Programme Support Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personal Service Agreement
    Dresden, Germany

    Organizational Unit: UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

    United Nations University objectives

    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 Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES)

    The mission of UNU-FLORES is to contribute to the development of integrated and sustainable management strategies for the use of water, soil and waste resources, in particular in developing and emerging countries, in scientific, educational, managerial, technological and institutional terms. Potential issues of focus include urban water management, nutrient cycles and budgets, methods for reclamation and rehabilitation of degraded sites, site-specific river-basin-scale water management; interaction of land use management and water inventory under differing climate conditions, and efficient site-adapted waste management strategies, among others. The Institute will develop innovative concepts for target- and region-specific knowledge transfer as well as appropriate methodologies and approaches for postgraduate and professional education. The Institute is located in Dresden, Federal Republic of Germany.

    For more information please visit

    Structure of UNU-FLORES

    UNU-FLORES consists of five academic units:

    • Systems and Flux Analysis considering Global Change Assessment
    • Capacity Development and Governance
    • Water Resources Management
    • Soil and Land-use Management
    • Waste Management

    And the following management support units:

    • Office of the Director
    • Finance and Administration
    • Communications and Advocacy
    • ICT

    The Dresden Nexus Conference 2015 (DNC)

    Global Change, SDGs, Nexus Approach

    The first of the biennial Dresden Nexus conferences (DNC2015) will take place in Dresden, Germany, 25-27 March 2015, as a follow up of our kick-off workshop on “Advancing a Nexus Approach to the Sustainable Management of Water, Soil and Waste“ organized in 2013.

    The Nexus Approach to the sustainable management of water, soil and waste integrates environmental management and governance across sectors and scales. This approach is based on the understanding that environmental resources are inextricably intertwined. Global change will put additional pressure on environmental resources and related ecosystem services as well as on economic development. The DNC2015 will deal with these challenges.

    There will be three thematic topics on three consecutive days; each day will deal with one aspect of global change: climate, urbanization and demography. It will be discussed how the integrated management of environmental resources guided by the nexus approach may help to achieve the potential targets of the post-2015 agenda.

    The DNC2015 will assemble policymakers and managers of environmental resources, academic, educational and research institutions; national and international organizations, including UN organizations and UNU institutes; NGOs; and others who work on and are interested in environmental resources management.

    The joint doctoral programme with TU Dresden

    UNU-FLORES jointly with TU Dresden has launched a joint doctoral (PhD) programme on Integrated Management of Water, Soil and Waste. The first cohort is expected to commence its research from October 2014. Considering that the theme of the joint doctoral programme is new and unique in the academic world, prospective students are expected to come from a variety of backgrounds. To ensure that the students have an evenly-matched starting point, and also to introduce the basic concepts of the nexus of water, soil and waste, the programme comprises 35 course credits in addition to 175 dissertation credits. This total of 210 credits spans 7 semesters. The credits are defined in terms of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

    All coursework is science-based and all courses require basic knowledge in physics, chemistry and mathematics at an undergraduate level. In addition, the courses will also require basic knowledge in social sciences. In line with the UNU-FLORES research agenda, research topics for dissertations will be focused on solving current challenges related to the nexus of water, soil and waste. Courses will be offered by academic staff at both universities. Doctoral dissertations will also be co-supervised by advisors from both universities.


    Under the authority of the Director of UNU-FLORES and direct supervision of the Manager, Office of the Director, and Academic Officers, the Programme Support Assistant is embedded in the Office of the Director providing programmatic and logistical support to the academic units. The successful candidate shall carry out the following tasks:

    1.  Doctoral and educational programme and support

    • Support the overall management of the joint doctoral programme;
    • Support the drafting of materials for the website on the doctoral and other educational programmes;
    • Provide support with general correspondence and queries of the doctoral programme;
    • Provide administrative support to other educational programmes as assigned;
    • Conduct other tasks assigned on the doctoral programme.

    2.  Support for the organization of conferences, meetings and workshops

    DNC support

    • Organize the meetings of the steering, scientific and organizing committees;
    • Contribute to the preparation of respective documents and minutes for these meetings, as required;
    • Communicate with the participants, and provide information on the logistics and programme of the DNC;
    • Keep track of submissions and registrations and their further documentation;
    • Update the content of the conference homepage and the conference management system;
    • Conduct other tasks that are related to the organization of the DNC.

    Other logistical support

    • Provide support for organizing internal and external meetings, possibly involving high-ranking officials;
    • Provide logistical support to the workshops and meetings organized by the academic units, including drafting invitation letters, note verbales, arrangement of accommodation, transport, meeting rooms, preparation of the group duty travel plans as well as other meeting- and travel- related tasks;
    • Preparing reference folders, collecting, distributing and archiving documents and background papers.

    3.  Provide general and programmatic support to the academic units

    • Research, compile, analyse, summarize, and present information/data on specific topic/projects when required;
    • Act as requisitioner for the academic needs, e.g., procurement and travel and their follow-ups;
    • Track documents that are being edited or need regular revisions;
    • Provide support with correspondences when required;
    • Assist with preparation of PowerPoint presentations;
    • Take notes and prepare minutes of meetings when required;
    • Update the Institute’s calendar based on the activities of the academic units;
    • Support the dissemination of information;
    • Maintain all files or records (filing system) on various matters and the reference files of various subjects, and register, index and route incoming correspondence and other materials related to the academic programmes and the institute.

    4.  Other

    • Assist in the other administrative tasks concerning the academic units and the institute;
    • Perform other duties as assigned by the supervisor or required by the institute.

    Required qualifications and experience

    • First-level university degree (bachelor’s or equivalent) in business administration, political science, economics, public policy, public administration, law, education or other related field;
    • Minimum one (1) year of professional work experience in a programme/office support function;
    • Proficiency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another UN language would be an asset; knowledge of German would be desirable; knowledge of Portuguese would be an asset;
    • Ability to work within agreed timelines;
    • A good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity;
    • Knowledge of the UN or other international organizations would be an asset.


    Remuneration will commensurate with qualification and experience of the successful candidate.

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment (40 hours per week) for an initial period of one (1) year (renewal will be subject to performance and funds availability) on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-FLORES, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

    The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract based in Dresden, Germany, and will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail (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; and
    • the email subject must comply with the format:
      Last Name_First Name_RA_2014/UNU/FLORES/PSA/PSA/45.

    A written test may be required to screen the writing ability of the candidates.

  • By e-mail: