Research Associate (Home-based)

Applications procedure
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    Consultant Contract (CTC)
    Kanazawa, Japan
    UTC +9

    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 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 efforts to resolve the pressing global problems that are the concern of the United Nations and its Member States.

    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

    UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (UNU-IAS OUIK)

    The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) was established in April 2008 with strong support by local governments of Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City in Japan. OUIK has provided local and regional input into UNU’s sustainable development and international cooperation efforts in collaboration with other organisations, including UN agencies, academic institutes, and local partners by implementing research on sustainable utilisation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. OUIK also aims at developing communication and networks with local stakeholders through public outreach and capacity building, while sharing information about international trends.

    UNU-IAS OUIK is seeking a Research Associate who will engage in the coordination of research activities and policy development with local and international stakeholders involved in Noto GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System) action plan implementation.


    Under the overall guidance of the Director of UNU-IAS, and under the direct supervision of the OUIK Director, the Research Associate will be based in Ishikawa Prefecture as a resident facilitator to promote biocultural diversity conservation in Noto GIAHS area.  The Research Associate will assist in the implementation of the overall goals of the Institute as well as the operation of the Operating Unit. Specific tasks will include the following:

    • assist in coordination to promote policy and research exchange among stakeholders including the Center for Regional Collaboration of Kanazawa University, Noto Regional GIAHS Development Committee, Noto Regional GIAHS Executive Committee and FAO
    • assist the secretariat of East Asia Research Association for Agricultural Heritage Systems (ERAHS)
    • compile and translate relevant documents including event reports
    • assist in organizing local workshops and field visits
    • perform any other duties, as may be assigned or required

    Required qualifications

    Required qualifications include:

    • master’s degree or equivalent in relevant fields of biodiversity, landscape management, environmental studies (including social science), or public policy
    • familiarity and interest in current issues on biodiversity conservation and GIAHS programme by FAO
    • at least two (2) years of work experience at academic or research institution(s) government institution, consultancy firm or other relevant organisation(s)
    • excellent writing and communication skills both in English and Japanese; knowledge of another UN official language 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
    • excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multi-task and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results


    Remuneration will be JPY 17,000 per day. There are no other fringe benefits.

    Appointment duration

    The successful candidate shall work remotely under a Consultant Contract (CTC) at a rate of two days per week for the above-mentioned project. No consultant shall provide services for more than twenty-four (24) months in a thirty-six (36) month period.

    The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to before the application closing date, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a curriculum vitae with 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 (2017/UNU/IAS/CTC/RA/73)

    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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