06SEP - Research Assistant, NATO PA - Deadline: 16OCT

Organization Description

Since its creation in 1955, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly has provided a unique specialised forum for members of parliament from across the Atlantic Alliance to discuss and influence decisions on Alliance security. Through its work and activities, the Assembly facilitates parliamentary awareness and understanding of the key issues affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area, and supports national parliamentary oversight over defence and security. Crucially, it helps to strengthen the transatlantic relationship and the values which underpin the Alliance.   The Assembly is institutionally separate from NATO, but serves as an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of the NATO nations. It provides greater transparency of NATO policies, and fosters better understanding of the Alliance’s objectives and missions among legislators and citizens of the Alliance.

Since the end of the Cold War, the Assembly has assumed a new role by integrating into its work parliamentarians from countries seeking a closer association with NATO. Through this form of parliamentary diplomacy, the Assembly contributes to mutual understanding and to the strengthening of parliamentary democracy throughout the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond, thereby complementing and reinforcing NATO’s own programme of partnership and co-operation. 

Location – Brussels, Belgium

Job Description

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly employs ten research assistants every year to work as part of the policy team within the NATO PA International Secretariat in Brussels. The majority of these positions are given to candidates from NATO member countries. However, candidates from non-NATO members are also considered as part of the Loïc Bouvard Scholarship, which was created in tribute to Loïc Bouvard (France) who was President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (1992-1994) and played a vital role in establishing partnerships with non-NATO member countries.

Among the ten research assistants who work each year, five start in January and finish in early June. The other five start in August and finish in late November/early December. Dates vary each year based on the NATO PA's yearly calendar.

Job Responsibilities

The research assistant's main task is to contribute, at the request of Committee Directors or Senior Management, to the research and writing necessary for the drafting of Assembly reports and other documents such as background information documents and drafts of speeches. Research assistants attend the parliamentary Sessions of the Assembly and are asked to assist in note taking and summary writing. As part of the larger NATO PA team, research assistants are occasionally asked to complete basic administrative tasks.

Job Requirements

Applications are assessed objectively and various factors are taken into account. The NATO PA looks at educational background as well as professional experience, including internships and other projects. Due to the changing nature of topics that the Assembly covers, the Assembly often looks for candidates that have specific experience in areas that compliment current research being conducted at the NATO PA. We also look for candidates that exhibit flexibility and are interested in conducting research on a wide range of topics. In addition, there is a need to reach a regional balance among candidates. It is, therefore, rare that two candidates of the same nationality are chosen for the same programme period.

Candidates must have a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Political Sciences, International Relations or a related field. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their degree as long as all requirements for their MA have been fully completed. Candidates still in the middle of their MA studies will not be considered. Experience in government or policy research institutions is a further asset.

Preference is given to candidates who have recently completed their Master’s degree.

The two official languages of the NATO PA are English and French. We are looking for candidates that are fluent in either or both languages. If French is your stronger language, please note that a high level of proficiency in English is also required for the position. If neither French nor English is a mother tongue, applicants should be prepared to demonstrate certified evidence of language skills upon request. Knowledge of another language(s) is a further plus.

How to Apply

Application Period

We are now accepting applications for the January 2017 Programme.

Application Deadline: 16 October 2016

Applications must be received by 11:59pm (CET) on 16 October 2016 in order to be considered for the position.

If you have already applied for the position in the past, you are welcome to re-apply. However, please note that we do not retain previously submitted applications; you must re-submit your application materials in adherence to the appropriate application deadline.

Next Recruitment Period

Recruitment for the August 2017 Programme will begin in the spring. Please check back for more information in March 2017 regarding these recruitment deadlines.


Applications should include:

1.A cover letter, explaining areas of interest and competence as well as availability

2.A curriculum vitae, clearly indicating nationality and language proficiency

3.A writing sample of no more than five pages on a topic relevant to the position (i.e. foreign policy, international relations, defence and security, etc.). Excerpts of longer pieces are acceptable. Any sources and/or citations may be included in addition to the 5-page sample.

4.Two letters of recommendation (academic or professional)

All applications must be submitted in either English or French.

All application materials must be gathered and sent together as one single PDF document, including letters of recommendation. If one of your references prefers to send their letter directly, they may do so, however please indicate this clearly in your application email.

Applications must contain all the above required documents to be considered for the research assistant programme. Please do not include any other supplementary documents. Incomplete applications will automatically be discarded.

Due to the large amount of applicants, only successful candidates will be contacted and we ask that you do not send any additional emails.

Please note that the selection process can take up to six weeks. We will announce when the recruitment process is complete on the Research Assistant page of the NATO PA website.

Deadline  - October 16, 2016