Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons for the position of Director – PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI). The position has both academic and administrative responsibilities as Director of the nation’s leading public policy research think tank.

The Institute

The PNG NRI is an independent Government statutory authority established under the National Research Institute Act, 1975. The Institute is responsible for providing current and topical cutting-edge policy research in Papua New Guinea (PNG) under its three ‘I’ mantra to:

  • Inquire – The Institute undertakes research into social, political, economic, educational, legal and environmental issues and problems affecting development in PNG;
  • Inform – Disseminate the findings widely and offer practical policy options; and
  • Influence – Carry out research consultancies and influence policy through government working committees and policy submissions.

The Institute comprises of three divisions – Research Division, Knowledge Management Division, and Corporate Services Division.

Qualifications and experience

The successful applicant must be a senior academic; have extensive research experience with proven publications record; and extensive leadership, management and administration experience with demonstrated commitment to the development of PNG and its people. Applicants must have:

  • Suitable qualifications in the Social Sciences (as per Section 19 of the NRI Act 1993[amended]), a Ph.D., preferably;
  • Experience in conducting (policy) research with a track record of publication in peer reviewed journals;
  • Experience in leadership, management and administration of an organisation, especially in an academic/research environment;
  • A well-conversed and solid awareness of PNG’s development issues in the social and economic development fields, and is able to identify, manage, and direct high level policy analysis and research activities that contribute to understanding better, the development constraints faced by the country;
  • Proven ability to work with academic/researchers, politicians, high level civil servants as well as ordinary citizens to promote good decision-making based on evidence produced through sound research design and methods;
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with other research and academic institutions working in similar areas of work as PNG NRI;
  • Proven ability in administration and leadership at the highest level with the ability to build consensus and relationships among executives, partners and the workforce;
  • Proven ability in the area of strategic thinking to inspire confidence and create trust amongst staff, partners and collaborators;
  • A broad understanding of the relevant administrative, legal and policy frameworks of the government, the PNG NRI, and the broader public service; and
  • A knowledge of public policy think-tank operations and the PNG knowledge hub.

Key responsibilities expected

  • Consistent with Section 22 of the NRI Act, subject to any directions of the Council, the Director of the Institute is responsible for: (a) the control and management of the Institute; and (b) ensuring that the Institute’s research and related programme is performed, and has such other functions as the Council determines.
  • The Director is the chief executive of the Institute who is responsible for managing all aspects of the Institute’s work to advance national level policy agenda for PNG that is evidence-based and rooted in appropriate and relevant principles.
  • The Director is expected to possess the expertise and ability to lead, direct and manage staff, and to competently supervise financial administration.
  • The Director shall ensure that the Public Finance Management Act, the Public Service Management Act, the National Procurement Act, and other relevant statutory obligations are adhered to by the Institute.
  • The Director will work with a broad range of stakeholders to collaborate in research and mobilise the Institute’s funding for research, analysis and strategic expertise to advance policy debates and discussions.
  • The Director plays an active role in advancing an organisational culture that centers on the three ‘I’s’: Inquire, Inform, Influence.
  • The Director must be committed to supporting an equitable, fair and inclusive work environment and managing work relationships with a diverse staff.
  • The Director should possess personal qualities to provide positive leadership, not only for the present, but for the future direction and development of the Institute.


The position will be based on a 3-year contract term and is offered at Executive Level 4 of the Public Service. The position attracts a DMA, gratuity, and other benefits commensurate with the position and in line with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) determined range for Level 4 position for Heads of Departments. The appointee will be expected to take up the position in August 2021.


Written applications containing a full curriculum vitae, copies of relevant academic documents, sample copies of select publications, and the names and addresses of three (3) referees should be marked CONFIDENTIAL and forwarded to:

Office of the Chairman
PNG National Research Institute Council
P.O Box 5854
Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Applicants must provide a Medical Report and a Police Clearance report as per public service requirement.

All applications will be treated in strict confidence. Applicants should request referees to write directly to the Office of the Council Chairman at the address above.

Closing date

Applications will close at 4:30 pm on Friday 21st of May 2021.


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