Programme Associate

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    New York, USA
    UTC -5

    Organizational Unit: UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

    About UN University

    For the past four decades, the 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 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.

    The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) in New York is an independent think tank within the United Nations system. We combine research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges.  For more information on UNU-CPR and its work, please visit:

    For the last four years, UN University has worked on a variety of policy issues around the fight against modern slavery, notably data with the creation of Delta 8.7, the Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Platform; international law and international criminal justice; and the financial sector with the creation of the Liechtenstein Initiative for a Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. UN University’s thought leadership in this field has led it to become a centre of excellence for policy-relevant research questions related to anti-slavery and anti-trafficking efforts.

    Position overview

    The Modern Slavery Programme generates innovative research into global anti-slavery policy. Our projects include:

    • Delta 8.7 – the Alliance 8.7 Knowledge Platform;
    • Code 8.7 – an initiative bringing together computational scientists and the anti-slavery movement;
    • Develop 8.7 – a project focused on the role of the global development sector in fighting modern slavery; and
    • Research into the costs and policies for ending modern slavery

    This position offers a unique opportunity to contribute to policy-oriented research projects at the UN by joining a young and dynamic think tank, which in just a few years has established itself as a key source of policy-relevant research, ideas and advice on pressing challenges facing the UN and the multilateral system. The Programme Associate will work across the full range of the Modern Slavery Programme’s activities, from research to stakeholder management, from communications to data science.

    About you

    You are an entrepreneurial researcher with a commitment to international affairs and an ambition to leave your mark. You pride yourself on your writing skills and are a strong public speaker. You are extremely well organized and can easily manage multiple work streams. You are an innovative problem solver who brings enthusiasm and a can-do attitude to dynamic work environments. You enjoy research but would prefer to work on real-world solutions than theoretical models. You work well in a team setting but can also execute tasks autonomously without constant supervision. You thrive in multi-cultural settings and are committed to gender equality.

    Responsibilities and Deliverables

    The Programme Associate will report to the Programme Director and/or the Senior Adviser and will work across the full range of Modern Slavery Programme activities. S/he may be tasked to:

    • Contribute independent analysis and inputs to the policy research and policy uptake work of projects within the Modern Slavery Programme;
    • Support the Director and Senior Adviser in strategic management, development and implementation of project plans;
    • Provide on-demand research, analytical and drafting support, including drafting analytical summaries, memos, correspondence and other written content;
    • Edit the work of other Programme team members or content providers;
    • Provide on-demand logistical, administrative and financial and budget management support;
    • Represent the Modern Slavery Programme at external and public events, including internationally;
    • Assist with the administrative logistics for events, both internal and external, including working with external vendors to make travel arrangements;
    • Assist with managing donor, research partners and other relations;
    • Assist with the preparation of PowerPoint slides and project-related branding and communications materials; and
    • Perform other duties as may be assigned.

    Required qualifications and experience

    • Minimum of three (3) years relevant work experience in a research, policy, think tank, public affairs or private sector analytical role;
    • A master’s degree in public policy or affairs, international affairs, economics, development studies, history, journalism, or another relevant field;
    • Strong research and drafting skills, a proven track record of official publications would be preferred;
    • Strong organizational, administrative, budget and project management skills;
    • Excellent English-language oral and written communication skills; knowledge of other official UN languages is a plus;
    • Proficiency in the use of MS Office applications, including MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint is required;
    • Strong ability to establish priorities, multi-task and work within tight timelines;
    • Ability to work independently and report work activities in a timely and proactive manner; and
    • Solid interpersonal and problem-solving skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multi-cultural environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity and gender parity.


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualification and experience of the successful candidate. 

    Duration of contract

    The successful candidate shall work under an initial 1-year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA), with the possibility of renewal subject to satisfactory performance.

    Applications from suitably qualified woman candidates and those from developing countries are particularly encouraged. The successful candidate will not hold international civil servant status nor be a “staff member” as defined in the United Nations Staff Rules and Regulations.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by e-mail to by Monday, 8 July 2019 and include the following:

    • A cover letter setting out how the qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position;
    • A curriculum vitae and a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) downloadable from the UNU website at Please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organizations;
    • A copy of a publication on which you are a named author;
    • Full contact information of three (3) referees;
    • An indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement 2019/UNU/CPR/PSA/POM/51.