Project Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Helsinki, Finland
    UTC -12

    Organizational Unit: UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    United Nations University objectives

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate teaching and capacity development, and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The mission of UNU is to contribute, through research and capacity building, to solutions to the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

    UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments as well as freely available original research.

    UNU-WIDER is looking for an outstanding individual with strong commitment and potential to support the project management of the Institute. For more information on UNU-WIDER, please visit



    Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Administrative and Programme Services, and the thematic supervision of the Associate Programme Officer, the Project Assistant will perform a wide range of project support and administrative functions, including the following duties:

    • Support in the co-ordination of project planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting, and closure; identify shortfalls in delivery, budget overruns, completeness, and compliance with relevant rules and procedures; identify inconsistencies, and bring them to the attention of the management.
    • Liaise on administrative coordination of project implementation activities between internal and external project leaders/participants and administrative/finance/communications personnel.
    • Organize events and activities relating to the assigned projects in co-ordination with communications, procurement, and other support units provide secretarial, administrative. and logistics support as required.
    • Compile, summarize, and present a wide variety of documents and reports relating to the assigned projects using appropriate technology/software; provide research and administrative support in preparation of presentations.
    • Update internal databases; update website, generate a variety of standard and non-standard statistical and other reports from various databases; aintains files/records (both paper and electronic).
    • Draft project summaries and project activity reports for internal and external communications; assist in internal and external knowledge sharing of the project outputs and activities.
    • Contribute to or draft responses to correspondence and other communications relating to the assigned projects.
    • Exercise quality control function for outgoing documents and electronic content; proofread and edit texts for adherence for format, grammar, punctuation. and style.
    • Provide support as a back-up for the Travel Assistant.
    • During the absence of other staff of the Project Support Team, assist in carrying out their duties.
    • Perform other duties as assigned.

    Required qualifications and experience

    • Completion of secondary school education  with at least five (5) years of relevant work experience preferable in an international organization, or bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with at least two (2) years of relevant work experience preferably in an international organization.
    • Knowledge of the UN systems is an advantage.
    • Working knowledge and experience  in the use of MS Office such as Excel, Access, and Word.
    • Knowledge of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system (preferably PeopleSoft-Atlas) is an advantage.
    • Excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English. Knowledge of other United Nations official languages and Finnish is an asset.
    • Ability to work under minimal supervision and with high level of resilience.
    • Strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight 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.


    Remuneration will commensurate with qualifications, experience, and level of responsibilities within the administration.

    Duration and type of contract

    This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-WIDER, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration of appointments shall not exceed six (6) years.

    This is a locally-recruited post; no relocation allowance applies. The post is limited to a person residing in Finland, including persons holding a valid work permit. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil service status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using this link and must upload the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations
    • A copy of your highest degree obtained