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Travel Assistant (PSA)

United Nations University


Posted over 30 days ago...


Join the UN University's Dynamic Team as a Travel Assistant


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Helsinki, FI

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In-person- Helsinki Finland

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Expires at anytime

Organisation summary

United Nations University (UNU) is a globally recognized research institution that contributes to resolving global problems through research, policy advice, and capacity building. Celebrating over four decades of impactful research, UNU supports the UN's mission with a focus on sustainable development and welfare. With a network of scholars across 12 countries and partnerships with UN agencies and leading institutions, UNU is at the forefront of addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), based in Helsinki, Finland, specializes in development economics, offering evidence-based analysis and policy advice to promote global sustainable and equitable development.

For more information about UNU-WIDER's work, visit

Role Summary

  • Support implementation of UNU-WIDER operational strategies and administrative processes.
  • Coordinate travel management services, ensuring compliance with guidelines and arranging travel authorizations and claims.
  • Manage travel-related contracts and liaise with stakeholders for travel and event logistics.
  • Support administrative services, office correspondence, and event logistics at UNU-WIDER premises.
  • Perform additional tasks as required, contributing to the efficiency of the Operations Support Unit.

Role Requirements

  • Completion of Secondary Education required; Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field preferred.
  • Minimum of 4 years' experience (with secondary education) or 2 years (with a bachelor’s degree) in travel, administration, or programme support services.
  • Experience in the travel industry and knowledge of ERP systems like Oracle or SAP.
  • Proficiency in MS Office and fluency in English; knowledge of another UN language and Finnish is a plus.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a diverse, multi-ethnic environment.

Application Process Details

  • Apply using the provided link and fill out the UNU P11 Form.
  • Include a motivation statement and answer position-specific questions.
  • No account creation is necessary for application submission.
  • Application deadline: 17 March 2024.

About UN University (UNU)

The United Nations University (UNU) is an international community of scholars engaged in policy-oriented research, capacity development and dissemination of knowledge, furthering the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. UNU’s mission 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, United Nations University (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, 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 one of 14 research and training Institutes that comprise the think tanks in the UNU system.

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 freely available original research. More information on UNU-WIDER and its current work programme are available at


Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Operations Manager, and the day-to-day supervision of the Administration and Travel Management Associate, the Travel Assistant supports the overall management of administrative services, administers, and executes processes and transactions ensuring high quality and accuracy of work at UNU-WIDER. The Travel Assistant promotes a client, quality, and results-oriented approach.

The Travel Assistant works in close collaboration with personnel in the Operations Support Unit (OSU), other Units of UNU-WIDER and personnel in other UNU agencies to exchange information and ensure consistent service delivery.

1. Supports to the implementation of UNU-WIDER operational strategies, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Supports the full compliance of UN/UNU rules, regulations, policies, and strategies.
  • Provides input into UNU-WIDER administrative business processes mapping and implementation of the internal standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Assists in the preparation of team results-oriented workplans.
  • Provides training to personnel on travel and administrative procedures.

2. Supports the efficient coordination of travel management services for UNU-WIDER personnel, contract holders and meeting participants, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Supports travel management processes and ensures all travel is expeditiously processed and fully compliant with corporate travel guidelines and requirements in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Coordinates, processes, and reviews travel authorizations in line with travel entitlements for authorized travellers.
  • Resolves travel-related cases related to changes, cancellations, and problems in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders
  • Reviews travel claims and supporting documentation for completeness, accuracy, and validity; ensures that entitlements are in conformity with UN/UNU Rules.
  • Supports the development and implementation of efficient travel and expense workflows.
  • Liaises with embassies in the smooth implementation of visa application processes for external travellers, including Notes Verbales.

3. Supports the efficient management of travel-related contracts, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Works closely with the contracted travel agent to facilitate provision of high-quality professional service and compliance with UNU travel policy in terms of air ticket procurement, hotel reservations, logistical, visa, insurance, and other arrangements.
  • Supports the development of requirements and terms of reference for travel-related contractual bids and participates in bid evaluation.

4. Provides support for the efficient management of administrative and event logistical services at UNU-WIDER premises, focusing on achievement of the following results:

  • Attends to routine office correspondence and team meetings and work collaboratively to complete client work with an emphasis on travel and event-related projects.
  • Requests catering and other event logistical services and ensures that all agreed contractual conditions of products/services are fully implemented by the related contractor(s).
  • Prepares informative charts, tables, and reports, as requested.

5. Performs other tasks as requested

Key performance indicators

  • Timely, complete, and efficient management of travel agency contract and implementation of the online booking tool, UNall and Quantum.
  • Timelyand cost-efficient management of travel arrangements, event logistics, and office support services.
  • Compliance with UN Rules and Regulations, UNU Travel Policy, and corporate travel guidelines.
  • Delivery of quality support to Operational Support Unit (OSU).



  • Inclusion — take action to create an environment of dignity and respect for all, regardless of age, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, gender expression, geography, grade, language, nationality, racial identity, religion, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, social origin or any other aspect of identity.
  • Integrity — act ethically, demonstrating the standards of conduct of the United Nations and taking prompt action in case of witnessing unprofessional or unethical behaviour, or any other breach of UN standards.
  • Humility — demonstrate self-awareness and willingness to learn from others.
  • Humanity — act according to the purposes of the United Nations: peace, dignity and equality on a healthy planet.


  • Connect and collaborate — build positive relationships with others to advance the work of the United Nations and work coherently as One UN
  • Analyse and plan — seek out and use data from a wide range of sources to understand problems, inform decision-making, propose evidence-based solutions and plan action
  • Deliver results with positive impact — hold oneself and others accountable for delivering results and making a positive difference to the people and causes that the United Nations serves
  • Learn and develop — pursue own learning and development and contribute to the learning and development of others
  • Adapt and innovate — demonstrate flexibility, agility and the ability to think and act in novel ways

1) Education and certification

  • Completion of Secondary Education is required.
    Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field

2) Required skills and Experience:

  • A minimum of four (4) years (with secondary education) or two (2) years (with bachelor’s degree) of relevant experience in travel, administration, or programme support services.
  • At least one (1) year of experience in the travel industry.
  • Working knowledge and experience in the use of MS Office such as Excel and Word
  • Ability to support the planning, monitoring, and implementation of travel, administrative and event logistic arrangements.
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision and with high level of resilience.
  • Ability to establish priorities, multitask, and work within tight timelines. Knowledge of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) such as Oracle or SAP, and travel system such as Amadeus is required.
  • Knowledge of UN systems is an advantage.
  • Excellent team player with strong interpersonal skills demonstrated by the ability to work in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

3) Language Requirements:

  • Fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of another UN official working language and Finnish is an asset.


The successful candidate will be employed under a national PSA contract. UNU offers an attractive compensation package including an annual net salary of EUR 36,501.32 commensurate with the experience and qualifications of the candidate. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and a health insurance scheme.

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 holders is 65 years.

Expected start date: As soon as possible

How to Apply:

To apply to UNU, you will not need an account. Instead, we ask that you:

  • Apply via the apply link;
  • fill out the UNU P11 Form (please avoid using similar forms provided by other United Nations organisations);
  • provide a motivation statement (in the P11 form); and
  • answer a few questions that are tailored to the position.

You may wish to refer to the UN Values and Behaviours Framework for more information.

Application Deadline:  17 March 2024


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

Special notice

The position is limited to persons who have (1) the Finnish nationality, or (2) the necessary residence/work permits for full-time work in Finland, or (3) the right of residence in Finland as an EU/FTA citizen. 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.

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 also 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.

If you have supervisory function you need to have awareness on gender related issues.

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.

Scam warning

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.


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