Research Assistant (2 positions)

Applications procedure
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    Individual Contract (CIC)
    Tokyo, Japan
    UTC 0

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

    About the United Nations University (UNU) 

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, conflict prevention, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change. UNU maintains more than 200 collaborations with UN agencies and leading universities and research institutions across the globe.

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

    UNU-IAS is a UNU institute 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. For more information please visit

    Japan and Korea GIAHS research project

    UNU-IAS and the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea (RDA) are conducting a 3-year joint research project from 2018 to 2020, titled “Introduction of Technologies on Characteristic Analysis and Conservation Management in Agricultural Heritage Systems”. The aim is to develop conservation management indicators and guidelines on evaluation of the sustainability of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) in Japan and Korea, designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).


    Under the overall guidance of the Director of the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Academic Programme Officer, the Research Assistant will carry out the following tasks:

    • support UNU-IAS research and other activities through collecting, inputting, and analysing data for the Japan and Korea GIAHS research project
    • conduct research and other activities on the topic of sustainability science
    • support in organising workshops, seminars, symposiums, and other events related to the aforementioned projects
    • perform other duties as may be assigned 

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a master’s degree or equivalent in the field of Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Rural and Agricultural Planning, or a related field
    • sound record of or potential for publication of the above-mentioned research areas with a focus on policy and practice
    • demonstrated ability to coordinate and conduct policy-relevant research on sustainability assessments and governance for sustainable development in an interdisciplinary approach
    • computer and web literacy required; strong IT skills would be an asset
    • experience in management of research programmes is an asset
    • excellent writing and communication skills in English; knowledge of other United Nations official languages is an asset
    • 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 be commensurate with qualification and experience. There are no other fringe benefits.

    Duration of contract

    The successful candidate shall work under an Individual Contract (CIC) with UNU-IAS. The appointment will be until 31 December 2018. No individual shall provide services for more than nine (9) months in a twelve (12) month period.

    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.

    Starting date

    Late August 2018 (negotiable)

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

    • a cover letter setting out how your 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 organisations
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2018/UNU/IAS/CIC/RA/60)

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

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    The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs. (Charter of the United Nations – Chapter 3, article 8)


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