Programme Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Tokyo, 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, 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 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

    Postgraduate Degree and Training (PDT) Programme

    Through postgraduate education UNU-IAS develops international leaders with the interdisciplinary understanding and technical skills needed to advance creative solutions to problems of sustainability. The institute offers master’s and doctoral degree programmes, and innovative short courses, in close collaboration with leading universities in Japan and other countries.


    The Programme Assistant provides administrative support for the implementation of the Postgraduate Degree and Training Programme in close communication with other UNU-IAS personnel. Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director, and direct supervision of the Administrative Director for the Postgradutate Degree and Training Programme, the Programme Assistant will undertake the following tasks:

    • assist in arranging academic affairs of the UNU-IAS Postgraduate Degree and Training Programme, including various capacity development and fellowship programmes
    • assist in the planning, organisation, and implementation of UNU joint graduate diploma programmes with selected universities in Japan and internationally
    • provide student services including registration advising and financial aid
    • in undertaking the aforementioned tasks, process various administrative matters including preparation and coordination of various meetings, travel, contracts, procurement, and related payments
    • prepare various documents and reports, including transcripts and academic certificates
    • liaise with partner universities and organisations for collaborative activities
    • assist in planning, organisation, and implementation of UNU Global Seminar Japan
    • perform other duties as requested

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a bachelor’s degree in education, business administration, finance, accounting, public administration or an equivalent field of study, preferably with work experience in office administration in an international environment
    • at least 2 years of work experience at higher education institutions is desirable; knowledge and experience related to academic affairs will be considered an added value
    • proficiency in MS Office Applications (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook)
    • excellent written and spoken English and Japanese language communications skill is essential
    • ability to establish priorities, work within tight deadlines and handle multiple concurrent activities
    • good team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity

    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 360,333 per month. There are no other fringe benefits.

    This position carries an annual leave entitlement of 2.5 working days per month (a total of 30 days of paid annual leave).

    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

    January 2020 (Negotiable).


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

    • 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 organizations
    • a brief CV in Japanese
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/IAS/PSA/PA/83)

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