Programme Support Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Services Agreement
    Tokyo, Japan

    Organizational Unit: UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

    United Nations University objectives

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in research, postgraduate training and the dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, its Peoples and Member States. The University functions as a think tank for the United Nations system, contributes to capacity building, particularly in developing countries, and serves as a platform for new and innovative ideas and dialogue.

    United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

    UNU-IAS is a new UNU institute, created in January 2014 by consolidating the former UNU Institute of Advanced Studies and UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP). It is based at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo. The mission of UNU-IAS is to serve the international community through policy-relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, including its social, economic and environmental dimensions. UNU-IAS builds on a strong tradition of UNU research and capacity development in Japan, undertaken in collaboration with a global network of professionals and scholars, particularly in Africa and Asia.

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    Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Project Director of the Water and Urban Initiative (WUI), the Programme Support Assistant shall perform the following tasks:

    • Assist in organizing various events (conferences, symposia, workshops, seminars, etc.) and handle other relevant administrative processes.
    • Assist in other day-to-day operations, such as processing various procurements and travels.
    • Maintain supporting documents and a filing system for the projects.
    • Provide administrative support to external grants, in particular those from the Japanese Ministries, foundations and other donor agencies, and prepare accounting and financial reports as required.
    • In assisting with administrative work, liaise closely with the UNU Administrative Office.
    • Perform any other duties as may be assigned or required by the Programme Director.

    Required qualifications and experience

    • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Public Administration or related fields of study, with at least 2 years of work experience in office administration or related duties.
    • Knowledge or background in Environmental Science, Development, Social Sciences, Public Policy or a related discipline would be desirable.
    • Knowledge and working experience of organization of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements is preferable. Work experience in international organizations or promoting major international initiatives is an asset.
    • Excellent communication skills with proficiency in both oral and written English and Japanese.
    • Ability to prioritize tasks, to complete them within a limited time frame and to handle multiple concurrent activities.
    • A good team player with strong inter-personal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.


    Remuneration will commensurate with qualifications and experience, and will start from JPY 300,000 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-IAS. Initial appointment will be for one (1) year, with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

    This is a locally recruited post; no relocation expenses or allowances apply. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    End of September 2014 (negotiable)

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email (to, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form. Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
    • full contact information of three (3) referees (UNU-IAS will directly contact the referees in the event that the candidate is shortlisted); and
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2014/UNU/IAS/PSA/PSA/52).

    Please note that applications received after the closing date will not be considered

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