Communications Associate (Re-advertisement)

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

    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


    The Communications Associate will play an important role in the communications activities of UNU-IAS, with a particular focus on outreach and building relationships with target audiences in Japan. As part of the UNU-IAS Communications Team, the associate will support institutional communications initiatives including the UNU-IAS website, media relations, social media, brochures and other promotional materials.

    The associate will also support the activities of the Global Environment Outreach Centre (GEOC), which is a joint initiative of UNU–IAS and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ). GEOC engages with civil society and fosters multi-stakeholder partnerships to advance sustainable development, by conducting research and disseminating information online and through public symposiums and seminars.

    Working under the general supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and the direct supervision of the managers of the UNU-IAS Communications Team and GEOC, the Communications Associate will:

    • publish and maintain content for the UNU-IAS and GEOC websites
    • write, translate, review, edit, and format content for both print and online communications
    • produce promotional materials such as brochures, newsletters, annual reports, and event posters
    • support the organisation of public events and workshops
    • source content and liaise with content authors
    • update social media accounts
    • support media outreach by identifying opportunities, building relationships, and facilitating media interviews
    • promote key events and publications through communications campaigns
    • develop relationships and networks to enhance outreach
    • conduct other relevant activities as necessary 

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in sustainable development, environment, social sciences, communications or a related field; equivalent experience in combination with a bachelor’s degree will be considered
    • a minimum of 2 years’ relevant working experience in an international setting
    • excellent writing and communications skills in Japanese and English; this position requires native-level Japanese and at least business-level English; ability in other official UN languages is an advantage
    • experience editing and/or proofreading Japanese content
    • good understanding of the Japanese media and political landscape (domestic and international).
    • knowledge of social media platforms and best practices
    • familiarity with the UN system and current issues related to sustainability
    • proven ability to efficiently manage a variable workload
    • excellent computer skills and web literacy are essential; experience using HTML and/or Adobe suite of creative products is an asset
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. 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; the combined duration of appointments shall not exceed 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

  • Please note: This is a re-advertisement; those who applied previously do not need to re-apply.

    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 (2017/UNU/IAS/PSA/CA/87)
    • a brief resume in Japanese

    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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