Programme Associate ⁠— Innovation and Education

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

    About United Nations University

    The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge in furthering 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.

    For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on human survival, conflict prevention, sustainable development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 12 countries, UNU’s work spans the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’ full breadth, 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. 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 Innovation and Education Programme

    The Innovation and Education (IVE) Programme is a new thematic area of UNU-IAS, aiming to promote research and practices on innovative and inclusive education and lifelong learning for sustainable development at all ages. It reinforces evidence-based policy advice to translate global goals into local actions with a close alignment with the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for 2030 Roadmap. One of the main activities is to strengthen the capacity of UNU-IAS regional and global networks, namely the Regional Centres for Expertise on ESD (RCEs: and ProSPER.Net (, and collaborate with the networks to facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships.


    Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director and under the direct guidance and supervision of the Head of Innovation and Education, the Programme Associate shall be responsible for the following duties:

    • provide administrative and logistic support related to the IVE programme, including finance, procurement, contracts, and travel
    • assist the organisation and follow-up of conferences, workshops, seminars, and other events, including logistic arrangements
    • provide technical support in conceptualising programme works, including planning events, enhancing network governance, and establishing/maintaining partnerships
    • assist the overall coordination of activities under the IVE programme, including RCEs and ProSPER.Net
    • facilitate communication among partners and networks of the IVE programme
    • provide administrative assistance in planning, development, and production of IVE programme publications
    • maintain documentation and filing systems for the project
    • provide professional guidance and mentoring to the programme assistant(s) to effectively assist the overall activities
    • assume responsibilities for clerical support to the Head of IVE
    • perform other duties as may be assigned

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a master’s degree or equivalent in the areas of business administration, education, environment, development, social sciences, or a related discipline
    • at least three (3) years of progressively responsible experience in a related area; work experience in international organisations or promoting major international initiatives is an asset
    • knowledge and experience of working with coordination and organisation of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements, and management of regional/global networks; knowledge of the UN governance structure will be considered an added advantage
    • good computer and organisational skills
    •  excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English. Knowledge of Japanese and other UN official language is an asset
    • excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multi-task and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results
    • 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


    The successful candidate will be employed under a local PSA contract and no relocation allowances apply. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including a monthly salary in the range of JPY 360,333 to 398,333, commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

    PSA holders are required to enroll in Japan’s national social health care and pension insurance systems.

    UNU is not liable for any taxes that may be levied on the remuneration you receive under this contract. Payment of any such taxes remains the sole responsibility of PSA holders.

    Duration of contract

    The duration of the initial contract is 1 year. This is Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance. The combined duration on a PSA contract with UNU may not exceed six (6) years. The mandatory age of retirement for PSA is 65 years.

    Expected start date

    As soon as possible.


    Evaluation of qualified candidates may include an assessment exercise which may be followed by a competency-based interview, background checks and references.

    Special notice

    UNU does not sponsor a working visa for this position.

    PSA holders do no hold international civil servant status nor are they considered a “staff member” as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations.

    PSA holders may be assigned to any of the activities or offices of the United Nations University. The Rector reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a level below that advertised.

    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 organization. Applications from developing countries, and from women are strongly encouraged. Eligible internal applicants are encouraged to apply.

    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.

    Information about UNU rosters

    UNU reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNU at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using the link through Impactpool and must
    upload the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form downloadable from the UNU website; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • a full CV both in English and Japanese

    UNU does not charge any application, processing, training, interviewing, testing or other fee in connection with the application or recruitment process. Should you receive a solicitation for the payment of a fee, please disregard it. Furthermore, please note that emblems, logos, names and addresses are easily copied and reproduced. Therefore, you are advised to apply particular care when submitting personal information on the web.