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Call for Proposal: Research Study On "The Transatlantic Enslavement and Slave Trades
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Level 3 Consultancy
Job Expired 1 Mar 2024
Posted 2 months ago
Job Description


Parent Sector : Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS)

Duty Station: Remote

Job Family: Social and Human Sciences

Type of contract : Non Staff

Duration of contract : 4.5 months

Recruitment open to : Internal and external candidates

Application Deadline (Midnight Paris Time) : 01/03/2024

UNESCO Core Values: Commitment to the Organization, Integrity, Respect for Diversity, Professionalism

Research Study On “The Transatlantic Enslavement and Slave Trades: The Historical Roots of Contemporary Racism Against People of African Descent”


Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, strategic guidance from the Director for Research, Ethics and Inclusion (REI) and direct supervision of the Chief of the Inclusion, Rights and Intercultural Dialogue Section (IRD), the Consultant will undertake research to develop a study exploring meta-historical roots of contemporary racism against people of African descent in the transatlantic slave trade.


The study, through a non-systematic qualitative meta-analysis of available literature and sources, will develop insights into the specific systems, processes and factors shaped and influenced by the slave trade and enslavement which impact systems of racism against persons of African-descendent today. It will also seek to quantify the socio-economic cost of these legacies in key areas where the experience of racism and discrimination against persons of African descent is most pronounced, including in healthcare, education, cultural participation, and labor market insertion.

All intellectual property rights of the study will be owned by UNESCO.


Produce a high-quality research study to map both the meta-historical roots of contemporary racism against persons of African descent in the transatlantic slave trade, and quantify the socio-economic impact of these legacies in key areas. Key deliverables will include:


  • Delivery of a research plan, outlining research questions, a detailed methodological approach and a draft outline for the study;
  • Undertaking a non-systematic, qualitative meta-analysis of existing literature and relevant historical sources and records (including bibliographical and archival records, literature, oral histories, and personal stories from relevant abolitionists, intellectuals and descendants of enslaved people and of slave traders) to map the meta-historical roots of contemporary racism against persons of African descent in the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade;
  • Undertaking a quantitative analysis of the socio-economic cost of these legacies, creating models to estimate, longitudinally, the economic cost of the differential access and outcomes for African descendant populations, shaped by the legacies of slavery, in key areas including healthcare, education, cultural participation and labor market insertion;
  • Producing a draft report for feedback from UNESCO, including a reflexive description of the methodology applied for producing the study, and practically oriented good practices and recommendations for policymakers;
  • Refining of the draft on the basis of the feedback received, and production of a final report for validation, alongside the delivery of the data files produced through the research (in xls format).


  1. Delivery of the research plan by 15 April 2024
  2. Delivery of the draft report by 28 June 2024
  3. Delivery of the final report by 31 July 2024


The duration of the contract will be for a period of 4.5 months, from 18 March 2024. It is expected that the consultant be based remotely for the duration of the contract.

COMPETENCIES (Core / Managerial)

Communication (C)
Innovation (C)
Strategic thinking (M)
Professionalism (C)


For detailed information, please consult the UNESCO Competency Framework.



  • Minimum of Master Degree on the history of enslavement and the slave trades and/or its legacies or similar studies


  • Minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience in technical area.


  • Excellent written communication skills, with proven ability to draft clearly and concisely high-quality communication for different audiences
  • Ability to work independently under general guidance, and to exercise initiative and judgement.
  • Excellent analytical skills. Ability to collect, synthesize and analyze information from various sources.


  • Excellent knowledge (spoken and written) of English, and good knowledge of French


Interested candidates are kindly requested to apply and submit the following documents (in English):

  1. A letter of interest explaining how your qualifications and experience make you suitable for the position;
  2. Curriculum Vitae or Resume;
  3. A written proposal (maximum 2 pages) comprising your approach and methodology for the assignment, including a work plan in line with the tasks;
  4. Samples of similar research works that you have produced;
  5. Technical and financial proposals indicating monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above, including travel and other related costs. (Applications submitted without a monthly rate will not be considered)
  6. The contact details of three references.

Your application should be submitted by e-mail to with cc to no later than 1 March 2024, midnight CET, mentioning in the subject: “SHS/IRD – Publication links enslavement and racism.”


UNESCO places great emphasis on ensuring that the objectives of the work assignment, as described in the Terms of Reference, are met. Accordingly, in evaluating the proposals for the assignment, attention will focus first and foremost on the technical elements. From those proposals deemed suitable in terms of the criteria in the Terms of Reference, UNESCO shall select the proposal that offers the Organization best value for money.


The evaluation of candidates is based on the criteria in the vacancy notice, and may include tests and/or assessments, as well as a competency-based interview. The cost efficiency of the financial proposal will also form a criteria in the selection process. The financial ceiling is 6000 USD per month. UNESCO may use evaluation technologies such as Online assessment, Pre-recorded video interview and video teleconference, etc. for the assessment and evaluation of candidates.

UNESCO recalls that paramount consideration in the appointment of staff members shall be the necessity of securing the highest standards of efficiency, technical competence and integrity. UNESCO applies a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of harassment. UNESCO is committed to achieving and sustaining equitable and diverse geographical distribution, as well as gender parity among its staff members in all categories and at all grades. Furthermore, UNESCO is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Candidates from non- and under-represented Member States (last update here) are particularly welcome and strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals from minority groups and indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Worldwide mobility is required for staff members appointed to international posts.

UNESCO does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

This position is no longer open.