Research Fellow, Sustainability Measurement, Management, and Reporting

Research Fellow, Sustainability Measurement, Management, and Reporting

Published Deadline Location
3 May 31 May Lausanne

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Founded by business executives for business executives, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is an independent academic institute with campuses in Lausanne and Singapore as well as a Management Development Hub in Shenzhen. We strive to be the trusted learning partner of choice for ambitious individuals and organizations worldwide. Our executive education and degree programs are consistently ranked among the world’s best by the Financial Times,  Bloomberg, Forbes, and others. Our leading position in the field is grounded in our unique approach to creating real learning, real impact. Through our research, programs, and advisory work we enable business leaders to find new and better solutions. Our purpose is Challenging what is and inspiring what could be, we develop leaders and organizations that contribute to a more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive world.

Job description

The Job’s mission

The researcher will be conducting research for the newly established Action Forum for Holistic Assessment and Management of Sustainability (AFHAMS). AFHAMS aims to advance business practice, politics, regulation, and education by building research-practice communities, conducting impactful research, and developing training materials and activities on the holistic assessment, management, and reporting of sustainability. As 2024 is the first year where sustainability reporting is mandatory in many countries, AFHAMS seeks to empower individuals, businesses, and policymakers with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions in the space of sustainability impact assessment and management that contribute to a more sustainable, resilient, and mentally healthy future in the respect of planetary boundaries. The focus of the researcher’s position is to contribute to the Action Forum’s thought leadership in the areas of sustainability measurement, management, and reporting, as well as related fields. 

One of the key focus areas of AFHAMS is conducting Interdisciplinary Research, for instance with researchers from the Enterprise for Society Center (E4S). Hence, the main tasks of the position include: 

  • Design and encourage interdisciplinary research projects to address complex sustainability challenges related to sustainability impact assessment, management, and reporting. This includes outreach activities to different stakeholders in- and outside academic institutions, careful research design and execution to reach a wide audience with the research results. 
  • Conduct research targeting both high-tier academic (e.g., FT50) and practitioner outlets as a basis for debate and to engage diverse stakeholders involved in, and affected by, holistic sustainability measurement, management, and reporting.
  • Disseminate research results through the use of social media and other forms of communication to target a broad audience. This can include organizing events such as roundtables, and developing and organizing innovative knowledge dissemination formats.
  • Translate the conducted research into teaching materials for top executives and MBA-level audiences.

The research fellow will be supervised by Professor Florian Hoos, Professor for Sustainability and ESG accounting, at IMD. A strong collaboration with other researchers who are at the heart of the Action Forum has been established and working with the partners of the Action Forum can be part of the research work. In particular, Christina Hertel, Assistant Professor, Director Geneva Responsible Entrepreneurship Center, University of Geneva and Gaia Melloni, Assistant Professor in Accounting, HEC Lausanne – University of Lausanne will be part of the Action Forum.

The Research Fellow will help developing and conducting novel and relevant research for the coming years, with a focus on mixed method approaches that include interviews and (field) experimental approaches. The aim of the Action Forum is to conduct meaningful research that is close to practice and generates an impact beyond mere top-tier publications. Therefore, the research fellow needs to integrate this view into study design, creation of research methodologies, data collection, processing and analysis of data as well as the writing of academic- and practitioner-oriented articles, literature reviews, reports, and case studies. The research fellow should also ensure the successful completion of the publication process, and create materials to translate research results into publishable insights, materials for IMD programs, engagement platforms, and events.

Key deliverables

Based on a mixed-method approach that may include qualitative interviews, focus groups, secondary data analyses, and field experiments, the aim of the Research Fellow’s work as part of the Action Forum is to generate and disseminate impactful outcomes for both academic and practitioner audiences:

  • Develop research and publish in FT50 journals whereby we see value in both FT50-practitioner-oriented journals such as Sloan Management Review and Harvard Business Review, and the more research oriented journals of the Academy of Management or the top-tier accounting journals. Within the first 6 months, a clear research and publication strategy needs to be developed by the research fellow. 
  • Distill key insights from the conducted research and publish articles in outlets that reach a borader audience and contribute to the debate around sustainability reporting and impact measurement such as the Financial Times, The European Business Review, I by IMD, and comparable journals. In addition, offer insights to other practice-oriented media and Swiss or European newspapers, as well as social media outlets.
  • Engage stakeholders and gain partners for the Action Forum that support the research, and help disseminating the produced knowledge. Foster engagement with scholars across and beyond the collaborating institutions laying the groundwork for future impactful research dedicated to sustainability impact measurement, management, and reporting.
  • Leverage various dissemination channels to communicate the work of the Action Forum, so that it gains measurable visibility after the first 12 months.
  • Contribute to strategy development for the Action Forum that guarantees its long-term financing and visibility in Europe and beyond (e.g., contribute to fundraising and / or SNF proposal writing).


Institute for Management Development (IMD)


Ideal profile

  • PhD in relevant field like accounting, sustainability, management, or economics. 
  • Profound research experience in fields such as sustainability impact measurement and management or sustainability reporting, ideally proven through working papers or publications 
  • Professional experience in sustainability reporting or impact measurement (e.g., in auditing or consulting firms) is desirable
  • Record of conducting regirous academic research  
  • Record of publishing in relevant peer reviewed journals is a plus
  • Deep knowledge of either qualitative or experimental methods and the related data analysis skills. Experience with mixed-methods or proven knowledge in qualitative and experimental data analyses is a plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, ideally proven in interactions with high-level audiences (managers, politicians, executive education settings)
  • Ability to work independently and proactively with minimum supervision
  • Collaborative and capable of working in a multi-disciplinary environment
  • Deadline and results oriented
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Full fluency in English (written and spoken) at a native level or equivalent. Proficiency in French is a plus, but not required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 3 years.


  • Fixed-term contract for 3 years
  • Deadline for application is May 31st 2024


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Behaviour and society; Law
  • Doctorate
  • AT IMD 20240503


Institute for Management Development (IMD)

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