PERIOD OF CONTRACT: 1st December 2019 - 30th November 2020 (renewable on yearly basis)

About CERAH 

CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, is a joint initiative of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). Bringing together a multitude of academic and humanitarian actors, the CERAH offers a wide range of postgraduate programmes for humanitarian professionals and a research portfolio in humanitarian studies, both of which strengthen reflection on and enhance humanitarian practice. Its broad stakeholder base, including academia and humanitarian organizations worldwide, allows the CERAH to pursue multicultural and highly participatory perspectives in all of its endeavours.

Project background and rationale

The humanitarian sector faces one challenge among others: although practitioners and scholars acknowledge that humanitarians share a common set of principles, values and concepts, the definition and uses of such terms is by no means consensual. “Resilience”, “Humanity”, “Protection”: these central concepts in humanitarian action refer to a range of meanings and associated practices, depending on the geographical, organizational, but also disciplinary background of the people using them.

Hence, in an expanding and ever more diverse sector, understanding each other in humanitarian contexts has become particularly important. The Humanitarian Encyclopedia intends to collectively interrogate how humanitarian concepts are used across time, geographical contexts, organizational cultures, disciplinary backgrounds and professions.

Building on an interdisciplinary, participatory and multi-methods approach, the Humanitarian Encyclopedia will

  • Identify key concepts, systems of concepts salient to humanitarian practice;
  • Map divergences and commonalities in the definition, use and interpretation of these concepts;
  • Analyse the causes of common and divergent uses;
  • Examine the impacts of common and divergent uses on humanitarian practice.


Knowledge generation

1. To undertake high quality research as directed by your line manager, including contributing to drafting grant proposals and peer-reviewed and other outputs;
2. To support the administration of the Encyclopedia project linked to your employment, helping ensure compliance with good practice in relation to the conduct of research, the ethics policy, and other relevant CERAH policies;
3. To coordinate authors for the writing up of concept chapters;
4. To edit the texts written by authors;
5. To monitor all tasks and deadlines provided to each party of the project to make sure that the project is on track;
6. To participate in discussions and meetings held by CERAH research team both internally and with other research partners to identify and prioritise research activities;
7. To travel to various places to attend events, meetings and support authors, linguists, platform developers;
8. To conduct field case studies;
9. To identify and lead new opportunities for knowledge generation and synthesis across the CERAH research portfolio.


1. To participate in some aspects of the CERAH’s Education Programme or educational outreach activities;
2. Assist with development and delivery of teaching content at CERAH;
3. Contribute to developing and delivery teaching content within LSHTM related to SHRH, evaluation and complex environments.


Internal contribution
1. To Assist the Director and other staff members in managing CERAH events, activities, and workshops including the governing bodies meetings;
2. To assist staff members at CERAH to develop and strengthen funding proposals;
3. To monitor the Encyclopedia budget and assist with budget flow and accounting and help draft the project’s annual report and budget;
4. To contribute to the intellectual development of the Centre, including liaising with its membership to maintain active participation.


External contribution
1. To demonstrate good external citizenship by supporting the external academic and practice communities;
2. Keep the project communication activities updated, including maintaining and supporting development of website and preparing and distributing of a newsletter.


Professional development & training
1. To keep up-to-date with the latest research / thinking in your academic field and with changes to pedagogic practice within the Centre and more generally;
2. To undertake and successfully complete the mandatory training required by the School as appropriate to the role.



All academic staff are free within the law to question and test received wisdom, and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, to enable CERAH to engage in research and promote learning to the highest possible standards. All staff at CERAH are also expected to:
1. Act at all times in the CERAH’s best interests;
2. Treat CERAH staff, students and visitors with courtesy and respect at all times;
3. Comply fully with CERAH policies, procedures and administrative processes relevant to the role;
4. Uphold and support the CERAH’s values;
5. Act as ambassadors for the CERAH when hosting visitors or attending external events.

The above list of duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the role holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the role. Role descriptions should be regularly reviewed to ensure they are an accurate representation of the role.


Qualifications required

  • Master or PhD degree in a relevant field (social sciences, political sciences, international relations etc.). Doctoral candidates having a planned date of defence are welcome to apply;
  • Proven knowledge (through publications and/or training certificates) on qualitative research methods;
  • Track record of publication and editing work;
  • Working experience in the humanitarian sector is an asset.


We are looking for a person with the following competencies:

  • Excellent writing skills in English (work language);
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills;
  • Ability to work collaboratively with academic and professional stakeholders coming from a diverse range of backgrounds;
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple concurrent tasks;
  • Strong analytical writing skills;
  • Excellent English speaking and writing skills; working knowledge of French.


We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, marital status, disability status, race, national origin, colour, gender, sexual orientation or religion.




Please note that offers received by post won't be considered.