Travel Assistant

Applications procedure
Related Files
    Personnel Service Agreement
    Helsinki, Finland
    UTC +3

    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.

    United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER)

    UNU-WIDER is a leading international development economics think tank. The Institute provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development for all. The Institute began operations in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, as the first research centre of the United Nations University. Today it is a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency — providing a range of services from policy advice to governments, as well as original research that is ‘open access’. More information on UNU-WIDER’s current work programme, is available at:

    UNU-WIDER is now looking for an outstanding individual with a strong commitment and potential to assist in organising travel related to the implementation of the work programme of UNU-WIDER, with a specific focus on travel related to workshops, events, and conferences.


    Under the overall supervision of the Chief, Administrative and Programme Services and the day-to-day supervision of the Administrative and Procurement Associate, the Travel Assistant will perform the following duties:

    • support travel management processes and facilitate that all travel is expeditiously processed and fully
      compliant with corporate travel guidelines and requirements
    • support in the implementation of the travel and expense workflow
    • assist with the organisation of UNU-WIDER events, in particular assist with travel requests for
      personnel and meeting participants
    • provide information on rates and travel schedules for specific itineraries
    • liaise with travelers, purchases air tickets in accordance with UN travel rules and UNU travel guidelines
    • calculation of Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) payments
    • process requisitions and purchase orders for travel in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) financial
      management system, and payments for travel expenses, claims, and invoices
    • prepare travel authorisations
    • assist with the travel master list completion
    • co-ordinate with embassies to assist travelers obtain visas
    • assist in resolving travel-related cases with changes/cancellations/problems
    • review travel claims and supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy, validity, and conformity with UN Regulations and Rules
    • collect data on travel for reporting purposes
    • perform other duties as requested by the supervisor

    Required qualifications and experience

    Required qualifications and experience include:

    • a bachelor’s degree or completed degree programme in hospitality, tourism, and experience
      management with at least one (1) year of relevant work experience, preferably in an international
    • completion of secondary school education with at least four (4) years of relevant work experience,
      preferably in an international organisation, will be considered
    • working knowledge and experience in the use of MS Office such as Excel and Word
    • knowledge of an ERP system (preferably Oracle/PeopleSoft) is an advantage
    • knowledge of the UN system is an advantage
    • excellent communication skills with fluency in both oral and written English; knowledge of other United Nations official languages and Finnish is an asset
    • diplomacy, aptitude, and accuracy in detailed work are essential
    • ability to work under minimal supervision and with a high level of resilience
    • strong ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines
    • excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity


    Remuneration will be commensurate with qualifications, experience, and level of responsibilities within the administration. This is a locally-recruited post and no relocation allowance applies.

    The post is limited to persons residing in Finland, including persons holding a valid work permit. The successful candidate will be employed under a local contract and will not hold international civil service status nor be a ‘staff member’ as defined in the UN Staff Rules and Regulations. UNU has its own medical insurance for employees contracted under a Personnel Service Agreement (PSA).

    Duration of contract

    This is full-time employment on a one (1) year Personnel Service Agreement (PSA) contract with UNU-WIDER, with the possibility for renewal subject to requirements and satisfactory work performance, with the combined duration of appointments not exceeding six (6) years.

    Starting date

    As soon as possible.


  • Interested applicants should submit their applications online using this form and must upload the following:

    • a cover letter setting out how their qualifications and experience match the requirements of the position
    • a completed and signed UNU Personal History (P.11) form; please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations
    • an up-to-date CV
    • a copy of highest educational degree obtained

    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).