Research Associate

Applications procedure
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    Consultant (CTC)
    Kanazawa, Japan
    UTC +9

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

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

    UNU-IAS is a UNU institute based at the university’s headquarters in Tokyo, dedicated to advancing global efforts towards a more sustainable future. UNU-IAS serves the international community through policy relevant research and capacity development focused on sustainability, integrating its social, economic, and environmental dimensions. The activities of the institute are in three thematic areas: sustainable societies, natural capital and biodiversity, and global change and resilience. The work of UNU-IAS is directed towards priority issues for the UN system and Member States, contributing to high-level policymaking and debates to address problems of global concern. For more information please visit

    UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (UNU-IAS OUIK)

    The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa (OUIK) was established in April 2008 with strong support by local governments of Ishikawa Prefecture and Kanazawa City in Japan. OUIK has provided local and regional input into UNU’s sustainable development and international cooperation efforts in collaboration with other organizations, including UN agencies, academic institutes and local partners by implementing research on sustainable utilisation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. OUIK also aims at developing communication and networks with local stakeholders through public outreach and capacity building, while sharing information about international trends.

    UNU-IAS OUIK is seeking a Research Associate who will engage in the coordination of research activities and policy development with local and international stakeholders involved in SDGs evaluation and localization in Ishikawa Prefecture.


    Under the overall guidance of the Director of UNU-IAS, and under the direct supervision of the UNU-IAS OUIK Director, the Research Associate will give technical assistance and advice to promote the SDGs localisation project. The Research Associate will assist in the implementation of the overall goals of the Institute as well as the operation of the Operating Unit. Specific tasks will include the following:

    • develop and implement participatory approach on SDGs localisation and evaluation
    • coordinate national/international stakeholders to disseminate project outcomes
    • perform any other duties as may be assigned or required

    Required qualifications

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a master’s degree or equivalent in fields related to public policy or environmental studies (including social sciences)
    • familiarity and interest in current issues on SDGs and evaluation
    • at least two (2) years of work experience at an academic or research institution, government institution, consultancy firm, or other relevant organization
    • excellent writing and communication skills both in English and Japanese; knowledge of another UN official languages is an asset
    • a good team player with strong inter-personal skills, demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity
    • excellent analytical skills as well as demonstrated ability to multitask and to manage own workload and schedule to deliver timely results


    Remuneration will be JPY 17,000 per day. There are no other fringe benefits.

    Appointment duration

    The successful candidate shall work remotely under a Consultant Contract (CTC) at a rate of two days per week for the above-mentioned project. No consultant shall provide services for more than twenty-four (24) months in a thirty-six (36) month period.

    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.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.

  • Interested applicants should submit their applications by email to before the application closing date, and must include the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how your 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 organisations
    • a brief resume in Japanese
    • an indication of the reference number of the vacancy announcement (2019/UNU/IAS/CTC/RA/62)

    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)