendly and inclusive employment policies to support colleagues from a range of backgrounds and nationalities.

ODI is an equal opportunities employer Charity Reg. No.228248

Closing date: 8 August 2021

Interview Date: 17 August 2021

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