Programme Assistant I

Applications procedure
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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    UTC +9

    Organisational Unit: UNU International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

    About the United Nations University (UNU)

    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 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 International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

    UNU-IIGH is one of 14 research and training centres that comprise the UNU system. As a UN think tank, the mission of UNU-IIGH is to build knowledge and capacity for decision-making by UN agencies, programmes, and member states about global health issues. The aim is to contribute to the development and strengthening of health services policy frameworks and management actions, particularly for people in developing countries, and to support implementation of promotive and preventive approaches to human health. UNU-IIGH’s research and capacity building in global health relates specifically to informing the policy debates and directions that ensure that in keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “no one is left behind”.

    We are looking for outstanding individuals with a strong commitment to customer service and the potential to bring a significant contribution to the worldwide expansion of UNU’s operations.

    For more information please visit


    Under the guidance and direct supervision of the Director, the successful candidate will be entrusted with the following tasks:

    • assist in coordination, planning, and implementation of UNU-IIGH’s programmes and projects through monitoring the status and closure of programmes and projects
    • coordinate and review submissions of programmes, project proposals, documents, and budget estimates, and ensure completeness of information justified in terms of proposed activities and in compliance with UNU’s programme and project management guidelines and procedures and highlight inconsistencies and propose adjustments as necessary
    • assist in the preparation and analysis of programme and project budget proposals, interpretation of budget guidelines, and monitoring of expenditures and allotments with approved budget
    • prepare related budget performance status reports, identify shortfalls in delivery and budget overruns, and bring to the attention of the project manager any budget related issues
    • serve as focal point for administrative coordination of programme and project implementation activities, involving extensive liaison with a diverse organisational unit to initiate requests, obtain necessary clearances, process and followup on administrative actions, e.g. recruitment and appointment of personnel, travel arrangements, training and study tours, authorisation of payments, disbursement of funds, and procurement of equipment and services
    • draft correspondence and communication related to all aspects of programme and project administration, including work plan and budgets, revisions and other related issues, as well as prepare UNU-IIGH’s contributions for a variety of periodic reports
    • ensure proper documentation of all programme and project documents (both paper and electronic), including preparation of research papers for publication
    • perform any other duties as may be required

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a master’s degree in areas related to Health and Medicine
    • at least three (3) years of relevant working experience in programme support or administrative work, preferably in an international environment; experience in academic or research institutions or non-profit organisations is desirable
    • knowledge of United Nations administrative processes and procedures is desirable
    • high level of computer literacy including MS Office software; project management software knowledge in an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system such as Peoplesoft Financials or any web-based management system is an asset
    • fluency in both oral and written English is required; working knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia and/or any other United Nations official languages is an asset
    • a self starter who is able to multitask and work under minimal supervision with a high level of resilience
    • result-oriented and self-motivated, with the ability to prioritise work and multitask
    • 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


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications and experience according to the suitability of candidates, and will be within the GS-5 level of the General Service Salary Scale for Malaysia duty station in the United Nations Common System salary scale. For more information, please visit

    The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below the level advertised. 

    Duration of contract

    This is a full-time, fixed-term appointment. The initial appointment shall normally be for a fixed-term of one (1) year with the likelihood of renewal on a rolling fixed-term appointment basis, subject to satisfactory performance. The mandatory age of retirement for United Nations staff is 65 years old.

    Staff members of the UNU are international civil servants subject to the authority of the Rector and may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of UNU.

    This is a locally recruited position and no relocation allowance applies. Applications from women candidates are particularly encouraged.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.


  • Information about how to apply is provided below – please read carefully to ensure that any further inquiries relate to information not already provided. We recommend that applicants review the information on how to apply for jobs with the UN to assist with the submission of a competitive application. 

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

    • a cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a curriculum vitae
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations

    Applications must include the vacancy reference number (2019/UNU/IIGH/FTA/PA/00081245).

    Please note, incomplete submissions will result in your application being rejected. This is a re-advertisement. Previous applicants need not re-apply as your applications are still under consideration.

    Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be notified.

    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).