Administrative Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement (PSA)
    Tokyo, Japan
    UTC +9
    Open until position is filled

    About United Nations University

    For the past four decades, United Nations University (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 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.

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

    UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at the university’s headquarters in Tokyo, dedicated to advancing global efforts towards a more sustainable future. UNU-IAS serves the international community through policy relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, integrating its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. The activities of the institute are in three thematic areas: sustainable societies, natural capital and biodiversity, and global change and resilience. The work of UNU-IAS is directed towards priority issues for the UN system and Member States, contributing to high-level policymaking and debates to address problems of global concern. For more information please visit

    Role of Administration under the UNU-IAS Strategic Plan 2020-2024

    Under the UNU-IAS Strategic Plan 2020-2024, UNU-IAS is strengthening administrative functions and activities to support the implementation of the strategic plan, including through enhanced organisational structure and ensuring adherence to UNU rules and guidelines. UNU-IAS Administration will foster a safe and supportive working environment and enhance professional career development opportunities for personnel. The unit will improve the efficiency of administrative processes through ICT systems and integrate sustainability considerations in operations, including procurement and travel.


    Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Head of Programme and Administration of UNU-IAS, and in close coordination with the Programme and Administrative Officer, the Administrative Assistant shall perform the following tasks:

    • assist in preparing contractual agreements with individual consultants and institutional organisations, as well as maintaining and monitoring contract implementation
    • serve as a focal point for the procurement activities for the Institute, including solicitation, procurement plans, and vendor management
    • provide administrative support for external funds and grants, in particular for those from Japanese Ministries, foundations, and other donor agencies, and prepare accounting and financial reports and other relevant documents as required
    • assist in day-to-day operations including procurement and staff travel
    • assist in various administrative work, and liaise closely with UNU Administration (Human Resources, Procurement, and Finance Offices in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur)
    • maintain supporting documents and filing systems for UNU-IAS projects and activities
    • provide administrative assistance in organising events and handle relevant administrative procedures
    • ensure full compliance with UN Financial Rules and Regulations, UNU procedures, and the policies of UNU-IAS
    • perform any other duties as may be assigned

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification in business, finance, accounting, social sciences, or other related fields
    • a minimum of 2 years of relevant working experience, in an international setting preferred
    • demonstrated Excel skills and/or experience with productivity software; familiarity with PeopleSoft is an asset
    • writing and communications skills in both Japanese and English
    • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability is an advantage
    • ability to efficiently manage a variable workload
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    Applications from suitably qualified women candidates are particularly encouraged.

    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 commensurate with qualifications and experience and will range from JPY 315,083 to 348,083 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment on a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) with UNU-IAS. Initial appointment will be for one (1) year with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

    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 (negotiable).

  • Interested applicants should submit their application and all required documents listed below online through Impactpool:

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position (in English)
    • a curriculum vitae (CV) 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 CV in Japanese
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2021/UNU/IAS/PSA/AA/46)

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