The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is one of the world’s leading research think-tanks in the fields of defence and security. RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict Research Group includes research and related activities covering counter-terrorism (CT), countering violent extremism (CVE) and conflict. RUSI wishes to appoint a Senior Research Fellow or Research Fellow (depending on experience and capabilities) to work in RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict Research Group. This role offers an exceptional opportunity for a researcher with a reputation and a record of achievement of working in and on Afghanistan to develop their profile in the field by leading on an influential and innovative research-led pilot CVE project in Afghanistan.
RUSI will welcome applications from researchers specialising in Afghanistan and on conflict issues more generally. A strong applicant may also have focused on CVE policy, strategy or CVE practice (i.e. mentorship programmes, CVE strategic communications or education programmes).
They may have a Master’s degree or PhD in a relevant topic, or have made a contribution to the conflict field as a policy maker or practitioner and have recently turned to research.
Afghanistan is a context of continuing conflict and fragility. The UN strategic review of 2017 reclassified Afghanistan from a post-conflict to one in active conflict. In the past few years, the Afghan government has also experienced a declining control of its territory, with the continued presence of the Taliban and other terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), adding to the deterioration in security. ISKP, in particular, has been targeting the Shia minority in what some observers believe are efforts to trigger sectarian violence. Also present are groups that may espouse similar ideologies but do not have armed cadres and have not been directly linked to violent attacks against the state or its supporters.
Whilst P/CVE is a relatively new field in Afghanistan, a range of civil society organisations have engaged in peacebuilding or conflict resolution activities throughout the years and are now moving into the field of P/CVE. RUSI has recently started a pilot CVE project working in Afghanistan. The project is designed to reduce the vulnerability of ‘at risk’ populations specifically focused on ‘high-risk’ returned migrants and host community members in Afghanistan to recruitment to violent extremist groups.
The successful candidate will assume overall management of this project, while reporting directly to the Director of RUSI’s Terrorism and Conflict Group. The role will require expert input into the design of CVE activities, close engagement with the Afghan government and the donor – the European Union and management of partner organisations and consultants working on the project. The Senior/Research Fellow will also have the opportunity to develop their own research interests into funded research projects.
RUSI’s Research Fellows are recognised experts in their fields, often with a list of significant publications, and a record of contributing to successful and highly regarded research projects. They are expected to make a significant contribution to RUSI’s research (projects, publications, events), to develop and attract funding for new projects, and to develop their academic and professional skills and knowledge when in post. These are busy, challenging and highly rewarding roles, offering the potential to become a high-profile, internationally recognised expert.
The job holder should be able to demonstrate the following essential and desirable knowledge, skills and experience:
The Senior/Research Fellow will be a permanent, full-time position based in London.
A consultancy and/or part time position would be considered to oversee the project in Afghanistan. Please stipulate in your application if a consultancy is preferred outlining time availability for the next three years.
The Senior/Research Fellow will report to the Director of Terrorism and Conflict Team. Positions at this level are subject to a six-month probation period. Travel within Europe and to Afghanistan will be necessary. All travel for work purposes will be at RUSI’s expense.
The salary will be in the range £40-60,000, depending on experience. Salaries are reviewed annually. RUSI offers several additional benefits, including:
RUSI London office is in Whitehall, close to Trafalgar Square. It is a short walk from several underground, rail and bus stops.
RUSI is an equal opportunity employer, and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.
RUSI’s values can be found here: https://rusi.org/content/values.
To apply, please send your CV, a sample of your written work (preferably one which has been published) and a covering letter stating why you consider that you are suitable for the role to Michael Codner, Director of Personnel Services, at MichaelC@rusi.org. The closing date for applications is 30 October 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for interviews in London, and will be given a written test (no preparation required). Only shortlisted applicants will be informed.