Humanitarian Research & Development (R&D) Specialist

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Role & Responsibilities

In light of our new strategy development, the ELT identified a need for a cross-department position that will act as Humanitarian Research & Development “R&D” Specialist in order to explore new opportunities, create and animate internal and external networks to work on new projects that are outside of the usual scope.

Project Overview

Working as an important member of the Executive Office team committed to serving the world’s most vulnerable with practical and compassionate care, the Humanitarian R&D Specialist will support increasing the efficient and effective operations of Medair’s work globally. This role is a new position and has the unique opportunity to explore innovative opportunities outside of Medair’s usual approach to humanitarian work.

Workplace & Working conditions

Global Support Office (GSO) position based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Swiss or eligible EU citizens, or those with a valid work permit for Switzerland, can apply.

Starting Date / Initial Contract Details

June 2024. Full-time open-ended contract.

Key Activity Areas

R&D for Engagement, new funding sources (25%)

  • Be the “new sources of funding” project leader: Research and explore new possible funding opportunities for Medair that are across IP and ENG (i.e. blended finance)
  • Build and animate a network of experts in new financing mechanisms
  • Be the interface between external parties and internal teams
  • Help the Engagement Department to build philanthropic networks and open new doors to funding source

R& D for International Programmes (IP) (50%)

  • Research the opportunities and build awareness of alternative funding mechanisms within the IP team.
  • Act as the focal point within the IP department to coordinate input and solicit feedback from technical advisers, Head of Country Programmes (HCPs), and Country Programmes on aspects relating to innovative funding mechanisms.
  • Research thematic funding opportunities with a focus on those linked to the topics of Anticipation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Resilience, Gender Based Violence (GBV), Hunger, and Health for multi-country applications (where it’s possible within current programming/mandate)
  • Analyse the potential risks and rewards to Medair with Executive Leadership Team (IP, Finance, Engagement and Legal counsel) to engage with different types of funding mechanisms.
  • Develop a Community Engagement/Participatory approach Paper, a practical implementation guideline and a toolkit in consultation and collaboration with the CE working group.
  • Develop a community engagement/participatory approach roll out plan, calendar and develop materials for a training field staff.
  • Identify appropriate community engagement indicators to measure organisational progress.

R& D for the Executive Office (25%)

  • Work with the Executive Director and Head of Global Emergency Response Team to develop strategic partnerships with INGO partners
  • Represent Medair to global church and prayer networks
  • Provide insight into the new global strategy development process
  • Support new strategic projects as needed and required

Team Spiritual Life

  • Reflect the values of Medair with team members, local staff, beneficiaries, and external contacts.
  • Work, live, and pray together in our Christian faith-based team settings. Fully contribute to the rich spiritual life of your team, including team devotions, prayers, and words of encouragement.
  • Encouraged to join and contribute to Medair’s international prayer network.

This job description covers the main tasks that are anticipated. Other tasks may be assigned as necessary. This positions is Jobupfree.


  • Educated to a Master degree level
  • Business Management, Engineering, Finance
  • Professional level of English
  • Good written and spoken French


  • 7-10 years’ proven working experience in humanitarian organisations
  • Strong relationships with both local and national teams
  • Previous Medair experience an asset
  • Advanced user of MS Office
  • Very good writing and speaking skills
  • Skilled in project management
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Customer-service orientation
  • A team player with leadership skills
  • Networking skills
  • Analytic and strategic thinking
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills in front of small and large audiences
  • Sales and negotiation
  • Understanding of International and humanitarian context
  • Goal and performance oriented
  • Pioneer and self-driven
  • innovative and open for new approaches
  • Collaborative team player
  • People-oriented
  • Demonstrate very high level of credibility in front of key decision makers

How to apply

Please ensure you are fully aware of the:

a) Medair organizational values

b) Medair is committed to safeguarding the protection of beneficiaries, volunteers, staff and partners, and particularly children. Therefore, we do not employ staff whose background we understand to be unsuitable for working with children. Medair staff are required to give the utmost respect to, and comply with, Medair’s accountability policies and best practices.

c) Medair Relief & Recovery Orientation Course (ROC) (which forms part of the recruitment selection process for field positions).

Application Process

To apply, go to this vacancy on our Medair Page.

Please do not make multiple applications. We will not review email applications. Only English-language applications / CVs will be reviewed.

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