Research Associate

The Job’s mission

To work with Faculty on diverse assignments related to research and development activities to help generate quality material that is relevant to furthering executive education. The assignments could result in a variety of outputs, including case studies, newspaper and magazine articles, journal articles, books and learning materials that Faculty members can use in academic settings or IMD programs. The work is carried out independently, with direction and varying degrees of collaboration provided by a Faculty member.

More specifically, we are looking for candidates with general management experience, with particular expertise in the areas of leadership, culture and change management. The candidate must have experience writing business case studies as well as the ability to drive projects independently.

Key activities & accountabilities

Reporting directly to the Research Resources Manager, the Research Associate works with Faculty members on research and development projects that lead to multiple types of written and/or audio-visual output. The research agenda is determined by the Faculty members, but on the operational level, the Research Associate has a high level of responsibility for driving the project and delivering quality output. The role includes the following key activities:

  • Delivering quality output that is in line with Faculty members’ expectations and IMD’s standards.
  • Making sure that output is delivered on time.
  • Writing case studies, articles, book chapters and other output.
  • Providing proactive ideas and suggestions that will lead to new ways of thinking or new ways of presenting research material.
  • Building good working relationship with internal clients, primarily Faculty members, as well as external clients such as executives at senior levels of companies involved in a research project (for example, case companies).
  • Managing Faculty members’ expectations and driving the project throughout the research assignment.

R&D activities at IMD range from academic research (for “A” journals) to highly applied, practice-oriented research culminating in the development of tailor-made learning materials. Assignments typically include data searches, as well as analyzing and synthesizing research materials, drawing conclusions and writing formal documents. The work includes both primary and secondary research using different research methodologies (qualitative or quantitative) and includes interaction with executives through interviews and surveys. The Research Associate may be involved in any one or several of the following types of activities, depending on his or her capabilities:

  • Academic research: Conducting literature reviews, gathering data from secondary sources, creating hypotheses and research questions for the research project, determining data gathering approaches, creating surveys/questionnaires, managing or coordinating surveys or interviews, analyzing data (qualitative or quantitative analysis), creating insights, and writing working papers, conference papers and academic articles.
  • Development of case studies: Gathering data from secondary sources and conducting interviews with senior executives in the case company. Structuring and writing the case study. Managing the relationships with the case company throughout the process, including receiving final sign-off to use the case in the classroom.
  • Data analysis: Gathering data from quantitative and qualitative sources, performing statistical and business analytics or financial analysis, drawing conclusions and writing reports.
  • Book projects: Writing book chapters or a whole book in collaboration with a Faculty member, searching for illustrative examples of innovative business practices, coordinating the publishing process with the publishing house, coordinating the editorial process, managing multiple authors to deliver their chapters on time (if an edited book).
  • Development of output relevant to managers: Writing articles for various types of media (print, web-based, etc.) relevant to practicing managers based on earlier research. Working with the Communications team or with external publishers.
  • Other learning materials: Developing research-based presentations or exercises to be used in the classroom.
  • Programs: Sometimes the Research Associate is involved in supporting programs, either by developing tailor-made material or by managing/coordinating project teams between the modules. This is not a core part of the role.

Ideal profile

  • MBA (with a minimum of 3 to 5 years of business experience after education) or Master degree (with a minimum of 10 years of business experience after education)
  • Business experience in a role requiring analytical, writing and conceptual skills
  • Strong international exposure
  • Research competencies: having produced case studies is a must
  • Managerial experience is a plus
  • Experience in a management consulting or business development role is an asset
  • Strong research skills (data gathering, interviewing, hypothesis building, analysis, use of online sources such as ProQuest, Factiva, etc.)
  • Ability to work independently, to take the initiative and to drive projects forward
  • Effective and excellent interpersonal communication skills and ability to interact with a broad range of senior stakeholders (R&D team, Faculty, general managers, etc.) across multiple parallel assignments
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Video script writing and editing skills are an advantage
  • Excellent written and spoken English is a must

About IMD

IMD is a top-ranked business school based on the shores of Lake Geneva in Lausanne, Switzerland. We are the experts in developing leaders and transforming organisations through high-impact executive education. IMD’s unique environment enables the recruitment of the best people to meet its objectives.

How to apply

If you have the above skills and would like to work in our challenging environment, please send your complete application file (letter of motivation and resume in English, copies of your work certificates and diplomas) to