The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) is Looking for a Postdoctoral researcher- Democracy and good governance: Apply!

NAI Postdoctoral researcher: Democracy and good governance in Africa

Application Closing: 18 February 2024

About the Nordic Africa Institute

The Nordic Africa Institute (NAI) is a Swedish government agency and has a unique mandate to produce research and inform policy which is relevant to support development in Africa. We intend to develop our role further as the Nordic hub for Africa focused research, documentation and policy advice and we are therefore looking for an experienced researcher who is enthusiastic about contributing to NAI’s research and policy work in the coming years. 

The Institute has since its establishment in 1962 been an important research, documentation and information centre on modern Africa in the Nordic countries. NAI is jointly financed by the governments of Sweden, Finland and Iceland, and promotes research on and knowledge of contemporary Africa in the Nordic countries, as well as cooperation between mainly African and Nordic researchers. The Institute also disseminates information on current African issues, through publications, seminars, conferences and various policy-related activities. 

Providing and supporting in-depth knowledge generation based on the voices of Africans, is fundamental to contribute to more resilient societies and achieving Agenda 2030 on the continent. We are a value-based organisation and believe that you are a person who actively shares your knowledge and are open to do systematic trend analyses beyond your field of expertise.

The Institute is currently implementing a five-year strategy, 2022-2026, which has promoting academic and policy-oriented research programmes on Africa in the Nordic countries as one of its strategic goals. It is in pursuit of this goal that NAI is looking for a post-doctoral researcher in the area of political development with demonstrable experience in academic and policy-relevant research on African issues to join its team of resident researchers. 

The position is targeted towards a researcher with current residence and professional affiliation in Finland and for the duration of two years.

As an applicant you should have experience of empirical research on the African continent, be able to work in a social-science led yet interdisciplinary environment, and be open to building your capacity on how to translate knowledge from research into policy relevant messages and policy engagement. Strong communication skills are highly valuable for this position.

NAI offers a stimulating intellectual environment, a team of international researchers from different social and scientific backgrounds, a library with modern facilities, as well as attractive employment conditions. In addition, the Institute is linked to extensive networks of research institutions in Africa and the Nordic countries.

For more opportunities such as this please follow us on FacebookInstagramWhatsApp, TwitterLinkedIn and Telegram

Job Description 

From a comparative perspective the research would focus on African experiences and prospects of democracy and good governance, including the state structures, political institutions and regime changes as well as their social, economic and cultural conditions and consequences.

As a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute, you will work closely with Professor Liisa Laakso as your line manager

In addition, senior researchers will carry out other duties as may be assigned by the Head of Research.   



  • A PhD in relevant social science discipline, including political science, international relations, development studies, political geography, etc.
  • The doctoral degree must have been obtained within the last three years, or up to five years if special circumstances apply, prior to the application deadline.
  • Proven social science methodological skills.
  • Experience conducting empirical research in an African context.
  • To be eligible to apply for the position you must have an affiliation to a Finnish university or research institute.
  • Strong analytical skills including the use of quantitative and/or qualitative research techniques.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English language, and competences and skills in effective communication. 


  • Expertise in data sources and data processing for comparative research.
  • Strong networks within African studies and with other relevant stakeholders in the above-mentioned research field especially in the Nordic region.
  • Proven knowledge of policy processes and policy environments.
  • Verbal ability in non-English language(s) used on the African continent.
  • Knowledge of the Finnish and wider Nordic policy landscape for engagement with African development.
  • Track record of media engagement.
The application should contain:
  1. A cover letter introducing yourself and outlining why you are suitable for the position.
  2. A complete CV with a list of scientific publications (including books, articles, research reports, policy notes, etc) and research projects conducted/participated, most recent papers presented at conferences, policy consultation with stakeholders.
  3. One to three sample publications by applicant that relate to the thematic area of research, including the PhD thesis or the results presented in it.
  4. The names, professional titles and addresses (phone, e-mail) of two references.

As part of the recruitment process, shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an interview on Zoom.

Condition of Service

  • This is a fixed-term two-year position, with a probationary period of 6 months.
  • Duty station is Uppsala, Sweden.
  • Salary is negotiable within the Institute’s current salary levels and remuneration packages. The position includes attractive benefits and conditions offered for employees of Swedish civil service.

Starting date as soon as possible, or latest August 2024.

Contact persons:
Liisa Laakso, Senior Researcher ([email protected]) or Eleanor Fisher ([email protected]), Head of Research. Trade Union representative: Henrik Alfredsson (Saco-S) ([email protected]). All can be reached at +46 18 471 52 00 or [email protected].

More information about the institute’s research focal areas and themes, on-going research activities, strategy/values, scholarship programmes, library services and publications are available on the website:

How to apply:
Apply through our online recruitment system, link below.

Closing Date for applications: 18 February

The Institute promotes equal opportunities for all, and good representation of African regions. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Apply for this position

Related Articles

Back to top button