Research Associate

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

    About UN University

    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 (SDGs), 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. Through its postgraduate education programmes UNU-IAS develops future international leaders with the interdisciplinary understanding and skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability. 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 the 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 the 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 organising local workshop and field visits
    • perform any other duties, as may be assigned or required

    Required qualifications

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • master’s degree or equivalent in biodiversity, landscape management, environmental studies (including social science), public policy, or related fields
    • familiarity and interest in current issues on biodiversity conservation and the GIAHS programme
    • 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 multitask and manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results

    UNU is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities to apply and become part of the organisation.

    UNU has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNU, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination.


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

    Duration of contract

    The successful candidate shall work 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.

    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

    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 and the specific contributions you can make to the UNU.
    • a curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form (both in English); please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • a brief resume in Japanese
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2020/UNU/IAS/CTC/RA/13)

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