Programme Coordinator — Education for Sustainable Development

Applications procedure
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    Personnel Service Agreement
    Tokyo, Japan
    UTC 0

    Organizational Unit: UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS)

    About the United Nations 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.

    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

    Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

    The Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) project contributes to designing and undertaking interdisciplinary, policy-oriented research and capacity development activities through two flagship initiatives: the global multi-stakeholder network of Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) on ESD and the Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research Network (ProSPER.Net), an alliance of higher education institutions throughout the Asia-Pacific region.


    Under the overall supervision of the UNU-IAS Director and under the direct guidance and supervision of the ESD Project Director, the Programme Coordinator shall perform the following tasks:

    • take the lead in coordinating the overall work of the ESD project, ensuring its alignment with global SD/ESD agendas and the strategy of the project
    • take the lead in planning and organising workshops, seminars, conferences, symposiums, and other events, as well as follow-up processes
    • coordinate the project’s programme and administrative work, including the day-to-day management and operation of activities such as outreach, event coordination, and budget and contract management
    • facilitate communication and outreach for the project, in particular with the Japanese government, UN agencies, academic institutions, NGOs, private sector organisations, and the general public
    • contribute to the planning and implementation of capacity development and research projects
    • assist the ESD Project Director in coordinating activities and in establishing links with other projects
    • performing other duties as may be assigned

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • master’s degree or equivalent, in a field related to Education, Social Sciences, Development Studies, Environment, or Sustainable Development
    • at least seven (7) years of progressively responsible experience with at least 2 years of work experience at academic or research institutions, preferably in an international environment; equivalent experience in combination with a bachelor’s degree will be considered
    • knowledge and experience of coordination and organisation of conferences, logistical and financial arrangements, and, ideally, sustainable development related issues; knowledge of the UN governance structure will be considered an added advantage
    • research experience or a doctoral degree related to international educational development, ESD, international and comparative education, and/or environmental education are an advantage
    • excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English and Japanese
    • excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multitask and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results
    • good computer and organisational skills
    • 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


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualification and experience and will range from JPY 450,000 to 600,000 per month. 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

    Negotiable (no later than 1 July 2018)



  • 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 (2018/UNU/IAS/PSA/PC/38)
    • 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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