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TMG Research: Land Governance Expert (f/m/x), 28.6.

At TMG – Töpfer, Müller, Gassner – ThinkTank for Sustainability, we work to empower sustainability transformations. Together with stakeholders from science, civil society, politics, and the private sector we develop innovative strategies for the implementation of sustainable development agendas.

The Project

We are looking for an experienced colleague to join our team and implement a project focused on land governance and human rights. TMG Research is implementing a project on monitoring the implementation of the voluntary guidelines on the responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests (VGGT) in Malawi through a human rights-based approach. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development. The human rights-based monitoring approach complements existing land governance monitoring frameworks by shedding light on the processes that lead to the marginalization of vulnerable communities or individual rights-holders. In close cooperation with national implementation partners, the project foresees the conduct of case-based monitoring assessments. The results of the monitoring assessments will feed into both national and international processes.

TMG Research has a strong focus on responsible land governance in a number of its projects. For instance, the Global Soil Week (GSW) is a platform piloted by TMG Thinktank for Sustainability bringing together a diverse range of actors to initiate and strengthen policies and actions on sustainable soil management and responsible land governance. Since its beginning in 2012, the focus and design of the GSW has continuously evolved in order to respond to and shape ongoing policy debates and land management programming. Additionally, TMG Research closely follows the implementation of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration as well as the achievement of SDG 15 from a land governance perspective.

The Position

TMG Research is currently seeking applications for a

Research Associate (f/m/x) (100%)

The successful applicant will support the project implementation in Malawi as well as project activities at global level.

 Main tasks:

Specifically, the research associate would be expected to:

  • Provide technical and strategic guidance to the further development of the monitoring framework and independently managing agreed work packages to ensure its implementation
  • Oversee and implement technical and strategic support to the implementing partners in Malawi, especially in the conduct of the case-based monitoring assessments, incl. the analysis and consolidation of the monitoring assessments and the strategic use of their results
  • Support in strategically positioning the project in the relevant (policy) debates through various types of publications and events
  • Support the overall work programme of the project in Malawi and the land governance related work streams, including ensuring process and output quality, budget controlling, and reporting, in close collaboration with the project coordinator
  • Establish and maintain partnerships with organisations relevant to the project in Malawi and at the international level.
  • Implement and coordinate technical and strategic activities of the land governance work packages of TMG Research’s project portfolio
  • Set-up and implementation of the new phase of the GSW with a focus on land governance
  • Proactively support the development of new project proposals and ideas
  • Contribute to the further strategic and scientific development of TMG Research.


  • At least three years of relevant work experience in the field of land governance in an international environment
  • In-depth knowledge on issues of land governance, tenure rights, rights-based approaches, natural resource management, and policy and governance processes at various levels; knowledge of land administration processes is an asset
  • Master’s degree in natural resource management, international development, politics, or a related field in sustainability science
  • Excellent management and organisational skills
  • Ability to work effectively, diplomatically, and sensitively with a wide range of partners from science, politics, and civil society
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently to Malawi and elsewhere
  • Experience and strong interest in scientific desk and applied research as well as in writing and science communication
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English, good working knowledge of German is an asset; willingness to actively learn German would be a minimum requirement
  • Enthusiasm, flexibility, strong team-spirit and a commitment to working within a dynamic transdisciplinary, policy-relevant research field

What we offer:

  • Working in an applied research organisation with a truly international work programme and the aspiration to enable sustainability transformations
  • A dynamic, diverse, and family-friendly working environment
  • A position that is remunerated in accordance with the TVöD E13

Depending on the final approval of the next phase of the GSW, this position is to be filled as soon as possible, and until 31.12.2021.

TMG Research gGmbH is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to assessing applicants equitably, regardless of race, religion, colour, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, migration background, genetic information, disability, marital status, parental status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, HIV status, gender identity, or gender expression.

Applications including a cover letter, CV with two referees (contact persons) and reference letters/employer’s reference, and links to selected publications (academic and non-academic publications are equally welcome) should be submitted in one PDF document (max. 5 MB) until 28 June 2020. Please upload your application online via the application button and refer in your application to the website where the job ad was published.

The interviews will take place in the beginning of July 2020.

For information on the project, please contact Anna Kramer via email (Anna.Kramer@tmg-thinktank.com). For details on the application process, please contact Anna Günther via email (anna.guenther@tmg-thinktank.com)

TMG Research gGmbH
EUREF-Campus 6-9
10829 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (30) 92 10 74 07 – 00

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